UDOM EMMANUEL: A BANNER WITHOUT STAIN
Traffic in Uyo on Fridays, especially late afternoon, is usually a case study. Ibrahim Babangida Avenue often receives a large chunk of this cake of vehicular congestion obviously due to the State Secretariat Complex that sits at the end of the road, as well as the ever busy state of the art e-library also located on the road. However, Friday June 6, presented a different scenario as it was not yet close of work time for civil servants, neither was there a holiday; yet the road was traffic jammed, no this could not be dismissed as a usual occurrence.
Curiousity rented the air, 'What's happening here?' asked a middle aged man of no one in particular. Three passengers plus the driver of the taxi they were alighting from, answered in unison; 'We are doing Udom'! The man looked across the blocked lane of the road and saw hundreds of people happily trouping towards Ibom Hall. On the T-shirt of one of them, he saw an inscription, and read aloud 'Udom is Right.'.
A candid assessment of Ibom Hall Grounds on that day revealed that the inscription is not only on T-shirts, banners and buses, it is also stenciled in the hearts of Akwa Ibom People who pumped the venue to its extreme capacity. It was the formal inauguration of the executive committee of an 'earth â€'moving' movement, Akwa Ibom Consolidation Alliance, ACA.
All the thirty one local government areas of the state were conspicuously announced by their banners. Again, 'Udom' was also Right' 'Uduak Abasi Ado Udom', 3 for 1 Ambassadors and many others expressed vividly on their banners. They were banners without stains. Thirty one banners couldn't have been wrong on one man.
Beyond banners, men and women were singing and humming the infections song of consolidation and continuity, fired by equity and fairness to all sections of the state. The music tinged sweetly into ears as ACA's search for Governor Akpabio's successor is zoomed on and limited to Eket Senatorial District since Uyo and Ikot Ekpene have taken their turns in Obong Victor Attah and Chief Godswill Akpabio respectively.
The oracles of politics in the state spoke in one voice, aligning totally to the vision of ACA. They all reasoned that it was a loveable way of Akwa Ibom acquitting itself of the moral burden of fairness to all parts and people of the State.
The venue for the event itself was alluring. Ibom Hall makes kings. Ibom Hall shapes history. And a compelling chapter in Akwa Ibom's book of history was in the works. The joyous mood of the people showed that God smiled at Akwa Ibom. It was not because Ibom Hall wore a new look. Good infrastructure is no news in Akpabio's administration; it is the signature that defines leadership and differentiates leaders.
Perhaps, the smile with the whitest teeth came from the democratize weather. A weather that understood the language and yearnings of Akwa Ibom people; a weather that nodded to the people as if saying, you are doing the right thing at the right time, and obviously, with the RIGHT person. A weather that refused to shed tear because it saw joy on the face of Akwa Ibom.
It was a gathering of equality, where the 'commoners' and the giants took equal share of the outpouring joy. Happiness defied class and social status because equity knows no class. The reason for the joy was that Governorship has been zoned to Eket Senatorial District with a deserving Udom Emmanuel clearly favoured.
The gathering was uncommonly colourful. It could have as well passed for a festival of arts and culture but Akwa Ibom people were there for a serious business. In ACA they saw a reliable vehicle to convey the people to 2015. They talked 2015 in 2014. They talked the future in the present. In Udom Emmanuel, they saw the hope for the future.
Yes, they came, the high and mighty. They spoke power and might in speakable handwriting. The handwriting was right. It was a cruise on the right lane. The tone was set by Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem; that what is sauce for the goose in Uyo and Ikot Ekpene is also sauce for the gander in Eket to justify the tripod upon which the founding fathers enshrined in the creed of statehood.
That kick started the revolution for the clamour and unanimous decision that 2015 governorship is rightly an Eket's exclusive. Deputy Governor Valerie Ebe did not speak differently; House of Assembly Speaker Samuel Ikon supported the moral motion. The sentiment spread from the governor's wife, Ekaette Unoma Akpabio to even the Governor's representative, Otuekong Emmanuel Ibiok, the idea was a display of RIGHT thinking. Men and women who should know spoke. Chairman on the occasion, Barrister Bassey Dan-Abia, speaking through Prince Uwem Ita Etuk went philosophical. Women and youth leader, senatorial representatives and even student's spoke in one language; that they see a glittering hope in Udom Emmanuel.
Then the man on the banner himself, Udom Emmanuel mounted the dais. He bent the arc of history and engraved his name on the right page. Humility fitted him like his clothe size as he gave his goodwill message that was laced with oratorical skills. Hear him; 'Akwa Ibom people are predominantly Christians. It is expected that they do the RIGHT thing. Equity and Fairness are right in the sight of God.'
Minds' tiny feet then ran to Udom's towering credentials and came back with a soothing message that the man will not only be a political masterstroke but that a miracle economy that will further sustain Akwa Ibom on the wings of a flying states awaits the people. His transparent honesty also glittered within the mind. It was right to conclude that Udom's path to power will be a cruise without a bruise, no matter the flex of political muscles. The ACA event spoke volume that Udom Emmanuel is a stone throw away from the finishing line.
By all standards, testimonies showed that his choice shall be the brightest and the most moral. He shall clinch a deserved victory not just for his management wizardry but that he knows the meaning of loyalty.
Loyalty to friendship; loyalty to hardwork and loyalty to excellence. He is just set for the sprint, armed with an experience as bright as a 200 watt electric bulb.
So when a sea of Akwa Ibom people filled out and marched past in solidarity with ACA, the message was written everywhere: that it is wrong to think that Udom is not RIGHT. This was written on their faces, in their hearts and in the banners raised above their heads. The people of Akwa Ibom have spoken; sovereignty belongs to the people.
To go against the wish of the people in zoning will amount to a moral stain on the banner of peace, equity, fairness and justice which Udom Emmanuel stands for. This discovery marks the end of the search for the best possible person. What is next?
This is like a volcanic revolution. Like an exhortation on a billboard in Accra admonishes: 'Do not stand there and stare. Get involved.' The ship anchors on May 29, 2015. Udom Emmanuel: Behold Akwa Ibom's banner without stain.
Written By Imoh Etimudo