Akwa Ibom Politics: Conspiracy, betrayal and the Story of Shimei Season 1
By umani Uwemedimo
There was a man in the Bible called Shimei. He was one of the allies to Absalom, the son of King David. They were on a mission to tumble King David’s throne. Because of his extreme loyalty for Prince Absalom, Shimei approached King David, cursing and casting stones on him.
At a long run, King David noticed that so many of his closest friends had betrayed him. They amalgamated with Absalom in order to destroy him. The worst of them all was Hushai the Archite, David’s best friend. I don’t know how David felt when he beheld all the atrocious deeds of his son and friends against him. I would be compelled to believe that indeed, those days were terrible moments for him.
To shorten the story for the sake of time and patient, Absalom was destroyed in the heat of the battle, Shimei survived. As years gone by, King David was gone and the mantle of kingship was passed on to Solomon.
After the emergence of Solomon as king, some people believed the only way they would gain favor from the new king was to backbite and condemn others before the king. This, they intimated the king all that Shimei had done against his late father, King David. They even added jara to his deeds inorder for his cup to be filled without delay. At a point, they conspired, compelling the king to kill Shimei. These are the conspirators of the present day Akwa Ibom State politics. They can’t stop recounting one’s sins before top Government officials. As a matter of fact, this is the only avenue they can get favor from top Government officials. This is because outside condemning others, they’re not good at anything else. You know them and if you’re given a little time to form a list, the State wouldn’t contain everyone again
King Solomon after all the condemnation of Shimei by some people, decided to make him live but on a condition. ” And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither. For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head”. This condition was as good as death, but Shimei had tried his best to live. But the odds were higher than he thought.
After three years, Shimei’s servant fled to Gath, and this was told to Shimei. Immediately, Shimei saddled his ass and went to Gath to bring back his servants. Even before he had arrived Gath, King Solomon was aware and while coming back, the king was also aware. Now tell me. Was King Solomon a spirit to know all of Shimei’s movements? No! The same people that had compelled him to kill Shimei never stopped at the audio blackmail. They wanted to show the King proves why he should always count on them. This, they monitored Shimei from the first day, feeding the king with informations till the last day. My spirit is telling me that they were the same people that went and told Shimei’s servants to flee to Gath for an enticing reason known to them. Immediately they fled, they were the same people that went to Shimei to inform him of his servants journey to Gath. If Shimei was not rightly informed, how did he know his servants were in Gath? To end the story, these were the same people that went and tipped the king of Shimei’s movement out of Israel. These same men are in Akwa Ibom State today. Until their targets are disgracefully disgraced, they’ll never be excited. They’re the witches of the Akwa Ibom State politics. They derive pleasure in seeing one’s fall. They’re in government and parties in the State.
The conspiracies in Akwa Ibom politics did not start today, it started since the days of the South-Eastern States. After the amalgamation, certain people from a certain tribe in Akwa Ibom got envious of another tribe who they believed were favored with critical and sensitive positions. After their efforts to condemn these appointees before the authorities failed, they went down to a physical elimination of these people. They were assassinated one after the other and at last, they were able to eliminate all of them and power was shifted to their domain. This was the beginning of conspiracy and betrayal in Akwa Ibom politics.
It could be recalled that in 2007, twins who returned from the US were assassinated in Uyo in a broad daylight. These two young men were the only children of the Chief and gang leader who took upon himself, the execution of those chiefs during the days of the South-Eastern States.
When others wept for the wrongly execution of these two men, I didn’t shiver because God had said that the punishment for the sins of the father will be placed on the children, to the third generation. Crimes and punishment are the twin brothers of destiny,
but it’s saddening that this particular family was completely wiped out without a reminder.
Sometime in 2003, the then Deputy Governor of the State, Engr. Christopher Ekpenyong who’s the Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District at the Red Chambers of the National Assembly, was removed from office because of the conspiracies by his most trusted little friend and brother.
One faithful day, this desperado went to Chris Ekpenyong to inform him of Ette’s, dissatisfaction in him. The Ette in this context was the then governor of the State, Obong Victor Attah. Chris Ekpenyong knowing his steadfastness and loyalty to his boss, was afraid of being removed because of his boss’ anger towards him. He asked what he should do to appease his boss. The mistake he made was that instead of inquiring from the adviser of doom the possible cause of Ette’s furiousness over him, he moved into finding possible solutions for the purported damage. How would you correct a mistake you’re yet to ascertain how it occurred?
