Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Udom, Akpabio and OBA: A bond beyond politics

Udom, Akpabio and OBA: A bond beyond politicsUdom, Akpabio and OBA: A bond beyond politics


As the wind of open letter ravages our political space, leaving us more anxiety than the right to be informed, there is an urgent need to address the recurring media confrontation, which if not checked could threaten the fragile peace and harmony in the state.

The regular attempt to create a rift among leaders who have paid their dues and shown commitment to the founding ideals of the state, as a land of promise, is fast assuming an unpalatable crescendo, begging on all discerning minds to allow governance evolve, beyond politics.

It would be our biggest undoing when our major factors of strength are pitched against themselves, for no fault of theirs; having given up so much in resources, time, energy and passion in ensuring the labours of our heroes past are not in vain, the least they deserve from us is not drumming beats that would send them to war.

In clear departure from political allegiance, one would helplessly watch how the looming war in the State chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC, threatens the soul of the party that should have grown into a fabric of rational opposition, to check the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, because of an avoidable standoff between major stakeholders.

The reported suspension of the former Minister of State for FCT and founding member of the APC, Senator John Akpan Udoedeghe, may look like a plus for some section of the political interest in the state, but in all, it in the near future may cause an irredeemable friction on our political narrative. Pray tell if generations to come will absolve us of the ills of hatred and bitterness.

The damning effect of this needless war on the polity has clearly put the political interest of some APC members on the jeopardy lane, since “the grass suffers when two elephants fight”, as even the owner of the property that houses the state Party secretariat for two years now is not spared the trauma of such discord and braving the sorrows of their prolonged inability to pay accruable rent, thereby causing him untold hardship.

This is no time to pitch our leaders against each other by speculating bad blood where none exists, nature had so arranged them in different Senatorial districts, to have each other’s back, with Governor Udom Emmanuel, Chief Godswill Akpabio and Senator Bassey Albert as political allies, it is safe to say they have all it takes to stay peaceably.

It must be acknowledged, that as a state we are blessed with conscientious leaders who are committed to ensuring the people do not suffer the ills of their ego when they should allow a few more concessions and engender peace in the state. 

It then becomes a task to call to order people who doubts the measure of statesmanship and bond of affinity that exists among our leaders, who have by their examples shown the need to close ranks and sacrifice more to make leadership work.

The comparison between the administrations of Chief Godswill Akpabio and that of Governor Udom Emmanuel in the state calls to mind the intentions of those who throw up this narrative, because a people who toiled to raise the state to heights of acclaim among the comity of states can never destroy the reward of their labour over needless comparisons.

Howbeit, it is common to humans to stay dear to friends, regardless of whose ox is gored, especially when there are benefits attached. In the light of this, there may be certain unproven attempts from some quarters to feign a “more catholic than the pope” relationship with our leaders. This in the thinking of bookmakers may be a difficult task without the regrettable attitude of pulling down others, who appear more advantaged to the leaders.

To every good conscience, the perceived dichotomy between those who owe their allegiance to these leaders is terribly unhealthy as it is seemingly stretched beyond reasoning, because this differences exists only in the minds of their peddlers, who if allowed unchallenged may breed bad wind that would blow us no good.

Udom, Akpabio and OBA: A bond beyond politics
Let us stop and think! What contention do this leaders hold against each other? Senators Akpabio and Albert led their people to support the emergence of Governor Udom Emmanuel; who is yet to report any dissatisfaction with their representations at the Red chambers.

Supporters may not agree on every issue, but their position certainly has no holding effect on the relationship that exists between the trio. After all were we not in this state when a certain man openly declared support for ex-President Jonathan’s presidential rerun as well as APC candidates in other positions, recanting his earlier support for Udom Emmanuel after he lost his senatorial return bid? We cannot keep sending our emotions on flight every time, boycotting available clear and open channels to ask questions and get clarification.

With properly constituted party, elders and stakeholders structures, there is no gainsaying that the governor has moved to actualize his promise of inclusive governance by seeing to a perfect blend of old and new faces, which thankfully is yet to receive a turndown from any leader of noble repute.

Make no mistake about this; Governor Udom Emmnuel and Akwa Ibom by extension are lucky to have the duo of Senators Akpabio and Albert in the senate. A potpourri of their massive contribution to national development, regional growth, political and economic growth and stability in the state are what other states desperately crave.

On the other hand,  a governor that is more concerned about the next generation than elections is what every society should seek to have, and such leadership is what  Governor Udom Emmanuel has shown in the last 19 months, giving those who sacrificed to see to his emergence dividends; despite the economic crunch.

The maturity and capacity of the party in the state to live up to its bidding of ensuring party manifestoes are strictly adhered to, has at no time found a better expression than now, when all the major stakeholders have come to accept the supremacy of the vehicles that drove them to the peoples mandate.

With all ends neatly tied to ensure no one is marginalized, it is a truism we cannot all share mutual friends and enemies, despite political, religious and ethnic affiliations. Hence the need to be guided not to impose our opinion of a man’s relationship with another on the differences we hold about them.

We cannot always live on the flaring lines; causing disaffection and ill-affection where there ought to be none, you may not like Udom, Akpabio and Albert’s faces, but those are faces we will sure have for long, because they have committed so much to the sustained peace, growth and development of the state, such that hoping they throw in the towel when their mission is yet unfinished is not an option.

Take it or leave it, the affinity that exists among the trio is a bond no external factor can break. People should leave them to enjoy the friendship they have committed so much to, in the knowledge that there has never been a perfect relationship, but with understanding and love, errors could be overlooked. No two people react to issues same way, they have their different approaches, but same goals and aspiration of giving their best in service of their fatherland.

Recall it was Nelson Mandela who wrote in his book, the Long Walk to Freedom “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than hate” rather than point our leaders to sticks, we should pray and encourage them to love.

I have never been more convinced that the cord that binds the trio is an evolving point in the political narrative of our state; where integrity, service, passion and patriotism will take the lead to define our engagement with fellow citizens.

This cord must not break!

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