Ibaka Or Ibom Deep Sea-Port:A Harmless Mistake Of Nomenclature Or A Mischievous Misnomer
Far from most empty resonating trivialities directed at slurring any apparent partisan opponent, especially considering the current political season which is fanned by ferocity of blackmail and propaganda on the one hand, and complimentarily midwifed by atypical loyalty spiced with unmitigated and reprehensible sycophancy on the other hand; the above caption is simply a rhetorical aphorism which captures the synthesis of the unending, unprovoked politically motivated animosity, hysterically championed by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State against the people of Oro nation.
Regrettably the only unforgiveable sin of the Oro people is- ‘being an enlightened minority’ in Akwa Ibom State, which has made them unrepentant in their collective resolve to vote against PDP in the State. It is no longer news that tickles the ear that our once amiable Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio has been stung by a stray ‘bee of paranoia’ and had since sworn to wrestle his own shadow.
Akpabio’s autocratic disposition is obvious in his determination to relegate the people of Oro to political oblivion evidenced by last year’s awkward charade in the guise of PDP primaries which mocked our collective sense of the true import and purport of the equitable principle of zoning and rotation of political offices as enshrined under Article 7(2)(c) of the PDP constitution, which though has been bastardly emasculated’.
Apart from vindictively denying the people of Oro of their equitable right to produce the next Governor of the State on the basis of the conventional ‘Tripod’ gentlemanly arrangement, His Excellency in a brazen display of audacious tyranny, spitefully took a stroll to the Yam Barn to fetch yam-heads with phobia for fair contest and integrity, albeit with preposterous and unnatural allegiance to him (EMPEROR Akpabio), to fly the PDP flag and in clear antithesis, possibly represent an enlightened Oro nation in various legislative capacity in the five LGAs that make up Oro Nation up to the National Assembly.
As if that was not an ample injury and injustice done to a people by a government that was supposed to be for the people, His Excellency has maliciously, taken a step further aimed at frustrating the realisation of the only assuaging and tangible fall-back hope of economic renaissance of the Oro people who have not only been politically marginalised but economically battered with deadly clouts of infrastructural decay by an adversarial government.
Akpabio is relentless in his loathsome scheme to deny Oro the long awaited IBAKA DEEP SEAPORT. From all indications and sequel to the recent developmemt at the National Assembly on the 5th day of March, 2015 when the Hon. Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Audu Umar, addressed the House Committee on Maritime Transport on the 2015 appropriation for the Federal Ministry of Transport. The attendant revelation following the report of the Hon. Minister creates a reasonable apprehension that all is not well with the long anticipated IBAKA DEEP SEAPORT.
A substantiated report has it that while addressing the House Committee on the Federal Government’s programmes for 2015 in the Maritime sector, the Hon. Minister expressed the readiness of the Federal Government to boost the nation’s economy through, the Maritime sector with particular reference to the Tin Can Island port in Lagos and the need to fast-track the building of a Seaport in Akwa Ibom State. A mild argument ensued when the Hon. Minister innocuously referred to the Ibaka Deep Seaport as “Ibom Seaport”.
While some in their characteristic nonchalance may have considered this as a harmless mistake, Hon. Robinson Uwak, the enthusiastic and vivacious Legislator, a Member representing the great people of Oron Federal constituency at the National Assembly, was quick at cracking the veil to reveal the mischief behind this seemingly harmless nomenclatural inexactitude and accordingly raised a timely objection to that effect.
Hon. Uwak being sensitive to the obvious machinations of Governor Akpabio beckoned on the Hon. Minister to clear the air on the supposed misuse cum change of name, and demanded the use of proper designation for the Seaport. The House Committee was quite taken aback by the response of the Hon. Minister as he inadvertently upturned the apple cart, when he pointedly stressed that Godswill Akpabio had unilaterally changed the name of the proposed deep Seaport from Ibaka to Ibom!
The question is, what must have precipitated the sudden change of name from IBAKA where the port is supposed to be situated, as it is a common practice to so name such facilities after its immediate location? The people of Oro nation are very apprehensive of this abnormal development especially considering the experience of Sen. Ita Enang who had struggled to secure a Federal Polytechnic for his people, only to be surreptitiously hijacked by Akpabio, coupled with the wild rumours that there are plans by the Governor in concert with the Federal Ministry of Transport to relocate the Seaport from Ibaka, based on the conjuration of frivolous technical excuses of inconvenience and unsuitability, to somewhere in the State according to the dictates of Akpabio.
