BY SAMPSON ENYONGEKERE
We are predominantly Christians in this part of the country and therefore considered familiar or ought to be very familiar with the Biblical truism, “God resist the proud but gives grace to the humble. ” (1 Peter 5:5).
When the slogan, “Only God”, was coined not too long ago by the State helmsman, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the basic understanding and meaning, to my mind was, and still remains, that it is only God who enthrones kings and controls the affairs of men — completely in tandem with the Christian holy book, the Bible.
Alas ! It has just dawned on me that some Akwa Ibom people merely profess the phrase with their lips but lacks the basic understanding of its meaning and has no believe whatsoever in it.
I have watched and observed with paralysing sorrow since Friday, May 29, when the State legislature in its wisdom at its emergency sitting, suspended the Executive Chairman of Uyo Local Government Area, Elder Imoh Okon, and subsequently mandated his deputy, Ukai Udeme Emmanuel, to assume the reigns of power and how numerous people proffering lopsided and infantile opinions have, in a misplaced show of sympathy, disparaged Ukai Emmanuel for this and that. Baseless issues which does not hold any water – leaving out the real issues which necessitated the suspension to attack the direct law empowered beneficiary.
Any one who lives in Akwa Ibom and has followed political and social developments knows that the man Ukai Udeme Emmanuel is a jolly good fellow and a man of the people.
Ukai Emmanuel even before becoming the Vice Chairman of Uyo had long, long made himself the love of his people, made his peace with the same people and no amount of personal consideration will induced him, as much as l know, to abandon the righteous cause of his life, hence, his ascension to the then number two position ( Now no.1) in Uyo. Infact, if election is a game of numbers, not rigging, most Uyo people who voted for the Peoples Democratic Party at the last local government polls to elect the leadership of the Council did so because of the man, Ukai Udeme Emmanuel. That he is friendly, receptive, generous, humble, and accomodating explains why he receives tumultuous cheers, applauses, and embrace wherever he goes.Hundred and thousands wanting to identify with him, when given the least opportunity and chance.
As we already know, attitude once nurtured through years of practice, is difficult to let go, the consequences notwithstanding. It is therefore lopsided reasoning and the height of warped mindedness to associate Udeme Emmanuel’s grounded and well known mien and demeanor to the ignominious fall of his boss, Elder Imoh Okon,owing to established gross misconducts.
On a natural scale, who on earth will become saddened when promoted to a higher position in service, let alone in politics where many are traitors ? You see the basic problem we have in this clime is, that we are mostly pretenders and God hates it. I challenge anyone who will be sad upon being elevated in his calling to make bold and identify himself !
Back to the fundamentals. Did Ukai Udeme Emmanuel petitioned his boss to the House of Assembly ? Is Udeme Emmanuel a member of the State Legislature ? You see, naturally or politically when an evil man dies, the sky opens, God smiles and the people jubilates.The deposed Uyo council boss has from the inception of his regime built a brick wall around himself thereby preventing his accessibility, as a supposed grassroots leader.
Those from Uyo who have had even a cursory look on the Uyo seat of power and its lord, will readily attest to the repelling nature and detestable attitudes of Elder Imoh Okon, a way a public servant on contract who should avail his ears to the complains, longings and yearnings of his people should not behave.
Since assuming office alongside his boss as the the Vice Chairman of the council, Ukai Udeme Emmanuel perhaps for fear of being more popular, has been denied numerous appurtenances enjoyed by all of his colleagues across the State.Inspite of this, he bore his pains and travails with equanimity but continued serving his Uyo people nay, Akwa Ibom people with both love and diligence – giving innumerable people the reason to support the Udom Emmanuel’s administration.
If real victory ( not election rigging )in the political arena has a direct bearing with good relations with the publics, then Imoh Okon has a wall to climb when in contest with Ukai Udeme Emmanuel. We all know there is a gulf separating the duo, in a game of popularity and relations with the publics.
Here is one man who believes hook, line and sinker in the well known Biblical command, ” Don’t be weary in doing good, for in due season, you will reap if you do not faint .” Having adhered intoto to this scripture as a believer, should he not reap as promised ?
Since when in human history did it become the norm to reject promotion ? Our political annals is replete with instances where elected officials were either impeached or suspended by the legislature or outrightly removed by Courts of competent jurisdiction, thus making way for their deputies to take over and whoever takes over is bound to rejoice, why should Udeme Emmanuel be different or an exception ? Laws are enacted supposedly for the betterment of man and society and where those we constitutionally elect has under performed, l don’t think it is out of place to relieve them of their positions to enable their deputies a chance in administration. Afterall, these deputies are equally from the same local government areas.
Political historians usually associates different periods in a country’s political history with different brands of politics.If this period in our State politics is known for suspending erring elected Council officials , should not the direct beneficiaries be happy ? After all , these offices are heavily and fiercely contested for, during elections. Refusing to be phisically elated, when asked to assumed leadership anywhere of one’s fancy is, to me, pretense taken too far.
Rather than being vilified and castigated for doing nothing wrong , the new State legislature enabled Chairman of Uyo, Ukai Udeme Emmanuel, should be trusted and supported by all and sundry for the actualization of envisaged development as the Uyo – cum – Akwa Ibom people will be better for it.
Sampson Enyongekere, a journalist writes from Uyo.