In Defence Of Odudu Ukpanah: An Open Letter To Godswill Akpabio By Eneh John
Chief.Godswill Obot Akpabio,
Governor,Akwa Ibom State.
It was Zig Ziglar who said, “You will always have everything in life you want if you will help enough others get what they want.”
Frank Clark also said,”if you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably leads to no where.
From the above quotes, I draw the words that will come in this letter.
I have never been your fan, but sometimes I appreciate the good works you have done through the resources that acrue to the state.
It is not compulsory to appreciate you, because that is what you were elected to do. If I could do the appreciation, then all of your works will amount to nothing if Odudu Ukpanah should remain in prison beyond the time we have envisaged.
It was in the wake of oppression that I once wrote an open letter to the then Governor of Ekiti state, Dr.John Kayode Fayemi, which was published in different media organizations and three days later, then Governor Fayemi heard the cry of the people and the job was sealed and they smiled.
I once read an article written by Dele Momudu, eulogizing you and suggesting that you become a motivational speaker after your tenure as Governor.
There is no tool dreaded by both civillian and military government than the media.
It is a known fact that you are aware of the media campaign to ?#?ReleaseOduduUkpanah.
As Joshua had said in the Holy Book,”that as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
I state here that as for me and other activist in the struggle, we have chosen to fight for Odudu.
We have no guns, no knife, or sword to fight with,but our intellect lives with us.
Today, the prettiest eyes have cried the most tears and the kindest heart have felt the most pains.
I have not had close relationship with the Ukpanahs’ before now, but events have made it that we are closer and this is a wonderful family.
Just like my mum used to tell me that,”ayin eka owo asi ba ke akpuson.”
Meaning that “your brother is that person on the road.”
You contradict the words of Harvey Firestone who said,”The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
We have jointly demanded that Odudu Ukpanah be freed.
The police investigation I have read actually states explicitly that this is “politically motivated.”
Why don’t you use Odudu’s case and score political points for yourself?
The mobilisation is gradually gathering momentum.
Day in day out men from all walks of life are joining the struggle for #ReleaseOduduUkpanah.
I tell people that I am not always afraid to die, for we must all die once irrespective of time.
For Odudu, if the bullets will be ready for us,please let it come.
Coalition of Human Rights Defenders which am part of, is not offering a plea that Odudu Ukpanah be released, its an unapologetic demand.
I want to state here that yesterday is gone, but the memories of it will linger for life. This is the testimony of History.
The best christmas I ever had was spending it with Odudu Ukpanah in prison yesterday. I left fulfilled.
Having witnessed the rot in the prison system.
If I use the word corruption, it may be and understatement. But others can find an adjective suitable to describe it.
Today, I urge you His Excellency, for there will never be anything Excellency about you as long as Odudu Ukpanah remains in prison.
I encourage you Chief Godswill Akpabio, to put on the garment of honesty, the helmet of peace and bear the armour of justice and by so doing, win the trust and honour of men.
If it is for Odudu Ukpanah, we are resolved that in spite of the threats that has come and the ones that are on the way, WE ARE UNITED FOR #ReleaseOduduUkpanah.
What legacies will you be remembered for?
The only close contact we had was at Ukana,Essien Udim at the primary school were you voted in the 2011 elections. Pictures which are still with me.
The question is, how would you have been able to return to Government house if you had Odudu’s issue to contain with?
Now that you want to install your political son as the next Governor, should we be prepared for incarceration?
I didn’t see goats in Ikot Ekpene prison, I saw humans.
So if fighting for Odudu Ukpanah and others that will happen in future,will lead us there, please let the prison be expanded to accommodate more people.
Nelson Mandela’s case in prison is still fresh in our minds.
Sir, as you rejoice in the best times of your life, never forget that life has a sorrowful undertone.
Like beautiful rose that often attracts the admiration of men but has dangerous thorns beneath that could hurt.
The prominent people in Akwa Ibom have refused to speak, because they live and wine with FEAR.
I don’t need to put on a chieftaincy attire, a suit or Agbada before I speak.
With my jean and #ReleaseOduduUkpanah T-shirt I am still speaking.
Sir, Odudu Ukpanah is now popular in the state and international scene than your political son. It is now a movement called ODUDUISM.
We have refused to be UDOMESTICATED, we are ODUDUFIED.
All we are saying is, #ReleaseOduduUkpanah and let us move on with other social crusades.
Let your conscience speak to you.
Remember, that “the pen will continually be mightier than the sword.”
A reputation founded on integrity must be nurtured by truth.
Eneh John is a Journalist,Activist and Social commentator.
Meet me on twitter @enehjohn1