At this point, it has become clear that while we bask in the euphoria of a Seaport in Ibaka to alleviate our politically emasculated and economically deprived status, even though, being the treasure core of Akwa Ibom on whose natural endowment the State now boast of the highest statutory allocation from the Federal Government, on the strength of the fiscal principle of derivation in the Country; His Excellency prowls in high places hatching a ploy against our very existence and then, turns around to ridicule our sensibility with deceitful and vain promises of ensuring the realisation of a Seaport in IBAKA through the instrumentality of Udom Emmanuel just to cajole unsuspecting Oro people into supporting his alleged maternal cousin in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
In furtherance of Akpabio’s gambit, he had strategically planted his stooges and political mannequins in the five Local Governments of Oro as PDP candidates for the House of Assembly, and National Assembly elections respectively, even as he plans to project himself by whichever way, to the Senate! Thank God for the forthrightness and courage of Chief Inibeghe Okori who has turned down all overtures and defied all threats in his strong determination to rise up to the challenge; tame the self-acclaimed Eagle and redeem the good people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District from the wicked claws and dominion of a mere mortal.
We the people of Oro join faith particularly, with the deprived and marginalised people of the Abak 5, in their struggle for political emancipation from the suffocating clutch of their oppressor; we enjoin all well-meaning sons and daughters of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District to stand firm in their resolve to support Chief Inibeghe Okori, their Hero. There ought to be a limit to injustice; hence, my dear compatriots, we sincerely share in your agony, and we dare you to reawaken the age long confidence of the Annangs “owo annang ado owo uko.”
We the people of Oro on our part are not oblivious of the fact that if this anti-Oro plot sails through, then that would be a “Technical knock-Out” for Oro as we may never be sure of remaining as part of Akwa Ibom knowing fully well that Akpabio is capable of ensuring the ceding of Oro to Cameroun or Gabon just to make sure he ends his hallucinations and nightmares!
What has Akpabio not done to Oro?! Just few days ago, Akpabio instructed the incompetent ‘rubberstamp’ Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Sam Ikon to declare the seats of our daughter Alice Ekpenyong the Hon. Member representing Mbo State Constituency (Chief Whip of the AKHA) and Hon. Bassey Etienam, Member representing Urueoffong/Oruko State Constituency vacant! To add sult to injury, Akpabio gratuitously gave Rt.Hon. ALICE Ekpenyong’s position to his kinsman Hon. Eman Akpan representing Essien Udim State Constituency! SHOULD WE WAIT TILL AKPABIO DRIVES US AWAY FROM THE STATE BEFORE WE RISE UP TO HIS MANIPULATIVE AND OPPRESSIVE ACTS?!
My good friend Barr. Ufuo Asanwana had argued that the deep Seaport is a Federal Government project and Akpabio has just two months to remain as the Emperor of Akwa Ibom State. While I understand my Learned brother’s genuine concern and banal reasoning on the strength of the phrase- ‘all things being equal’, the reality remains that assuming without conceding that Udom Emmanuel ‘magically’ becomes the next Governor of Akwa Ibom State, based on the permutations of Akpabio, the probable consequence would be an allegorical elongation of Akpabio’s tenure till 2023 and beyond! Meaning that Akwa Ibom shall remain Akpabio’s fiefdom and the Estates shared amongst his siblings proportionately with their nuisance subsisting unabated.
We need no prophet to tell us that Udom would only wear his face while the voice remains that of Akpabio and this would spell WOE for the Oro people as Akpabio becomes the de-facto Governor of Akwa Ibom State and at the same time, Senator of the Federal Republic; and Woe betides us if Jonathan is re-elected!
For those who may want to criticise this in-depth prognosis on the basis of political party affiliation, the hard truth is that we the people of Oro have nothing against Udom Emmanuel, and Jonathan, but we have a more urgent and pressing need for survival as a nation with a distinct common identity as a people, which would be seriously threatened with the re-emergence of Akpabio.
Our anxiety is further aggravated by President Jonathan’s insensitivity and indifference to the dictatorial and overbearing tendencies of his godson, with due respect to his office. How else can we explain a situation where more than 23 people contested during the PDP alleged gubernatorial primary in the State, 22 were aggrieved as a result of the barefaced shenanigans arrogantly perpetrated by one man against the collective interest of the State for the unjust and unmerited advantage of one man who today has suddenly become the only cock that ought to crow in the State?!
