Only a society that takes to self-destruct plunges into lies and propaganda over just about everything, such that it never really considers for a second an adventure that seeks to obliterate the toils of her founding fathers in a bid to score needless points to earn the next available dishonest gratification, even at the expense of the future.
Last weekend’s happenings in far away Atlanta, USA at the 2017 AKISAN convention has not only left a sour taste in the mouth, but have dealt our collective heritage of good brotherliness an embarrassing blow, which points that the biblical prodigal character may have found its way to our society, challenging every sane disposition of unity we ever prided in.
At a time unity and strength of character should serve as our guiding principle, the unpatriotic act of shooting ourselves in the thigh has become our greatest undoing, especially now that we have tended to grow a voracious appetite for power beyond acceptable standards of free choice and good conscience.
The avoidable skirmish that have dominated major discourse; giving the online media a feast in the last couple of days, may never have been if our allegiances to fatherland was a little stronger than the flame of a candle light put out in the wind, at a time far leftists have braved flouting even sacred ordinances of respect to authority.
Governor Udom Emmanuel’s only known offence is winning elections by being popular among his people, and unfortunately, winning a contest that was viewed as an exclusive preserve of the vilest and most brutish, who rather than learn from history would prefer to be consumed by same, in a bid to advance an aspiration the people had long rejected.
Hate, falsehood, propaganda and deceits are vices the governor have roundly trounced by keeping faith with the people’s support as he goes unfettered in delivering even more than he promised in the last twenty-seven months of his stay at the Hilltop mansion, to the chagrin of a few who waited to see him fail.
Unfortunately Nsima Ekere and his merchants of infamy have repeatedly been shamed in their efforts to tear down every of Governor Emmanuel’s fabric of acclaim, which has brought to our kitty an award as the Leadership governor of the year, a listing as one of Nigeria’s economically viable states, abounding testimonies of good leadership across party lines, and placement as the second leading investment destination in the country; unpretentious feats they are yet to deny.
Regardless of his focus at building a more formidable future of economic renaissance through prudence and probity, the governor who has already made commendable strides in industrializing the state, infrastructural consolidation and citizen’s empowerment, despite the biting recession, has gone further to make do his promise of inclusive governance, by advancing better welfare for every Akwa Ibom person and group.
Ekere’s leftwing attempt to smear his character and reputation may not be unconnected with his commitment to inclusive governance, as it is almost unmistakable to suggest that the governor would shun a gathering of Akwa Ibom compatriots anywhere in the world, if the intended purpose slants towards citizens’ welfare.
This honest concern for his state’s men have become for his accusers the biggest of their undoing, as they have resorted to making the worst from what could have better served the interest of the people, to in their characteristic manner think less about the damage their desperation could cause the state in image, character and reputation before the world.
It is not strange that the masterminds of last weekend’s rascality are notorious for carving a niche in fact distortion, disintegration and greed. Strange is the fact that they were able to export such vices across the nation’s borders to destroy the beautiful future of a once patriotic and non-partisan organization like AKISAN; whose leadership unwittingly gave up her integrity for a plate of pottage.
Caching in on the vulnerability of the current leadership of AKISAN to deny the state government her due recognition at the 2017 convention may appear for the masterminds a masterstroke. This action for all its worth questions every rational thought, as they may soon have to explain what inspires their ambition to an office they so desecrate; knowing no sane person sit where he urinates.
The fortune spent in mobilizing their crowd of co-travelers to the Atlanta convention could have served better purposes including offsetting some liabilities hanging on their necks. Rather than think smart, they invested all of that in a wild goose chase of buying abroad the popularity they so lack at home, by paying to hijack the programme, for a short-lived feel of satisfaction.
The shame of justifying the huge amount they plunged into that blunder dealt them an insomnia, hence, the haste in releasing a long list of government delegates to the event, including names of some very revered elder statesmen who were in Nigeria, while their madness raged; presenting themselves as strange pilgrims to the governor’s unfavourable disposition to such spendthrift.
In all of this, one is reminded of an African proverb that, “a man who is on the floor fears no fall.” These men of ignoble character are not new to losing, as they have been repeatedly floored, with their morale battered and defeated on all fronts, leaving AKISAN as the greatest loser, for allowing themselves to be deployed as pawns in the enemy’s gloves against the state. Truth in all sense, AKISAN will never be the same.
For an organization whose objectives are:
1. To promote, encourage and foster unity amongst the citizens of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.
2. To promote economic, educational, cultural, scientific and social progress of Akwa Ibom State within the framework of one Nigeria.
3. To cooperate with and support bona-fide Nigerian Associations in the United States of America and encourage members of the association to join Nigerian Associations and participate in promoting the interest of Nigeria both at the homeland and abroad.
4. To encourage and support the educational, professional and legitimate business aspirations of all Akwa Ibom State citizens, provided those aspirations are consistent with the best interest of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria and its citizens.
5. TO ACT AS A LIAISON BETWEEN THE AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNMENT, AND OTHERS, INCLUDING OTHER ORGANIZATIONS BOTH GOVERNMENT AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL, AND THE MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION AND CITIZENS OF AKWA IBOM STATE OF NIGERIA IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
6. To support and promote various charitable organizations by cooperating with any such organization, participating in its activities or contributing to such an organization.
It is sorrowful to watch them slide this low.
Through series of evolution, from 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War, where it existed as Association of Students of South Eastern State of Nigeria in the Americas, to the present day Akwa Ibom State Association of Nigeria (AKISAN), the group has maintained a culture of patriotism that allows Akwa Ibomites in the United States of America, the warmth of brotherhood.
The hope and promises it held for citizens of the state in the foreign land is severed by the desperation of a fugitive who is roundly rejected at home, leaving our Diaspora brothers and sisters at the mercies of growing insecurities that prevail in strange lands where nothing more than unity and indivisibility aided their stay, despite the ravaging spate of discrimination.
Now that AKISAN leaders have allowed hatred infiltrate their ranks, I fear because the strength that held them all these years have been dealt a blow with its doors thrown open to people with no legacy of leaving any turf better than they met. Unfortunately they have substituted the unity in AKISAN for their bitter rancourous politics of hatred.
While one looks helplessly at the zero impact of the Uduakobong Ubon led leadership of AKISAN, history may however not be kind to him and his crop of leaders who have greatly dealt this blow on an organization handed them on trust, by politicizing the once peaceful and non-partisan association.
I am more concerned with how disappointed past leaders of would be and the uncertainties that fill the hearts of members who once depended on the unity the association offered. How will Joe Offong, Samuel Esema, Prince Charles Akpabio, Chris Ekpoudom, Mark Etuk, Mr. Thompson Essien, Philip Udo-Inyang, Inyang Umoh, Jerry Essienumoh, Obot Okoko, Augustine Usoro, Sylvanus Akpakpa, Chris Oyobio, Emmanuel Umoh, Monday R. Affiah, Obong E. Umana, Buffer Eyo, Emmanuel Isong and John Etim; all past Presidents of AKISAN take this damning blow?
Just then, it pricks my heart that the labour of our heroes past is in vain; AKISAN has ruined the promise it held by threading Nsima Ekere’s ignoble path.
Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro in Abak Local Government Area