Because he was so interested in appeasing his boss rather than knowing the cause of his anger, Ekpenyong was deceived that if he visits the governor with a cow, have a heart-to-heart conversation with the governor, things would get better. Ekpenyong went to visit his boss, the governor with a cow just as advised. They had some time together but truly, the governor’s countenance was bad immediately he saw Ekpenyong in the Lodge. Was this because the governor was truly angry at his Deputy? No. The governor was given a bad pre-information about his Deputy’s visit. So his bad countenance was a concurrent reaction to what he had heard and what he saw that day.
Before Chris Ekpenyong could arrive the Governor’s Lodge with the cow as advised, the same person who advised him had also ran to a prophet. Paid him heavily to go to the Lodge and inform the governor that God opened his eyes to see someone presenting a poisoned cow to him as a gift. The prophet also told the governor that God said if he should eat the cow, he’ll die alongside anyone who eats it. Finally, he instructed the governor that once the person arrives with the cow, he shouldn’t reject, but should order that the cow be taken to the backyard of the Lodge. That by morning, the cow will die as the resultant effects of the poison in its body. The governor gave him another brown envelope, in addition to the one he got from the Chief Conspirator.
Shortly after the prophet had departed from the Lodge, Obong Attah was told that Chris Ekpenyong was around to see him. What he saw was an half manifestation of the prophecy by the prophets, but he didn’t want to believe. He still had a part of him that respected and loved Chris Ekpenyong as his friend and brother despite the scenario. But as instructed, he ordered that the cow be tied at the backyard of the Lodge. On that faithful night, the conspirator had handsomely paid one of the securities at the Lodge to inject the cow with poison. Just as the prophet had said, it was told to the governor that the cow gift from his Deputy is dead. Obong Attah was in great pains, but he still had this part of him doubting the whole drama.
Again, the master of conspiracy visited the Deputy Governor. He pleaded that for Ette to be very happy with him, he must go to the Lodge and accompany Ette for morning mass on Sunday. The man resisted but he cited reasons why accompanying the governor to church on Sunday morning was pertinent. Because Ekpenyong wanted to save his job, he adhered to the advice, appreciated him and gave him some money for always wanting his success and happiness. I learnt that a new Prado Jeep was also given to him by Ekpenyong that same day.
Immediately, he left Ekpenyong to another prophet. He used the same money that was given to him by the Deputy Governor, paid him and sent him on another errand. Because what money cannot do, more money can do, he accepted and went to the Governor’s Lodge. On seeing the governor, he started by narrating to him the prophecy a strange prophet had given to him few days back. He landed by telling him the new prophecy his acclaimed God had for the governor.
The governor was told that there’s a plan by some people somewhere to kill him so that another person could take over as governor. Obong Attah doubted the authenticity of this particular prophecy but the prophet asked him to relax. He informed him that the first visitor that comes to the Lodge on Sunday morning to see him, he should not have an handshake with the person, else he’ll die. The prophet left.
By 6:00am on Sunday, the Deputy Governor, Chris Ekpenyong was in the governor’s Lodge so he could accompany his boss, the governor for church. He was indeed the first visitor at the Lodge that faithful day. The governor was informed that a visitor was around to join him to Church. The governor came out, he saw his Deputy, Chris Ekpenyong.
Chris Ekpenyong in an unusual way smiled and brought out his hand for an handshake with the governor. Imagine Ukarakpa smiling. His smile could be linked to that of former President Obasanjo anytime he’s in a happy mood. His smile at that morning irritated his boss, the governor.
Why did he smile on seeing the governor? That means there’s something bad he was nurturing in his heart against the governor. If you were in the position of the then governor, you would feel the same way. I don’t know how they planned this thing. I don’t know if they had visited a babalawo for this. But I want to state that they were genius to have executed the job perfectly.
This was a fulfilment of the prophecy by the prophet. The governor yelled ” Ekpenyong what have I done to you that you hate me with passion? Why do you want to kill me? Yours truly, that was the end of Chris Ekpenyong as the the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State. In Obong Attah’s mind, God has disgraced you, Ekpenyong today. God thank you for saving me and my family. But all these were wash.
But on a sad note, the Chief Conspirator of the State had thought he would be appointed the Deputy Governor after the removal of Chris Ekpenyong as Deputy Governor. But it turned out that he was not appointed. Instead, he was tossed around from one office to the other like a ball boy.
After Chris Ekpenyong’s removal as Deputy Governor of the State, it became a curse that every governor must have more than one deputy before the expiration of his tenure. Obong Attah had two, Chief Akpabio had three. It’s quite unfortunate that the incumbent, Gov. Udom Emmanuel has decided to stick to one deputy from 2015 till date. This clearly signify that if at the expiration of his tenure as governor by 2023 he’s still unwilling to replace his present deputy with another, the generational curse of having more than a deputy must have been broken. Could Udom Emmanuel be the savior?
To be continued………..
Umani Uwemedimo is a Public Affairs Analyst.