These 22 vibrant and prominent sons of the State who are devoted members of the President’s party spent forty days and forty nights in the figurative wilderness of Abuja just to have an audience with Mr. President so as to register their grievances, but regrettably could not see the President because Akpabio had so decreed! While Musiliu Obanikoro (who allegedly contributed in rigging Ekiti guber election for the notorious Ayo Fayose), a single individual who lost out in a free and fair contest in Lagos State only threatened to work against the President’s re-election and was swiftly lifted in a presidential jet straight to ASO-ROCK amid entreaties for negotiation and offer of a ministerial slot.
Does it mean that Obanikoro is more important or more PDP than the 22 aggrieved aspirants and all the PDP stakeholders in Akwa Ibom State? The answer is simple: As far as President Good luck Ebele Jonathan is concerned, Akwa Ibom means Akpabio and nothing more pretentious. As it concerns Oro as a Nation, the President is only willing to yield to Akpabio’s interest and as far as we are concerned, Akpabio’s interest is everything save the elevation of the Status of Maritime Academy Oron to a University and the siting of a deep Seaport in IBAKA. Consolingly, all hope is never lost as UMANA UMANA &BEN UKPONG when elected would work assiduously and passionately towards the realisation of these feats.
Thus, Udom Emmanuel becomes a collateral damage if Oro must survive, while all other political allies of ACA and the AKPABIO’s dynasty from Oro extraction who were imposed on us as a result of the last PDP (parody) primaries in Akwa Ibom State, are unfriendly siblings who are worse than strange neighbours!
When Hon. Robinson Uwak said: “we have come to our crossroads” I doubted the neutrality and veracity of that comment considering my perspective that negotiation was a better tool than confrontation, but upon an insightful re-evaluation, I have come to understand that there was no amount of NEGOTIATION that would have dissuaded GOLIATH from taunting the God of Israel and hunting the Israelites.
“When God takes delight in the ways of a man, he causes even his enemies to be at peace with him” as a matter of personal principle, I had never been a fan of any of the aforementioned gentlemen, as every man is at everytime entitled to his choices even biases and prejudices.
Today, I, just like every other well-meaning and objective Akwa Ibomite make this unequivocal averment- that I have come to understand that this struggle transcends the personal interest and political ego of UMANA OKON UMANA. There must always be that one person who is ever willing to dare the odds, leave a mark and shape the course of history at every perilous time. This better explains the candidacy of UMANA OKON UMANA, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State.
Unlike most Akwa Ibom jobless graduates who have helplessly embraced a career in journalism due to the alarming unemployment even with the presence of 31 pseudo industries in the State of overrated ‘uncommon transformation’,mercantile writers, attention seekers and pathological praise singers, Umana doesn’t know my name and I am neither a friend of Robinson Uwak nor a kinsman to Inibeghe Okori! I honestly believe and share in the same conviction with all patriotic Oro sons and daughters that the time to have a fair share of the bountiful economic blessings bestowed in our land has come; the people of Oro would rather smile and wait for just 8 years to get their turn than remain under perpetual bondage without hope of freedom.
The pair of UMANA UMANA & ENGR. BEN UKPONG is a divine arrangement and shall prove the existence of a God that superintends over the affairs of men. Our vote for Umana is a vote for liberation and my support for Chief Inibeghe Okori is in the spirit of camaraderie that heralds the readiness of the people of Akwa Ibom State to stand up against the subjugation of their souls.
Our confidence in Robinson Uwak is a gallant show of solidarity in the willingness of the Oro people to take their collective destiny in their hands. If we must objectify our collective dream of socio political and economic liberation in a State which we all belong, let’s take off this shackles of neo-colonialism by Akpabio,. Let’s rise against selfish imposition and say no to all his stooges in Oro and Akwa Ibom State. The bible says in Ecclesiastes 8 vs 9 that : “Man has dominated man to his injury” One would wonder whether the Bible writer had Akwa Ibom in mind when making this prophetic rendition?!
Join the campaign for change, VOTE UMANA OKON UMANA as the next Governor of our dear State, let our children have reasons to be proud of their surnames! SWEEP AWAY OUR CAPTORS AND RECLAIM OUR COMMON IDENTITY! Please permit me to borrow a leaf from Chief Inibeghe Okori’s campaign slogan “It’s time, it’s right”, as Engr. Ben UKpong would say “Oro, yak ikpan ituk”, because in the words of Comrade Okon Iyanam- “Akwa Ibom belongs to us all”…
God bless Akwa Ibom…
OKOR EFOMBRUH, ESQ writes from Oyubia Town in Urueoffong/Oruko Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.