The last general elections may have come but they have not gone and may not for a long time. The ballot should be asterisked for being the clearest proof that the progress made with our democracy so far is at best retrogressive. Officials and agents, of this same national government that mouths change and anti-corruption everywhere, could only muster elections seen to be worse (or as my friend would say, ‘worster’) than the worst we ever had. 2019 saw blood everywhere spilled by untold violence that wore uniforms or by fraud that bore the insignia of federal power.
Nigeria is a lie. Nigeria is a shame. Nigeria is a mockery. Any Nigerian who disagrees with the foregoing because of crass patriotism or ethnicity or political affiliation will not make heaven.
I won’t waste my time to debate with such a one. After all, where would we meet again after transiting herefrom? But, seriously, where do people get the strength to -and how can anybody even- argue that Nigeria is not what we all see and know it to be? That’s not patriotism, not faith; that’s stupidity!
In any case, I didn’t come here to engage in a ding-dong. We all know that as things stand now -they have been so quite a while, though- Nigeria offers no sane bragging rights at home let alone abroad. I mean, which of our national ways (all of them neanderthal and kindergarten) can pass the global best practice test? For all I care, keep cheering these good-for-nothing defilers on, at the end we would know how far.
Now, to something not many may have taken note of or paid commensurate attention. In every contest, there are always gainers and losers. Yet, all social victories remain pyrrhic or useless if the people lose. Which brings us to one begging moral question: did Nigeria and its citizenry win in the 2019 general elections?
Slow down, please and stop raising your voice. I did not ask a political question, plus the poser is not meant to indict any one political party or to unsweeten any victory? The one sure barometer to gauge popular satisfaction is determining how proud of something a people are. With all we know, can we in all honesty say that the Nigerian masses are not ashamed of the brazen manner these particular general elections were conducted?
If you like, hide behind your little finger and evade the matter by telling us that the answer is blowing in the wind. When the chips are down, the reality will haunt us; if not now, certainly later. No, this is not a prayer or a curse. Yes, it can’t be because, very soon, Nigeria and Nigerians shall defeat these marauding antidemocratic forces -as nearly witnessed in 1993.
Meanwhile, let’s whet our appetite with the bright electoral future of which the Akwa Ibom electorate have hinted. On 23rd February and 9th March, 2019, Warsaw saw Akwa Ibom and bowed. If you know, you know. With bare hands, Akwa Ibom people fought official intimidation, impunity and federal might to a standstill.
Abuja and its allied resident forces in the state met their waterloo in a way that makes one profoundly proud to hail therefrom. This is not about the People’s Democratic Party. Most Akwa Ibom people who belong in say the All Progressives Congress joined the statewide celebrations that ensued on the heels of especially the governorship vote. We are united by how we proved conclusively and unmistakably that we are not and can never be a conquered people.
It is the same commendatory vibration one gets from all over the globe. Prof. Offiong Aqua, a lecturer at New York University, told me on telephone that he salutes our people to power 10 for standing up in style when it mattered most. That’s a line we should drum on, forever. Akwa Ibom has shown the way which Nigeria must follow (from 2023?)
Alas, this is not the point I came to make today. Beyond the masses and the direct winners of the 2019 elections, there exist very special Akwa Ibom people we should celebrate. Rewind to August, 2018 when former governor and then senate minority leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, hitherto the national political grid in the state, decided of his own volition to rehearse his uncommon transformation to a political god. So, without consulting even his main footsoldiers, he crosstituted to the national governing party boasting openly that he would win election no matter the platform he used.
In all of Nigeria if not Africa, never had there been and never would there ever be a costlier, more shocking and more dangerous crosstitution. In one fell swoop, a man to whose apron strings an alarming majority of politicians in the state were tied not only abdicated the enviable position but also simultaneously by the very act as well as the speeches he made in the aftermath threw family, friends and followers into disrepute. Suddenly, people who had always been believed and respected started being despised and suspected to be moles. A tiny minority who probably could not handle the humiliating pressure moved with him but so many stayed back, surprisingly.
Stand up for a place in the sun Deputy Governor Moses Ekpo, MFR; Speaker Onofiok Luke; Sen. Bassey Albert; Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem; Chairman Paul Ekpo; Chief Michael Afangide; Dr. Glory Edet; Attorney General Uwemedimo Nwoko; Sir Monday Uko; Dr. Iniobong Essien; Prince Ukpong Akpabio; Rt. Hon. Frank Archibong; Rt. Hon. Unyime Etim; Engr. Etido Inyang; Prince Enobong Uwah; Elder Ufot Ebong; Isantim Kenneth Okon; Captain Iniobong Ekong, Rt. Hon. Tony Akan and many other so-called Akpabio people accused and ridiculed by the Akwa Ibom populace up until the announcement of the election results. For standing firm and proving all of us wrong, you all are the real winners of the 2019 general elections in our state. Gov. Udom Emmanuel must likewise be commended for believing in and keeping faith with you all in the face of all the odds. God bless Nigeria!