Udom’s Journey To Governorship
The aftermath of April 11, 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State foisted great uncertainties and turbulence on the once congenial polity the State was hitherto known for. A slew of desperation was introduced with all its attendant consequences. From the Tribunal to the Appellate Courts including the Supreme, tension and fear ruled the heart of men with propaganda taking its toll to add to the confusion.
The APC which has consistently demonstrated itself as being adept in the propagation of falsehood, demonizing of opponents and outright mendacity used these vices maximally. The victims were the unsuspecting public who were hoodwinked into their charade. These charades enjoyed barren credibility when the Tribunal and Appeal Court delivered judgments that gave them illusory victory. They celebrated the two judgments which had no justice in such a cacophonous and deafening manner that made PDP faithful believe that the end had eventually come for the party in the State. I recall them in the social media referring to PDP as 'PDPigs' and Governor Udom Emmanuel as 'caretaker governor'. It was a period when the office of governor and the occupant were subjected to unconscionable desecration and despicable treatment.
As the calendar of the Supreme Court ruling ticked towards the day of determination, the confidence of APC appeared buoyed as they spoke as people who already had foreknowledge of the outcome. From the morning of the day the ruling was scheduled to be delivered, APC members took over Ibom Plaza which had over a period of time served as headquarters where falsehood was manufactured by its people. It was a boisterous crowd that danced joyously in anticipation of the judgment which they felt was going to follow the patterns of the two previous legal aberrations of the Tribunal and Appeal Court. But it was a preliminary of a well scripted macabre dance they had planned to unleash on the State if a rerun came as the option. But God decided otherwise and turned their robust hope into stillbirth.
They were however some people who had no fear about Udom's retention of his office as governor. While some of them confidently proclaimed that rerun would not come into the matrix, others continued to assert that if the Akwa Ibom governorship election was conducted ten times, Udom would win at all the occasions. Those in that school of thought relied on the structure of the party in the State, the achievements of the party, PDP and the loyalty of the people to the party. But the confidence was intermittently punctuated by the reality that the federal government could use its might and rob the people of their rights. Of course such fear was accentuated by the unfathomable pronouncement of the National Chairman of APC which stated inter alia, “we are going to take back Rivers and Akwa Ibom States”.
But they were those whose faith in Udom's governorship remained unshaken. They argued that the campaign slogan of Divine Mandate was not idle but a consequence of an event that actually took place in 2012. Those privy to the incident stated that they had observed the pattern and had come to the conclusion that it was God who ordained his governorship and so existed no power that can take it away. One Mr. Emmanuel who witnessed the day the prophecy was given said: “It is impossible for it to be faulted given the context and circumstance”.
The story goes thus; in 2012, Word of Faith Covenant Assembly held what it called Grace Conference 2012 with the theme, Endless Blessings. The conference which was a weeklong event from Sunday, 8th July to 15th July 2012 was held at Covenant City, Aka Etinan Road, Mbierebe Obio, Uyo. The event which had a surfeit of clergymen was hosted by Prophet John Linus and had in attendance Bishop (Dr.) Emmah Isong, Bishop Joe Solomon and Rev. Joe Akanya among others.
On Sunday, July 15 which was the last day of the event, one young man arrived the premises of the Church in a saloon 406 car, bearing a siren on its roof. He was dressed in white caftan and had a Hilux truck conveying security personnel as escort. It was the day that a Land Rover Discovery (SUV), 2012 model, donated to Prophet John Linus, the General Overseer of the Church was to be dedicated. The donor of the exotic car was Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and he was the occupant of the 406 car that arrived to witness the dedication.
Mr. Udom, an unobtrusive fellow had arrived and sat quietly in the church. He did not crave attention as the donor of the exotic item of comfort on wheels that was being dedicated. The guest preacher of that day, Rev. Joe Akanya who espoused on the theme “Blessing” had observed that “blessings are material things given to us by God to make life comfortable on earth”. While he was still sharing the scripture, Udom, then a banker in Lagos obviously in a hurry to catch a flight to his location, left the Church but not without notifying his host, Prophet John Linus.
As soon as he left, Rev. Joe Akanya asked the General Overseer who that was. Prophet Linus disclosed Udom's identity and explained that he was rushing to the airport to catch a flight back to Lagos where he was working. Rev. Akanya demanded that Prophet Linus put a call to him to come back. The General Overseer obeyed and made the call. Not long after then, Mr. Udom Emmanuel returned to World of Faith Covenant Assembly Church. Rev. Joe Akanya then directed him to kneel down for prayers. As he was praying for him, he said, “I see government on your shoulders”. He finished the prayers and Udom departed for Lagos. The date was July 15, 2012. Udom Emmanuel was still comfortably ensconced in his bank job perhaps with no plans to throw his weight into politics and contest election.
But events that were to lead to the manifestations of that prophesy began to happen the following year. At the twilight of July, a cold war ensued between the then governor and the then Secretary to the State Government who was then always touted as the engine room of government. The latter had plans to take over from former Governor Akpabio despite the fact that zoning did not favour his Senatorial District. He was ready to browbeat everyone into yielding to the inordinate quest. He had used his office to build structures for that ambition for more than six long years. His view therefore was that nothing can stand between him and the governorship. He had forgotten that the God is the only ONE that commands and it comes to pass.
That crisis produced Udom who also had his first broach with government structure as Secretary to the State Government. He had all along been a private sector operator. On July 30, 2013, he was sworn in as Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government. He spent fifteen months in that office. While the Secretary to the State Government, he was urged by many who sieved through his intimidating credentials to vie for the office of governor especially as he hailed from the Senatorial District that was legitimately entitled to that office by the zoning arrangement. He heeded the call and resigned the office of SSG on October 19, 2014. On October 21, he publicly declared his intention to run for the office of governor. On December 8, 2014 he participated in a nomination that produced him for the April 11, 2015 election. He won that election resoundingly but not without losers heading to the courts to procure judgment rather than justice. Well the Tribunal and the Appeal Court gave judgments but the Supreme Court reassessed all the matters and delivered justice on February 3, 2016.
The Judgment confirmed the Prophecy of Rev. Joe Akanya of July 15, 2012 which I wish to recapture; “I see government on your shoulders”. The Supreme Court confirmed that divine commission that Rev Joe foretold four years ago. It was this foreknowledge that gave many, comfort during those tensed moments of waiting for the verdict of the Supreme Court. Others relied on the fact that God can never be a party to injustice. And so now that we can readily say that Udom Emmanuel is commissioned by God, I enjoin all of us who profess Christ so profusely to join cause with this divine project which objective is to do only God's will for Akwa Ibom people. Remember, His thought for us is a thought of good, not of evil.
Written by Joe Iniodu, a public affairs analyst.