I’ve refused to stand with Udom! Why should I? Experience, my age-old teacher, has whispered that “standing” with someone isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Usoro I. Usoro
I hate joining a bandwagon that goes nowhere. Or any “vehicle” for that matter. I did enough of that when I was a kid. In my neighbourhood, I was that famous driver who transported all the market women from Kafanchan to Akansoko! Absolutely free! I could do about five trips non-stop, revving with my mouth till the saliva emptied. After about five minutes, I would disembark to discover the abandoned vehicle was still at its spot – going nowhere!
Now, as a growing(?) adult, if “kampala” is the only attire required for the village dance, I might as well stay home. In recent times, in Nigeria, almost everybody seems to be “standing”! Ok, they adopt the posture as an identity. Or is it solidarity? Almost everyone claims to “stand” with someone. Moreso, as 2019 election season draws close. Yet, if you check closely, none of them ever worked with the defunct Standard Bank of Nigeria!
It’s a new slogan in town. A new political lexicon. “I stand with A(Atiku)”, says letter B. “I stand with B(Buhari)”, says letter C! It appears the believability of those claims depends on how loud the claimants shout. No other evidence is needed. Except, to stage money-induced defection this evening. And return to your former party by daybreak. Anyway, like all slogans, “I stand with” adds nothing beyond acting like the hybrid-drugs called Colorado and Mamba, to the drug initiates. The refrain induces momentary excitement – for the camera!
It happens in every state. But in Akwa Ibom, where “Charity” begins (or comes) from, there’re those who shout on the rooftop that they “stand with (APC’s) Nsima”. Some “stand with (PDP’s) Udom”. It’s a ding-dong game. Today, the same people may “stand with Nsima”. Tomorrow, they “stand with Udom”! Me? I’ve refused to stand with Udom! Why should I? Experience, my age-old teacher, has whispered that “standing” with someone isn’t as easy as it sounds. Too much “standing” causes arthritis, jare. My mum’s my witness. So, forget about me standing with Udom!
You see, I stood “with” my parents for years until I realized recently that my ugliness is from one of them. My father was fond of spotting “police cap” hairstyle, nine months before I was born. So, I suspect he’s the one to blame for my big head and chimpanzee look. I came out looking unbent like Ibikunle Amosun’s cap.
And Osho-baba! With my mouth dropping water like Lai’s lies! Anyway, that’s not your headache. I used to “stand” with Lai Mohammed until he told Buhari to deny my application as a prisoner in one of his phantom private prisons. I mean, why should there be a place where Nigerians are fed with N3.5 each monthly and I’m here worried about the next meal? With N14,500 daily meals, I swear, I would allow mosquitoes so much freedom till they realize that blood is thicker than Maltina!
Look, I don’t stand with Udom, mbok! Simon Peter made the loudest noise everywhere at rallies: “I stand with Jesus!; I stand with Jesus!” He hardly allowed the poor masses enjoy the largesse from the Master – in peace.
Imagine! Inexhaustible supply of “small chops” from two tiny fishes and five barley loaves. Peter felt like one drug-intoxicated fag. He raved on: “I stand with Jesus!; I stand with Jesus!” But on the “night of doom”, he was the first to “defect”! And the other idiot, what’s his name again? Judas is Carrot!
Oh, sorry, Iscariot! “I stand with Jesus; I stand with Jesus”! But when he saw few coins, he “ran riot” with is smelly mouth. Nansense and gay-like kiss!
Some who “stand with” someone are always the first to run away at the first crow of the rooster. The rooster’s crow could be “squeezed” or electronically transferred notes; EFCC; thugs or gunshots. It’s an early sign of trouble. Many “stand with” when the going’s good. They talk big – at road junctions – surrounded by a crowd and protected by the police. But while they “stand with” Jonathan, their minds could be with Buhari. At the slightest sound of the rooster, they forget the good old days. That’s why I don’t “stand with” anybody!
Forget it, no matter what you may say, I don’t “stand with” Udom. I “sit with” him! Sitting with someone is better than “standing with” the person. If I “sit with” you, it means I swim with him. I don’t just test the water with one leg. “Standing with” connotes haste; “sitting with” signals commitment. Unlike those who “stand” today and defect tomorrow, those you “sit with” are your true friends. They’re ready to go all the way for your success. Not quick to claim personal glory. They eschew individualism for collectivism. Shun one for all. They adopt a communal approach against personalism. They work as a team, plan for the general good and allow God to take the glory. They analyse their stands and actions for mass benefits. To them, your achievement is theirs, too.
I don’t stand with Udom; I sit with him because he’s ensured the atmosphere for relaxation. If nothing else, that Akwa Ibom is this peaceful, Udom deserves a return to the Hilltop. It’s simple knowledge that a society progresses when there’s peace. Hello?! Is Buhari “aware”? Anyway, forget my stupidity. But, please, ask Emir of Kano, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi 11. Every wise man and woman knows Sanusi doesn’t throw compliments, carelessly. So, for him to decide to “sit with” Udom means my stupidity makes sense.
For Udom’s effort at ensuring peace, Sanusi is attracting $1.1billion investment to Akwa Ibom’s gas sector. Soon, Nigeria would benefit from additional 540 megawatts of electricity from Udom’s induced peace in Akwa Ibom. “Where there is no peace, there is no economic development. Your Excellency you have provided a secure and safe environment for investment to thrive”, said the Emir.
I “sit with” Udom for revamping the health sector. Seven standardized General Hospitals, so far. Ikono; Eket; Oron; Oruk Anam; Ituk Mbang; Etinan; Anua, etc. I “sit with” him for attracting and creating jobs. The Jubilee Syringe Factory; Metering Solutions Company; AKEES Industrial Hub; Cassava Processing Factory; Greenwall Fertilizer Manufacturing Plant, etc. Plus, the spillover effects. A bird at hand is worth 31 “real”(?) ones in the bush!
Another reason I “sit with” Udom is because I’m very obedient. If I lie, may I “fall” from water into canoe. Ask my wife. Whenever she tells me not to return home late, I obey. I return in the mornings! You see, in 2015, my former boss, Senator Godswill Akpabio, told me to “support Udom”.
Till date, he hasn’t told me anything different. So, I must obey him to the end. I learnt from him that “support” means more than “standing with” someone. It means being steadfast; being consistent. It means more than changing from sekem to shaku-shaku!