Akwa Ibom 2019: The issues before us
By Abel Udoekene
Two things prompted this write up, first, let me say that its not a crime to belong to PDP, APC or any other political party. And it can never be a crime to support anybody, but it’s very bad to build a career around spreading lies, falsehood and propaganda.
As a writer, I’ve been apprehended twice by Men in Uniform because of an opinion article I wrote sometimes ago. On one occasion, I was to be taken to the force headquarter in Abuja, before an intervention team from nowhere arrived and I was freed.
What saved me that day was God, even when the IPO told me that the story I wrote was true, he was bent on taking me to the force headquarters for further questioning as ordered by the man who asked them to arrest me.
I had to called my brother Mfon and the rest was history.
Secondly, few months ago, I started touring round the state, I met different village heads, clan heads and few Paramount rulers, we discussed issues from Exxon Mobil, politics and development, the knowledge they shared with me was amazing. Pointedly, all of them agree that our state can only go far if we behave like a family not foes and understand that God has given each of us a unique ability to grow and make a difference in the society.
I remembered a certain situation in Ibeno where a young man almost attacked me even after giving them what they demanded. He attacked me because he thought I was an SA to the Governor or an aide to Senator Akpabio.
It started like a play, then graduated gently into an aggression before it finally inspired us into drinking more bottles than we anticipated.
”I need 20k from you sir, if not, Warsaw will see War and war will see Warsaw” that was the beginning. Before my friend, Henry who is a fisherman in Ukpenekan intervened and suggested that I double up the bottles of understanding and the plate of something for everyone.
The adventure was interesting, after everything the clan head narrated some stories and explained to us that the routine was part of what they were facing as traditional rulers everyday.
Dear friends, as we march towards 2019: it is very sad for a party or a candidate to concentrate on writing propagandas and attacking people instead of telling us ”the electorate” his or her plans for us.
A young man from my local government who has been contracted to write series of propaganda against the House leader and the PDP called me some few weeks ago and advised me to prepare for War that ”they” have concluded plans to hijacked election materials of some local government area who they think will not favour APC in order to cause mayhem and heat up the polity in 2019.
I didn’t care to asked him who was ”they” but I draw his attention to the amended electoral act then inform him of the team of international electoral observers that will be in Akwa Ibom on election day and the many situation rooms that will be set up in the 31 local government area of the state in preparation for February.
I put a call across to the President of the National Human right coalition against electoral malpractices in Nigeria and he was shocked at the extent ”a statement credited to Senator Akpabio” had inspired national and international human right coalition to take a special interest in Akwa Ibom election.
I believe we have a duty to play, we must educate our people, politics should be about issues not propaganda, election should be about the character and manifesto of a candidate not war. Desperation and intimidation should not be tolerated in our political ideology.
Our leaders should be very careful of the choice of words they use when they are in Public, for instance, the Warsaw statement was not necessary no matter how we see it. It has breed negative tendencies and negative energy which is very unhealthy to our peaceful co-existence as a State.
Our distinguished Senator does not need to ask any of his supporters to cause trouble, they will be inspired by the Warsaw statement knowing fully well that he has the capacity to calm the tension when the authority calls.
After all said and done, we are one big family, APC, PDP or any other political party, let always put Akwa Ibom first.
God bless Akwa Ibom State.