By Pat Reuben
Governor Udom Emmanuel is a product and manifestation of the most significant trinity in Nigeria’s political history. Trinity in the sense that, he has gone through the three stages of climbing the leadership ladder. And possibly, God wanted him to go through this process as a substantiation of the fact that God in His infinite wisdom, wanted to show Himself as a Supreme Being. On April 11, 2015, he was voted for by the people of Akwa Ibom overwhelmingly, ordained by God and subsequently confirmed by the Supreme Court. He is a man destined from birth and christened him to sail high, a knowledgeable person set apart by God to redeem the people of the state from the fangs of erroneous, greedy, self-seeking, unproductive and unfocused bunch of folks who thought they could have sold the collective will of the people on a platter of gold. The weapon has been that of smear campaign, character assassination, blackmail and casting spurious aspersions on the hard-earned image and person of Gov. Udom Emmanuel.
The Supreme Court judgement has since proven Gov. Udom as the most popular politician and statesman emerging in Akwa Ibom and indeed the Niger Delta. Those who rated low his political prowess and advancement are now fully in the know that he has a deep passion and link with the grassroots. Akwa Ibomites are in love with him because they see in him a man strategizing as pro-people in politics, governance, policy formulation and objective in his programming. The affirmation and substantiation of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s election has emboldened the renowned trinity phase of leadership in the face of unnecessary and baseless propaganda engineered by the Akwa Ibom APC bunch of aggrieved persons.
They are now languishing in their camps as Internally Displaced Politicians (IDPs). These unpopular politicians and scammers made use of the internet and various media apparatus to create an impression that the April 11, 2015 governorship election was marred by wanton violence and irregularities. They fabricated outlandish allegations in court and tendered evidence that hold no water. In the case of Akwa Ibom, right from the tribunal that cancelled 18, out of 31 Local Government Areas and ordered a rerun, the Appeal Court completely went haywire in designing their own laws to suit the opposition APC by cancelling the entire state election. They only played to the gallery and the Supreme Court, through the Supreme God, brought us peace and solemn justice.
Proving electoral fraud is not an issue of propaganda and political blackmail as was employed by the APC in Akwa Ibom. The enthronement of Supremacy of Law over the conflicting opinions of the lower courts is what the seven man panel of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmood Mohammed, did. It was indeed dissatisfying that the Akwa Ibom APC thought it could rubbish the mandate of Akwa Ibom people by relying on documentary hear-say by a few of our expired statesmen and leaders. From the grievous evidences tendered at the inception of the tribunal, I knew most of them are heading towards extinction and political abyss.
We are all aware that if this victory was the other way round, the APC would have let loose hell. But we will be magnanimous in our victory and humbled by the fact that it is divinely procured. Like Hon. Barr. Dan Abia (Jnr.) puts it during his interview on February 11, 2016 on Akwa Ibom Mandate on Planet FM: “This victory is about Akwa Ibom State. It has nothing to do with PDP or APC. It is about the preservation of the ideals of the state and the promotion of her dignity and interests. Nobody would be allowed to rubbish the state on the altar of servitude and financial greed.” He emphasised. Aside the media drama sponsored by the Akwa Ibom APC, there was nothing before any of the courts to prove the stories they published about the election.
The Supreme Court has reinstated the confidence of Nigerians in the judicial process by interpreting the law in line with the tenets governing the elections. They have confirmed what all the people of Akwa Ibom State offered on April 11, 2015. There has never been APC in Akwa Ibom State. Those who pretend to be APC leaders are not on ground in Akwa Ibom State. Most of them are more at home in Lagos and Abuja, where their smear media associates build political castles in the air for them. And sadly, the rest are just hurriedly assembled and aggrieved locals who are daily being brain-washed to toe a futile route into the wilderness.
The calm and continuous thanksgiving, jubilation and testimony trailing the judgement across the 31 LGAs of Akwa Ibom State is a further proof that external forces can never shake the resolve of the people to stand by Gov. Udom Emmanuel, the very best and fitting in this dispensation. Intimidation and other techniques have failed as the will of God and the preference of the people have been enthroned to last till 2019 and beyond.
Ever since the outcome of the Akwa Ibom State electoral tussle resolution by the Supreme Court in favour of the PDP state-led administration. Instead of the Akwa Ibom APC folks to accept defeat and congratulate Gov. Udom Emmanuel, they are busy accusing the eminent Supreme Court judges of collecting bribe to turn the case in favour of the Governor. I believe the only apex court we will both meet to find a lasting solution if the Akwa Ibom APC goons are still dissatisfied is in heaven and that will be when all of us will be appearing for the final judgement. For now, someone should reach out to them and authenticate that every litigation here on earth must have an end. I emphasise once again that Gov. Udom was voted for by the people, ordained by God and confirmed by the Supreme Court.
The new Akwa Ibom project pivoted by the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel seeks a balanced development and enhanced quality of life for the present and future generations through responsive governance guided by the fear of God. It is quite assuring that no one will be excluded from the governance process because, working together, we will certainly achieve more. When they shouted down that we should not celebrate in thanksgiving, we were encouraged by the fact that the Almighty God did this by His Grace. For without Him, we are nothing and we could have done, or achieved nothing.
Gov. Udom Emmanuel has pledged to continue to run a just and equitable administration that will hopefully lead to greater development for our state and the happiness of the greatest number of our people. The Supreme Court, by its well-considered judgement in the Akwa Ibom State Governorship election tussle that lasted for eight months, has returned power back to the people who are the aborigines.
The APC-led Federal Government and all chapters in the 36 states should be grateful to the Supreme Court. The apex court is still sweeping the rot scattered around town by the lower courts. With the latest victory of Taraba State Governor, Ishaku, we may be moving down to Kogi soon where APC has bastardised the entire political atmosphere.
For Akwa Ibom people, the state is sure set apart by God for this trying phase in the history of Nigeria and it will always weather the storm of manipulations in high places.
Just yesterday, wonders will never end; while going through the four lane leeway, my swing sight caught the Nsima Ekere campaign grounds where the APC mourners have continued to make a cemetery of their gathering. Behold Ita Awak, the self-acclaimed APC spokesman addressing a chip-berg pure water vendors and purportedly came out with a communique that has suggested he heads straight to the psychiatric consult. Must they continue to do this to a man who has lavished all his fortunes in search of the Hilltop Mansion in Lagos and Abuja?
Pat Reuben is a Public Affairs Analyst and writes in from Awantong, Etinan