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Sunday, July 17, 2022


Essien Ndueso

Ibibio orator, Amanam Ndem in one of his vernacular treaties, posited that “a chicken that defecates inside the pot, only desecrates its final resting place.” Anyone can claim that an article is politically motivated, but no one can discountenance the fact that it is the truth. For example, are people  not throwing all forms of tantrums at a political vehicle that had provided them a refreshing lease of life previously? Is it not common that the same leader who gave them opportunities to amass fame and fortune has now become target at which they sponsor blackmails and media attacks against? Are the same people who a couple of years ago celebrated Governor Udom Emmanuel as a cerebral leader because his decision favored their selfish political aggrandizement at the time, not the ones who now abuse and threaten to destroy the state simply because the decisions of the leader at this time tends to favor others? Are the same people who used to chant that PDP is a religion in Akwa Ibom State not the same people who now reverse themselves by saying that there is nothing like religion in PDP as such people should vote individuals and forget about the party?

For example, I have seen the supporters of Senator Bassey Albert, campaigning on the social media that people should play individuals and not party. This call for people to play individuals, and not political parties, begs me to wonder if the 2022 amended electoral act has now provided for independent candidates in the general elections. 

Jonah and Judas are famous names that avid Sunday School students' are familiar with. Both are similar with five alphabets and both begin with the 10th letter of the alphabet. 

Interestingly, they are not without some interesting history. Judas collected thirty pieces of silver and sold his boss to the Roman soldiers.  We are all conversant with the story in the Bible of how Prophet Jonah disobeyed God’s directives and chose to rather sail away to Tarshish where he felt he could hide from God. In his mind, there is no church or synagogue in that part of the world and so, he could hide there. But the revolution by the sea persisted and in the end, Jonah had to beg to be allowed to jump into the sea. Despite appeals and the comfort and prospects in the ship, Jonah jumped into the sea. The sea became stable immediately. And the ship’s occupants were saved. It is left to be imagined if the ship would have been swallowed if Jonah had remained. Could God have allowed innocent people perish because of one man? No one can say, but the ship was able to sail home safely to Tarshish after Jonah threw himself out. 

One basic thing that can be deduced here is that the ship occupants were unwilling to throw Jonah out, despite discovering he was the cause of their travails. On the contrary they begged him to pray to his God and get the plague cancelled. 

Last weekend in Akwa Ibom, a PDP Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, opted to jump out of the ship into a sea of uncertainty. This action is taken despite that the ship of peace and positive development is steadily progressing in Akwa Ibom state. Before jetting out to Abuja last Thursday, I had opportunity to interact with Chief Kanu Godwin Agabi,SAN. Among the things he told me was that Nigeria will get better with time and that the country has made steady progress since independence. He particularly told me and my colleague Solomon Eyo, to relay his regards to Governor Udom Emmanuel, his friend who is doing well, telling us that our state is always being blessed with very good leaders. In my mind, I wish those who are throwing darts at the state’s chief executive, knew how much others appreciate him. Incidentally, Chief Agabi was in Uyo at the instance of Senator Bassey Albert who is being prosecuted by EFCC over a bribe of N204million. 

That Thursday, I joined few other Akwa Ibom PDP members to the Federal High Court in Abuja, where judgement was being expected in the case between Friday Iwok and his friends against the PDP and the Wards' Adhoc Delegates elected for the 2022 PDP primaries. 

At the courtroom, the campaign team of Senator Bassey Albert, who were also the plaintiffs in the case were led by Bishop Andrew Uwanta, Pstr.Sunny Ibuot, including Barr Kennedy Ekong, Chief Usoro Usoro, Lady Umoefa, Mrs Janet Amba and their social media hands, Idorenyin Umana, Imo Udoima and Ubong Edem. 

On the other hand, the State Chairman of the PDP,  Elder Aniekan Akpan, the three Vice Chairmen of the party, Ibanga Brownson, Godwin Okponung, and Cletus Eshiet led other party faithful to the Federal High Court 9. Elsewhere are accounts of the case which was won by the PDP, the elected delegates and the winners of the primaries of the party. Shortly after the judgment was delivered, my friend Idorenyin Umana answered a call right there, presumably from his principal, Bassey Albert announcing to him, rather sadly that ‘PDP ikan’,(PDP has defeated us). On February 3, 2016, a similar scenario had played out. We were in the Supreme Court for judgment on the appeal filed by the PDP against the All Progressives Congress. Shortly after the verdict was delivered, Idorenyin had joyfully called Senator Albert on the phone to intimate him that PDP had emerged victorious. However, in this instance, the victory of PDP was no longer a joyful event for them. This announcement was followed by a sudden appearance of Bassey Albert’s PDP resignation letter on the social media. The senator had taken a high leap from the ship into the ocean of uncertainty.  He had leaped from the ship inside which he had enjoyed various delicacies such as a sumptuous Finance Commissionership of seven years, a luxurious contract awarding portfolio of chairing the inter ministerial direct labour coordinating committee, serving as senator for seven good years, even at the expense of other federal constituencies that deserved to have taken a turn.  

Before the final leap, Senator Bassey had engaged several cronies to attack the PDP, and the leader of the party for not having a good reward system for loyal members. So when Uyo federal constituency was denied opportunity of taking its turn at the senate in 2019 based on Senator Albert’s insistence that he should return the the senate,  the party was fair and just then. And also , maybe , just maybe, Bassey means that the likes of Ekong Sampson a former Chairman of a local government council and former commissioner in the state exco, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Aniekan Bassey, former national legal adviser of the party, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem and Ps Umo Eno, are not loyal party members and perhaps are brought from the moon to become the candidates of the party. Very sad narrative.  

That faithful morning of Friday July 15, my friend, Imo Udoima had made a post announcing his presence at the High Court premises and his readiness to give timely updates on the judgment. During the judgment session, which apparently went against his prayers, Imo, sitting beside his big friend and Spokesperson of the Senator Albert’s campaign council, Chief Usoro Usoro, dosed off inside the court, and only woke up to make a summary of the one and a half hour judgement on his social media account, thus: “Case dismissed in favour of the PDP”. 

While returning to Uyo on Saturday, it was a pitiable and emotional sight to behold that the PDP chieftains who left Uyo on Thursday to Abuja to resolve a minor internal family dispute, had been initiated into some alien group whose slogan was going to be a hard nut to crack. I asked my former colleague Obonganwan Janet Amba, who I spotted on the aircraft, wearing a YPP cap, please don’t follow them please,” and when she rhetorically asked why, I told her, “does this party exist in your own local government area at all?” She laughed as the state party chairman Aniekan Akpan nodded in affirmation that the party which exists on large billboards in the city center, has no root in the State where PDP is seen as a religion, a way of life. 

The leader of the State, critical stakeholders, fathers of faith, the Royal fathers, and the delegates of the party have taken a stand who who they want as the new candidates. It is the same manner they took decisions in previous occasions and it favoured some including Bassey Albert, and did not favour others. Today, the decision is in favour of others and would not ordinarily have warranted the ship jumping exercise. This is me, crying my heart out, that Jonah was lucky in the Bible, he was rescued by the big fish. Jonah was not like Elisha and Elijah, he went with no follower. When he jumped, he jumped alone. This fish took him to safety after three days. The modern technologies used in fishing may not allow such large fishes to remain in existence. Even if the fish exists, it is only one Jonah that may be rescued at a time.

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