By Udo Silas*
It is that time again. The field is already floodlit. Two players stand out. Not exactly Messi and Ronaldo. All Akwa Ibom has been invited to watch. To listen. To partake. And to know. In the end, what they see, what they hear and what they know, has to correspond to what their heart says or which ‘stars’ their eyes see the best glow. The personal vestibule of their thoughts must translate in the coming weeks to a statement of their longings.
I bear all responsibilities for my conversations as I have always done. Prior to the 2015 elections I had conversations titled Ibom 2015 Election series. My first piece in that series was “Understanding The Stooge Narrative”. That article was published on January 4, 2015. The third paragraph in that piece captures even today, the intent and meaning in today’s conversation. This is what I said then
“What I would attempt in these series is to do what we all do in our spare times. I intend to lay bare the talking points in a general sense, difficult as that may seem, especially seeing that I work for the GOVERNMENT (caps for emphasis).
“But even with the taint of bias, I would dare to paint my logic at all times with the tar of sound reasoning and a little candour. I do not intend telling you what the truth is. I would rather concentrate my efforts in telling you how to recognise what truth is not.”
I must invite you to visit my blog at Udo-Silas. Blogspot.com to read that piece, as it is not only important to the discourse to come but I may also revisit it now and then for illustrative purposes going forward.
There is however a clarification worth mentioning. As is quite obvious from the quote above, I was a government employee in January 2015. Many, if not all back then, were agreed that the article then, captured the main talking point in the processes leading to the 2015 gubernatorial election and treated the issue with intellectual, rather than partisan dispatch.
I understand if that is not possible today for certain people, especially seeing that my present bias is a badge of faith worn on my sleeves. Their discernment is a function of place rather than reason.
Is Akwa Ibom State a low hanging fruit? The PDP say no. The APC say yes. In this two part series I would attempt an inquiry into this question. In the first part we would delve into a conversation of our politics, its manure and harvest. In the second part we shall hazard some thought on the Udom government.
Now this part is equally important if not more so. Whereas the politics of the era remains a gauge of the political actors and the role if any they would bring to bear on the upcoming events, Udom’s performance as governor of our state remains the template that all claimants to the office would seek to better if they are elected.
It is important to state here that the politics of now has little or no bearing on Udom’s performance or non-performance. Udom’s politics is but a reflection of his psyche, understanding and attitude while his performance is the aggregate sum of how he has deployed his acumen and know-how to better the lot of Akwa Ibom people.
While the first is an inquiry into his relationship with people and the power locus, the other examines his 2015 promises and how far he has succeeded or failed in that regard. It is to his scorecard that we must go. Unfortunate to him as that may appear, it is the reality he Udom must live with.
Politics of 2019 Gubernatorial Election…
Without a doubt, the epochal event leading up to the gubernatorial elections in Akwa Ibom is the ‘movement’ of Senator Godswill Akpabio from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Irrespective of the invectives poured on him daily by the PDP and many who ‘worshipped’ the shadow of his gait, it remains incontrovertible that Akpabio was the heartbeat of the PDP, especially during and in the aftermath of his governorship tenure.
Indeed, many are quick to aver that the scorn and abuses he suffers daily is directly proportional to the awe and myth he personified whilst he hugged their emotions and championed their proclivities.
Many in Akwa Ibom may situate his political dexterity in his tenure as governor. Many may better still point to his emergence as PDP gubernatorial candidate in 2007 as the defining moment of his political sagacity.
But the majority, and indeed the PDP hierarchy in Akwa Ibom know that they lost a gem whose political mastery may be womb-like in origin.
Those that met or perhaps knew him from university days would know that Akpabio always knew what he wanted and always went for it, in strategy and plan. A politician’s politician. Little wonder the PDP christened him the ‘great teacher’.
Whether the PDP accepts it or not, truth is, Akpabio’s ‘movement’ dealt it a blow too hard to swallow. Her pain is not necessarily in the prick of a stuffed ego but in the knowledge of whom she lost. The PDP in Akwa Ibom did not prepare for such a ‘movement’. It was inconceivable by their estimations and unthinkable by their calculations.
Let us not be concerned or bother restating the coming into being of Udom. That story is everywhere. Udom had Akpabio in his palm.
Why did Udom lose Akpabio? Historians would someday attempt to answer that question. But is Udom’s loss Akwa Ibom APC’s gain? Should Ekere be happy?
Does Akpabio play into the perception of Akwa Ibom 2019 as a low hanging fruit?