Home / Breaking News / AKS RERUN: Between tombotombo and reality By Torobong Ekpo

AKS RERUN: Between tombotombo and reality By Torobong Ekpo

It is quite unfortunate that, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel had to wait till the eleventh hour before he could dole out lopsided appointments to some desperate youths as Special Assistants and Personal Assistants, with meager salary of only two hundred and fifty and one hundred and fifty thousand naira respectively. Yea, I chose to label these appointees DESPERATE because, it is only desperation that could trigger a human to accept such token as salary to the Executive Governor of a highest Federal allocation allocated state.

Six months were enough era for Udom to have right his wrongs. It was sufficient a time for the Onna born banker to have let the political class to know that, though his membership of Peoples’ Democratic Party was questionable, he was there to carry everyone along, irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliations.

It was enough opportunity for him to have proffered possible platform for the public to believe in him and to also know that, though he was parceled into the political space by erstwhile governor Akpabio, his ambition was for Akwa Ibomites, not for a particular cartel.

It was a chance for him to have united all the disgruntled elements in the state. It is true that, people didn’t hate UGE, they hated the ship that brought him to the shore of Akwa Ibom politics; they didn’t know Udom, hence, needless of drawing battle line with him.  It was Godswill Akpabio people hated not Udom. It was left for UGE to uncover the mask for people to see his face. Six months were given for him to change from Mr. Right to Mr. Humility. I waited to see such change; however the reverse was the case. He later changed from Mr. Right to Mr. Ego.

It was of no use calling Akwa Ibomites Illiterates, even if they were stark illiterates. As a leader, UGE ought to have screened words that emanated from his lips, after all his administration was still in embryo stage. There was no need telling people how he built his house at the age of 30+ as well as how he headed this-and-that-portfolios in the private sector. My brother, such bragging was uncalled for. As a leader, you didn’t need to blow your trumpet, you ought to have allowed people to investigate and discover for themselves, not you going on air to boast. Rochas Okorocha had his first car before the age of 20 and built his first duplex before 25, yet he has not informed Imo Broadcasting Corporation, talk less of bragging on NTA Owerri. Or do you think, you are richer than the Nsikak Eduoks, Umana Umanas, Sam Ewangs of this world?

Efik people usually say that, “Ke eti offong isi inama uyom ke ekebe” semantically interpreted as, “Good cloths don’t make noise in the box”. Was there any reason of going to air to rejoin the position of Obong Victor Attah? Udom should have known that, prior to his elevation as the governor; these elders had concrete and loyal supporters.

At a point, all those who took his aspiration as sacrosanct, were weary of the administration. The lopsided appointment list testifies to this fact. Confusion mandated him to appoint former propagandists to an Ikot Abasi born politician as his Media aides. What was the rationale behind appointing a brother as commissioner and another biological brother as media aide? I think it is confusion!

Also, what would have made UGE to appoint mere entertainers without voters card as SAs, when the likes of Idongesit Samuel AKA Mafia, and other aliases such; Whiteboy, Drugs, Kuberman were left in the vacuum? The Itorobong Umohs who was shot for UGE, were caricatured on the street, just because Udom’s gesture made them a laughing stock in the eyes of the masses. People were critically watching and analyzing these facts.

Till date, no one knows, if White Bom Bom, who started this campaign with Udom has been given an appointment letter. I wouldn’t want to mention the name of Andrew Uwanta here; his negligence is known even to the abstract world…Udom Gabriel Emmanuel caused all these nonsense. Instead of putting smiles on the faces of people, who stood behind him, he went to Oruk Anam and planted his wife biological brothers as Transition Chairman and S.A on inter-ministerial and direct labour committee. He also imposed one Nathan Ekaette, his friend, as a commissioner. My brother, was there no other means of compensating them? I asked, yet he pretended as if he doesn’t read local tabloids. Maybe, I was an illiterate!

I stood behind Obong Paul Ekpo and Senator Anietie Okon when they bitterly complained that, they were not carried along, in the transition committee list. In some quarters, it is said that, UGE consistently used his SSA on due Process, Ufot Ebong to frustrate the proposals of the likes of Emmanuel Enoidem. That one is their cup of tea! Politicians who put in huge sum of money during his April 11th, election regretted because there was no remittance.

