2019: A’Ibom APC and the gathering of the vultures
By Kingsley Akpan
They have gathered again. Yesterday’s men of power, forced by nemesis, sorry, I take that back. Forced by circumstance to pick up the broom, a symbol of servitude, (their words, not mine), after leaving the umbrella because their past caught up with them.
Their purpose is never noble, their method never democratic and their desire never patriotic. Whenever, wherever and whichever way they open their mouth to speak about change and 2019, all Akwa Ibom people hear and smell are sweet contradictions and sour ironies.
The good thing is that they are all men who rose to become whatever they are today because there was and is a state called Akwa Ibom. Today, these greatest beneficiaries of our very existence will stop at nothing to set the state ablaze just because they are overwhelmed by the power of resistance the people have vowed to put up against foreign invaders and their local conspirators.
As Akwa Ibom APC chieftains mount the podium to speak on their plans for Akwa Ibom people if voted into power, what the people see and remember are not the futuristic hope of tomorrow they promise, but the ugly scares of the past. They remember how today’s saints designed a state that will only work for them, their families and cronies.
Among them are those the same APC told Akwa Ibom people stole our resources. Today, one of them is Buhari’s new ally who bagged a presidential amnesty under the anti corruption campaign. His sins are forgiven so long as any new sin committed will lead to the bloody hostage takeover of the Akwa Ibom. So they think. So they dream. And you cannot blame them. To dream is free, and cheap too. To them, blood must be spilled and death inevitable. It is a collateral damage that can be ignored so long as mission is accomplished. After all, none of the would be victims is their son or daughter.
As the APC flag off its 2019 campaign in Akwa Ibom, voters true perception of the party is a combination of couples brought together through a forced marital union devoid of love. The very basic ingredient and condition precedent for marriage is therefore lacking if not non existent.
Unlike the peace the PDP symbolises, the APC reminds Akwa Ibom people of the blood, death and doom the party represents. Even from heaven, the souls of the “faithful departed” looks down in disbelief, tears and sorrow. They all remember the agonising death they witnessed because of APC.
For instance, Dr Ime Umanah will look down from high and see that those who plotted his demise are dancing “skeluwu” with those he thought were his friends. He remembers from above how this same party he laboured for, stood and watched helplessly while he was prosecuted, humiliated, detained, tried and hunted to the grave.
He remembers that his amazing friends all fled while he was detained on the orders of the “emperor”. He remembers that among all his friends, associates and allies, only Barr Joe Ukpong summoned courage to visit him while being incarcerated by the DSS, and ran to Obong Victor Attah to relay the cruel conspiracy. This was how the former governor reached out to the then National Security Adviser, NSA, to “intervene”. The rest is history and the history makers have regrouped but not for good.
From Oron, Onyong Asukwo will look down and see people he served together at the State Executive Council who conspired to eliminate him. He remembers how he dinned and winned with the very people who murdered him in the most cruel, barbaric and abominable way. The very people who called him on phone to hurry back to Uyo in the dead of the night and “ambushed” him at “Golgotha”. He shakes his head in disbelief as they take the microphone and speak of change.
What of Okon Uwah? He peeps from above into Uyo Township Stadium and sees his killers dancing together with their partners in crime and remembers that these same people cried more than the bereaved at his funeral.
Of course, Akaniyene Ukpanah will not want to miss out enjoying the mirage from the accidental and opportunistic apostles of change. He see those the APC told us killed him, dancing with those who turned around to frame, arrest and jail his son over his death. What greater man’s inhumanity to man can be the lot of a helpless victim.
The eyes of heavenly host beaming from above unto the Uyo Township stadium must be gender friendly. This explains why Mrs Philomena Udonwa will stare at the APC declaration of change and remember not just the fact that his son once aspired to govern this state in line with the law and constitutionality, but how she was kidnapped, abused, raped, murdered and her mutilated body dumped by the road side. She will offer prayers of “blessings” from above to Akwa Ibom APC and her leaders. Even as she pray the state never have the misfortune of having such characters near the seat of power for the sake of the innocent ones.
Many widows will look and see the face of those whom the APC allegedly killed their husbands. Children will stare and see the faces of those who masterminded their parents demise. The agony of being widowed and orphaned will blend with the sweet aroma of chants for change and many will vow changing from the good of today to the worst dark days of yesterday and tomorrow can only be suicidal. Their rejection will be swift, loud and resoundingly clear.
Can APC tell the electorate it will bring to book those who killed its members in the past? No! Can APC tell the electorate that the killers of the past are not in their midst today? No! Can APC say they can muster the political will to tame potential assassins within their midst if they hold power? No! So why should the electorates gamble with their future and the safety of this state in the hands of those who wish to turn Nigeria’s most peaceful state into a new stronghold of ISIS?
Why should a state that is fast climbing the ladder of industrialisation be entrusted into the hands of certified fraudulent political stock brokers who sees the Hilltop Mansion as a stock exchange where shares are traded, where market capitalisation is their priority and the “All Shares Index” of our collective wealth their preoccupation?
For a party that has destroyed more than it has built, Akwa Ibom people will watch the gathering of the cabal who once held sway and reconcile it with how the people faired under their watch. How many people were killed by these messiahs will never stop resonating in the minds of the electorate.
The APC irony is more fascinating. They will hit the campaign with ironies that surpasses nature.
In Ikot Ekpene for instance, the tormentor(s) who instigated the bloody massacre of party supporters in 2011 will accompany their perpetrator(s) to visit their victims to tell them why they must vote the same people who killed their love one’s in the past but are back to change the mode of death. The leader of the delegation may say the 2011 victims died of natural causes and not as a result of state sponsored political violence.
In Oron, they will tell the people that Pastor Onyong Asukwo’s death was an accident. Moving to Abak, they will remind Abak 5 how Dr Ime Umanah’s health deteriorated after his release from DSS custody because an “insecticide”, not poisonous gas, was sprayed at his cell so that “mosquitoes” won’t disturb his sleep while the elder statesman was being detained.
They may visit the family of late Ukpanah to console the family over the death of their father who they may say died from thunder that struck because it rained heavily on the day of his demise while Okon Uwah died from depression and anxiety. It is all about politics and interest, they will say.
There must always be an excuse, but never enough to wash the blood away. Never enough to wash the sorrow, anguish, agony, pain, frustration and suffering the actions major APC chieftains did that has left agonising scars that may never heal.
So what promise of change will they give Akwa Ibom people come 2019. To kill more, maim more, assassinate more, kidnap more, rape more, murder more and use innocent children for ritual the more all in the name of power and politics?
How will APC manage to carry the burden of these deaths upon their conscience and go about it as if nothing happened? Why must blood, ritualism, killings, destruction be the foundation stone and building blocks of a party, according to Senator James John Akpanudoedeghe? So many unanswered questions.