PRINCE OTU, LEST WE FORGET
Twelve years ago, 2003 to be precise, Odukpani Local Government Area, particularly New Netim, was a killing field.
Those who were lucky to survive the rampaging thugs who were hired to enforce the election of Prince Bassey Otu into the House of Representatives, were scarred for life.
Today in that same community, many young people who fell victims to the thugs and cultists for the simple reason of supporting Otu's main challenger in the 2003 election, have gory and horrific tales to tell, ranging from loss of limps, legs and eyes, which was perpetrated by Prince Otu's blood thirsty hounds.
Besides the savagery inflicted on the hapless citizens of New Netim, all in a bid to ensure Otu had his way, several property was damaged with furniture set ablaze to teach the people a lesson for daring to work at cross-purposes with their paymaster, Prince Otu.
This same treatment was meted to several other villages in the Odukpani/Calabar Municipality Federal Constituency.
How desperate and vicious can a man get to acquire power, even if it means the lives of those who do not align with are perished for the selfish interest of just one man!
Even if Otu was a student of Nicholo Machiavelli, he must have probably learnt nothing from his Master all the years he spent trying to study him. For Otu, the end justifies the means even if it means all those he seeks to represent are wiped out by his thugs.
Twelve years after that mayhem, the signs are all over the Southern Senatorial District of the state, that a repeat of the violence may be in the offing except security agencies act decisively and swiftly too.
In Creek Town 11, in the same Odukpani Local Government Area, one of Otu's main supporters, Emmanuel Nsa now goes about the communities in the ward bare-chested with a red ribbon wrapped around his wrist, and accompanied by a horde of fierce looking thugs.
It is rumored that he has fortified himself with odeshi, a charm that supposedly makes the body impenetrable by bullets.
This same character was at the centre of the violence that attended the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) Delegates Election in some parts of Odukpani.
That was before he and Otu left the PDP for the Labor Party after being worsted at the PDP primaries.
Like Nsa, Otu has killer squads all over the senatorial district. Must a politician necessarily kill to have his way in politics?
So those who know Otu, a man weaned on a diet of violence, are not surprised about the acts of violence being perpetrated in some parts of the Southern Senatorial District, including Calabar.
Some residents of Calabar who spoke on the development have blamed Otu and his Labor Party for the security challenges faced in Calabar recently.
His resort to violence, they reasoned has, however, backfired as more and more voters now distance themselves from him.
Even some of his supporters, who are shocked by the violence being perpetrated by the man, have been leaving him in droves.
They have finally come to the realisation that his resort to violence and the use of crude tactic is a huge contradiction to his claim of popularity among the people. According to them, if he was that popular, as he claims, he should be encouraging his supporters to eschew violence and demonstrate his so called popularity at the poll rather than a resort to arms and mayhem.
As it appears, the wool has finally been removed from their eyes, as they can now see clearly that all along, their Sweet Prince has been feeding them with poisoned chalice.
And their advice to the man is captured in the words of William Shakespeare that a man whose safety is steeped in blood shall have bloody safety.
Written by Offiong Sylvester.