By Aniekeme Finbarr
The polity has been unessentially and needlessly charged following false projections in the media that the administration of Mr Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State will be brought to an abrupt end by the Election Petition Tribunal, currently sitting in the country’s Federal Capital Territory. Quite frankly, it would have been easy to ignore the false alarms, tantrums and propaganda as traits of political masturbation or simply, traces of political hangover from the last elections which the Peoples Democratic Party swept in Akwa Ibom State but it appears a few persons are as persistent as a mosquito in taking over the realms of power by all means, including hiring the services of Lagos based social media heavyweights to flood the space with falsehood.
A MANDATE MADE IN HEAVEN
Since man can be deliberately forgetful, it is instructive to remind those who are yet to come to terms with reality, that elections are over and the mandate Mr Udom Emmanuel holds is of the people and God. The curvy build up to his election and the ease with which he has overcome every political battle smarks of the divine. When a man has won the heart of God and is on a specific mission to fulfill God’s purpose and plan, no obstacle mounted against him ever succeeds. So it is with Mr Udom Emmanuel, an erudite and God fearing son of the soil elected to serve his motherland in the capacity of Governor of Akwa Ibom State. I recall the first brick wall he met on his journey to the Government House was the propaganda that he is unpopular, with little or nothing known about him. Some even contested that he is not from Akwa Ibom State. Then came the next that he is not a registered member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and in fact has not been in the party for up to two years.
Unperturbed and resolved in his spirits, he engaged gear and consulted widely, making numerous friends on his journey. It became clear he was coasting home and just when all appeared to have settled, another scud missile flew in from the bush that Obong Paul Ekpo was not properly elected as the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The political class in the state relocated to Abuja and even when they ran out of numbers, they imported a few mercenaries to carry placards and chant protest songs. It became clear that the man destined to govern had miraculously won the heart of the then incumbent Governor in just a short time, coming from the rear to beat old friends and associates to be favoured. The race is not for the swift nor the battle for the strong.
The battle raged on especially in the media and on the internet. Stones flew in from all sides. No, they said, Governor Akpabio cannot be interested in who succeeds him and also gun for a senatorial seat. No, he has to chose one. As the primaries drew near, the rumour mill erupted like a volcano. PDP will not sell the party’s declaration of interest and the nomination forms for Udom. No, Udom has succeeded in buying the form; the form will not be accepted by the party. No, Udom has not been cleared by the party. No, a former Governor of the state has been appointed as the secretary of the screening committee, Udom cannot scale through. No, the former Governor and the current National Chairman of the PDP are former colleagues and they are very close, Udom cannot escape this time. No, Udom has not been granted a waiver to stand the PDP primaries. I am sure you will remember more of those rumours. In the end, he emerged Governor of Akwa Ibom State and in 100 days has dazzled like a billion stars. As all the obstacles then, never brought him down, so will he triumph over this distraction at the tribunal.
STATE OF THE TRIBUNAL
There are many twisted accounts of what transpires at the tribunal in Abuja. There is a grand plot to heat up the polity and cause anxiety amongst unsuspecting members of the public. Like my friend, Osondu’s Ahirika opines, there is a well oiled syndicate perpetually on stand-by, to interpret every process and sitting, doctor to reflect, amplify and spread the APC version. Due to the relocation of the tribunal to Abuja, some persons have in their helplessness submitted to the fiendish lies, half truths, twisted tales and unbridled propaganda churned out by clearly partisan megaphones or foot soldiers. The media trial and adjudication of the case at the tribunal undertaken by APC agents is unfortunate. For decency sake, the APC cannot play the double role of petitioner and judge in her own case. They brought a petition to the Tribunal, that is legitimate. The disturbing thing is not allowing the honourable Panel of Judges to do their interpretation of the performance of both prosecution and defense teams in the case and pass judgement. The PDP have paraded 12 witnesses so far to strategically defend their case that there was election in Akwa Ibom State, especially from areas the APC said there were no elections. So, far they have given a decent account of what transpired on April 11, 2015. The APC latches on the multiple signing of result sheets by at least two agents of the party as evidence of fraud. The PDP lawyers say that isn’t a problem and will be thrashed in their addresses. The first respondent, Mr Udom Emmanuel will round off with his witnesses soon before the 2nd respondents, the PDP take over from there. INEC and the Police too have made legal representation. There is absolutely nothing to panic about.
A MAN OF THE PEOPLE
Mr Udom Emmanuel is a man that is naturally loved and admired by people; a fine democrat and pivot of mass mobilization; a man who achieves greatness through his assiduousness , self- will and sheer determination. He is a Performer and a good listener; a man that remains unruffled even at the height of unwarranted intimidation and provocation; a man with critical thinking skills. His edge is his integrity and technical skills to handle those challenging assignments, fiscal matters, policies, plans, projects, ideas and initiative solutions to problems.
In just 100 days in office, he has surpassed expectations. There is no space here to attempt a brief rundown of his achievements. There are more trump cards up his sleeves and all he needs is the cooperation of all to take the state to great heights. I invite us all to promote his achievements to the world and defend this divine mandate, after all as St Ignatius says, “If those who do evil are not shy of publicly doing evil, why should we be shy of publicly doing good? “