He refused assisting a certain elder from Uyo Local Government, whose car was damaged during his campaign. He told another elder from Obot Akara, that he has no phone, simply because he didn’t want to give his number to a former Deputy Governor. These factual issues were known to me only that, I didn’t want to send it to public domain. Instead of Industrialization, which he promised, his Commissioner for Works was seen as de facto Governor. Truth is, people had observed all these things, but they didn’t want to talk. Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, it is a pity that, appellate court has provided a platform, where politicians’ body languages will show to you the difference between wearing and bearing a cross. You are in an injury time. …A time, where anything can happen. At this point, you can’t trust even your wife. Unfortunately, all the Enoidems, Paul Ekpos, Emem Akpabios, Nse Ntuens, were previously with Umana Okon Umana before your appointment. They only wanted to see if your character will be preferable, but you gave them a wrong signal.

I didn’t want you as a governor, but frankly speaking I started cueing behind thee, when I became closer to the likes of Hon Nse Essien, Capt. Iniobong Ekong RTD, Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, Mr. Akan Okon etc. These are men who love you with all their strength and might. They consciously lured many opposing camps to support you. I know you didn’t know what they were doing in your favour. Let me not expose them further, be rest assured that the aforementioned staked and are currently staking their neck just to give you safe landing.

It is crystal that, even the Judicial System of government needs more sanitization than the political class. Even though, many people are elated, we will not deny the fact that, if judicial due process was to be followed, there will be no much evidence to cancel election in all the 31 local government areas. I wouldn’t say that, the ruling was politically motivated; I would rather say that, it was just a do-me-I-do-you-technique. You may call it a jungle justice, if you wish. Peoples’ Democratic Party, rigged on the field and announced Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as the governor, while All Progressive Congress allegedly rigged at the tribunal and appeal court and cancelled the proclamation of PDP. That was just the manifestation of December, 18th 2015 judgment of the Appeal Court on gubernatorial election of Akwa Ibom State, nothing more, nothing less. It is left for Udom to know and observe that, a political party, which has such audacity to upturn his biased elevation, will have the same guts to rig and announce its candidate as the winner, so that, Udom will now approach the court to seek redress. Peradventure, if he does that, they will dismiss the case for “Lacking in merit”. That is my thinking. The rate at which our society is going, I think the revolution theory of Karl Marx may come to manifestation in Akwa Ibom State, nay Nigeria. If not next year, I doubt if Nigeria will exist as indispensable entity for the next decade. If the country splits, the same United Nations, which the ruling party in the country view as role model will be the entity that will beat their chest and affirm, “We earlier told them they will be divided after 100years of existence”.

There is problem virtually in all segments of the country. Both All Progressive Congress and Peoples Democratic Party have their internal and external crises. They may pretend to have put their house in order, but a clearer picture shows that it is not well.

In Akwa Ibom, the John Udoedehe’s team can testify to this, Saraki’s supporters have something to say on this. What of Falaki’s, who has opted out from becoming a running mate? These are traits of misnomer within APC. So, when we see APC Jubilating over the Appeal Court Judgment, it doesn’t mean that, all is well with them, it is only an indication that, they can absorb the discordance tune embedded within its house and still forge ahead.

What has befallen PDP and Udom Gabriel Emmanuel in Akwa Ibom State is what they would have avoided. The Chairman of the think tank team of his April 11th election ought to have ‘Appropriated’ the rigged figure with care. There was of no need doling out such votes to PDP, while APC had a paltry 50 thousand plus. I had expected the election rigger to have placed APC on the fourth or even fifth position, which by extension would have destabilize and render their petition and appeal useless. This is medicine after death though.

If we claim that, all is well in Nigeria, then we are lying. The Judicial system of government needs thorough cleansing and sanitation, likewise the political, legislative and other sectors. It is somehow funny to understand that, testimony of two people in a particular local government could lead to the cancellation of the election of the entire polling units in the same local government area.

If UGE goes spiritual and pray to God for revenge, do you think God will answer? When I said that, injury to one is injury to all, we were laughing. When G22 had a sympathetic case, which dialogue would have solved we ignored, they went to Abuja and prayed for forty days and forty night. Fortnight ago, G22 complained and cried, yet to no avail, yesterday, the state wept, yet PDP were profusely elated, today, the PDP is in the state of dilemma, while APC is happy, tomorrow, APC may be gnashing their teeth. P-Square branded such game as do-me-I-do-you-man-no-go-vex.

PDP shouldn’t give itself fake hope, as far as Rivers and Akwa Ibom States are concern; APC will rig in favour of its candidates. UGE should know that, the same faces in APC today were there in PDP yesterday, so their DNA is one and the same. For UGE to bounce back, he needs to trim down his ego and behave like someone who needs power from people, not from Akpabio.

