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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I AGREE, UDOM MUST GO...! - Usoro I. Usoro

Those who dislike Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State insist that he “must go”. And I agree. Why not? No need arguing with the majority, unless you want some of them to start trekking from Uyo to Lagos – to prove their point. So, Udom must go…!

You see, there are those who argue that the “fine-face; no pimple” governor commonly called Udom has failed. But they forget to mention the class he failed in. One smart alec said Udom has never attempted to stroll from his parlour to the wife’s kitchen. In a heated argument with a madman, the other day, the guy asked: “Has he ever trekked for 800 metres? That is the only yardstick for a second term that I know of. If you doubt me, ask APC and Garuba Shehu.”

Well, those who admire Udom say he “passed” from the primary school and is seeking an admission into the secondary school. “Udom has done very well. As SSG under former Gov. Godswill Akpabio, he started kindergarten. In his first term as governor, Udom was in the primary school of politics, where he was said to have been teleguided by Akpabio. Now, he wants to be his own man – in the secondary school of his political life”, my grandma said. However, both sides of the divide agree on one thing – Udom must go…!

Whether Udom has done well or not depends on who is talking. The pre-Warsaw battle is between those currently “chopping” and those who have just been prematurely retired from the “wackies”. Those who have been starving, like me, are so weak that they can’t join the noisemaking. OK, medical personnel; idiots like me, who fall ill so often, and; those who work in the Jubilee Syringe factor in ONNA have marked Udom high. So also those who eat plenty of meat and end up requiring toothpicks. Some parents argue that but for Udom’s pencils, their children probably wouldn’t have gone to school. Workers in the metering company as well as energy experts argue that Udom’s industrialisation project is gathering appreciable momentum. Conclusion? Udom must go…!

You see, those who are angry that the APC (chai! What a pun!) plan didn’t work out as intended have a point. Oh, common! I wasn’t talking about the “change” party o. I meant the Armoured Personnel Carriers. Udom brought in some folks to assemble the machines but something went wrong somewhere. Now, some guys are angry because they won’t have the APCs to shoot a new movie called “Warsaw Sawwar”! For that reason, they say: “Udom must go…

The interesting issue is that both Udom’s enemies and his supporters agree that he “must go…”! A few days before his decampment from PDP to APC, even his predecessor, Sen Akpabio, also declared that Udom must go…! And even now, he still maintains it. To some, its surprising but to me, it’s not. Why? Because, the Senator Akpabio I know is a very “principled” man. If he believes in something, he says it repeatedly. Remember the refrains about E-library; Use Ikot-Amama; Enen Nsit; underground pipe-jacking, etc? Now, you get the picture. A man of his words, Akpabio never changes (I don’t mean the APC’s slogan o) his stand when he believes in something. Akpabio believes in

Udom. Hence, even now, he still says: Udom must go…! People of God, if you think I am lying, then Buhari has no integrity.

Akpabio is my former boss and I would never say ill of him. To do so would mean I can also do same to another benefactor. As his pioneer Chief Press Secretary, I could predict a few things around him. For instance, I could predict that Bob Marley’s “One Love”, which Akpabio and Engr Patrick Ekpotu (his first deputy) often sang in public was just a song! I also knew the “uncommon governor” believed in justice more than “national interest”. Which was why he later on always insisted that Udom must complete his two terms just like he and Obong Victor Attah did. That was when he was in PDP, though. Now that APC has elevated “interests” (national and personal) above justice and the rule of law, I’m lost. National(?) Interest, like in the military era, is now so subjective that it meaning flows like a stream. Was that why my former “oga” said he decamped in national interest?

Akpabio often said: “one day, I will become an ex-governor”. That was when he had problem with this predecessor. If only he remembered that later. He also often said: “God gives power to whom he pleases”. I don’t expect such a perceptive man to deny his successor, long after he predicted that “Udom must go..!” The Akpabio I know is an honourable man. And deep down, he wants Udom Emmanuel to go…! If I lie, may I go naked in the bathroom!

Till date, I am not aware that Akpabio has denied Udom or said evil against him. Similarly, I am happy Udom has also recognized that God used Akpabio to bring him

into politics. All I hear so far are side talks from those hoping to reap from the friction. Akpabio can’t honestly say his student has failed because that would be indicting himself. For, if he argues that he made a mistake supporting Udom, how can people take him serious when he moves his support to another person? So, I agree with him when he says Udom must go…!

The last time someone shouted in the crowd at a rally that “Udom must go…!” Another fellow shouted back: “Udom must go…where?” going by the din of voices across the state, the majority from both sides want Udom to go..! The majority, it is said, “carries the vote” in a democracy. So, I agree that Udom must go…back to Hilltop Mansion! Why? Well, achievements and success are relative. So far, justice demands that Udom should be given the opportunity to go and complete some of the projects he started. It is reasonably argued that should another person, even from Udom’s same Senatorial District succeed him, some of the initiated projects would be abandoned.

Those who know say the Almighty is God of second chance. Udom is human. So, like every human, must have made mistakes. He must be allowed to go back and correct his mistakes. The same way Akpabio and Attah were given second chances. After all, industrialization may not be as easily accomplished as road infrastructure. Well, wasn’t that perhaps, why my former boss, despite his infrastructural renaissance, couldn’t build any industry as he promised during his second term campaign? I completely agree with all those who insist that: Udom must go…for second term!

Culled from The Realist, Sun Newspaper Column

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