Each time I try to analyze the mistakes of Udom Emmanuel, within six months in office I feel like crying. In Nigeria, there has never been any free and fair election, so it is not in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States that such gesture will start. Believe you may, if Udom thinks the forthcoming election will be free and fair; then he is still in honey moon. They may not rig with wide margin, but there will be rigging in the forthcoming re-run. I guess UGE is aware that, he shall be no more in charge of the security force. APC is fully in charge! Thus, they will manipulate for the betterment of the party.

As it stance, via the utterance of Senator Ita Enang at Planet Radio, it is exposed that, the Chief Judge will be the acting governor of the state. What a pathetic situation for UGE! I now see why Mr. Speaker’s election was annulled. It was aimed at destabilizing the entire political space. Very soon, PDP politicians in the state may be probed.

Peoples’ Democratic Party neglected the power of the media a whole lot. When it was rumoured that, APC wants to impose itself on Akwa Ibom and Rivers States, they ought not to have taken the news casually. Such would have been overemphasized on Print, Electronic and New Media. That reminds me, the choice of Mrs. Anwana as S.A on New Media to UGE was a misplaced priority. You don’t bring emotional, filial and ‘informal’ relationship you have with somebody to such portfolio. Mrs. ‘May-flee’ Anwana was promoted above her competence; thus, her inability to function. As her name implies, she MAY FLEE to APC, with her bottom power, especially now that the hope of her boss paying her salary is surreal.

In Akwa Ibom State, UGE cajoled with the media. He lost grip on the New, Print and electronic media. As a result, the opposition gained ground and fabricated lot of stories and by extension, gave the society reasons to hate him. I pity him, because even if he cries, his voice may not be heard.

For instance: how many widely read local tabloids will project Udom re-run? What of the National newspapers? All these were not considered by UGE before appointing his Lagos friends as this and that in government. Ibibio adage says, “Inia ke mfok, asuk aka ifid abukpong”, meaning, “You have injury in your mouth, yet you still want to blow trumpet”. In reality, Udom Emmanuel had injury in his mouth, which was the court case, yet he was still pretending as if all was well, by appointing his Lagos boys into power and blocking Enoidems proposals via the office of Senior Special Adviser on Due Process. Some of these revelations, I am doling out to the public will shock UGE and his kitchen cabinet; he would never believe that, some of us were aware of this PullHimDown antics, he connived with Due Process Department.

Unfortunately, Akwa Ibom politicians are not to be trusted. If care is not well taken, the same thing that happened to Obong Attah, when he wanted to hand-over power to his son in law, will also occur to UGE in the next three months. Don’t be surprised, politicians will get money from UGE camp and dump in UOU campaign organization, so as not to be left out in this wind of change.

Even Senator Godswill Akpabio shouldn’t over jubilate. Buhari is a coup plotter; let me say, a former coup plotter. APC knows what it wants. Maybe, it wanted an Akwa Ibomites to expose the criminality of the past administration. Don’t be deceived, if APC rules the state, there will be gnashing of teeth in some quarters. Before the re-run, many politicians may be convicted by EFCC, ICPC and other crime related outfits. This is to ensure that, they run away and allow the state to be peaceful for rigging.

I now see reason why Godswill Akpabio was not excited when he won at the appeal court. With his eagle eye, he foresaw impending doom. Nothing would have stopped APC from nullifying his election, but I think the tampered justice with mercy, so that, when the disgrace comes, it will catch up with him, on seat. If they had nullified election, who knows if Akpabio would have used his financial muscles and connections to seek asylum in another country? This may have been the reason, why the court put a halt to his impending fate. I doubt if APC will allow Akpabio to go scot free.

I pity UGE because, he left banking sector without giving himself an advice. There are better ways of addressing the masses. Also, a leader shouldn’t have allowed his Id and Ego to rule him more than his Super Ego. Statements such as ‘I had my house at the age of 30+’, ‘where were they when we were building best houses in Ewet Housing estate’, ‘I was a made man before becoming the governor’ among other unguided sentences were borne out of Id and ego. Yesterday, at the Carol night, he made an infantile statement saying, “Our God is not a God of Appeal; he is a Supreme God”. My brother, such pronouncement was not necessary. Discourse analysts will view it as frustration laced comment. So you knew you had supreme God, you went on Appeal to seek redress? You may even loose vote due to that infantile comment. I expected a better statement from you bros.

I want to believe that, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel was indulging in TOMBOTOMBO Calculation. Tombotombo is a wrong technique used in making a choice. Those childhood days when we used to play table soccer, we used to use TomboTombo to select a player that will kick spot kick. We used to say, “Tombo tombo las calabar titia lama kpom…” Off course we could recall that narrative. I wish to say that, all the gimmicks of UGE within these six months were remnant of the TomboTombo technique.

He used TomboTombo to select his in-law as a Transition Chairman, S.A to governor on Inter-ministerial among others. The same Tombotombo barred Andrew Uwanta from being remembered in the government he labored for. The same TomboTombo barred Ubong Edem, Idongesit Samuel, Itorobong Umoh, Joseph Okon et al from being remembered in a government they labored for. UGE, you ought not to have quickly shown the people your inner self. As it stance, even the money bags in PDP may not want to spend their cash in the forthcoming election.

Umana Okon Umana on the other hand is not a saint, zoning does not favour him, and also some youths claim that, he doesn’t carry them along. However, he is using UGE mistakes to find his way to the HillTop Mansion.

At this juncture, UGE needs to face reality. And such reality entails that, he needs to build a house and look for means of putting his house in order. At present, the grass root has been factionalized. In almost all the Local Government Areas, UGE core supporters are diminishing. He is yet to have die hard elders such as Sunny Jackson, Maurice Ebong, Rita Akpan in his camp. The likes of Effiong Bob, Anietie Okon and even Chris Ekpenyong may jettison his trust especially now that, the pendulum is swinging. He needs stoic and die-hard youths in his camp. The reality UGE needs to understand is that, he needs to cement and put a viable and visible media crack team, which will help in countering the news of his opponent. He needs to put on the street viable newspapers which will come up at least thrice a week. That alone, will change the psyche of the masses towards his government. Already, a layman in the street holds the stories published on the pages of newspapers as sacrosanct. Thus, Udom needs to work in this direction.

The online media is another veritable platform he will need to work on. Even if it means doling out millions of Naira to popular guys on the internet to write good things about him, I think Udom should do it. His presence is not felt at all on the online media, he should check why his presence is not felt and proffer solution.

UGE should understand that, the security report allegedly speculated in some quarters in Abuja is that, APC is on ground more than the PDP in Akwa Ibom State. This report is carried by the kind of publication read on print and social media in favour of APC.

Another reality Udom needs to face is that, he must mobilize youths, if he wants to return as the governor. That single act of thwarting Crowd Control Unit (CCU) was his early mistake. He ought to have encouraged them and preferable stop the Unit after court case. Today, some youths had adjourned UGE administration sine die. I am told that, even his choice of youth aide was fallacious and promotion above competence. Can Aniefiok Iwaudofia mobilize youths the manner Iraq or even Esse Umoh would have mobilized? The re-run will speak.

Udom should know that, the reality on ground needs him to sit up. Make careful selection, consultation and carefully select people who will man his re-run election. Nsit Ibom people have fade up with Nkanga, he should know that. He should commission faceless people to work for him.

I pity UGE because, the reality on ground shows that, he is on injury time. Injury time is not a good time to win a match. Anything can happen. One can sustain another injury during such time. A goal can be scored and anything can happen. It is not advisable to delve into such time in politics.

However, hope awaits UGE. He can win with landslide only if he will abide by good advice. The edge he has over UOU is that, PDP has a place in the state. It will be somehow difficult to convince a village woman to stop voting for UFOK EYO, this is because UFOK EYO gave her the wrapper she is tying to the farm. He should make use of this tool. The fact of preaching about zoning doesn’t hold sway anymore. If he had remembered core advocates of zoning, I think, even APC wouldn’t have been popular. If he checks carefully, I think UGE will observe that, some APC chaps were ardent advocates of zoning. His negligence caused those people to migrate to APC. UGE ought to have known these things. Ibibio people say, “Ke Owo Isi Itoko Aban Ikwa Afang” I don’t know how to interpret this one please.

I wish he had provided bags of rice to people before the annulment of the result. I wish he had given Christmas Hampers to his supporters before 18th December. At least such benevolence would have made Akwa Ibomites to think that he is caring. Anything he does henceforth would tantamount to playing on the intelligence of the people. I pray God to help him, if he fails, it will be difficult for a former governor to go back to the banking hall and work under Jim Ovie- an ordinary man. I pity Udom because I know politicians will align and re-align with Umana Okon Umana.

This is not time for UGE to rely on politicians’ verbal assurance, it is not moment he should have hope on Godswill Akpabio’s ‘great teacher’ and ‘sekem’ style. He should proffer veritable platform to help himself. He needs to work on his publicity unit because that unit is dying. It is not time to obey ethics of Journalism profession. It is not time to adhere to NBC rules and regulation; it is time to learn the antics of Lai Mohammmed. It is time to change the psyche of the populace towards UGE. A word is enough for the wise!

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