The scripture in its warning asserts that we should not allow our tongues to stumble. In Proverbs 17:20, it avers that “he that has a perverse tongue falleth into mischief”. In same Proverb 21:23, it again posits: “Whoever keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from trouble”.

The treacherous former Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria who also recorded a woeful chairmanship tenure in Eket Local Government Area would not have attracted this troubling piece if he had not allowed his tongue to stumble in a manner that falls short of acceptable minimum behavior.

An enquiry on Rt. Honourable Aniekan Akpan exposes him as a man dogged with irredeemable character flaw. Even in his immediate community of Nduo Eduo in Okon clan, the young man is seen as bad news. He is said to be tempestuous, arrogant and a bully. A man from that community who craved anonymity described him as very selfish with a patent for creating wranglings. He went further to describe him as a burden. These shades of honest views provided inkling on the person of Aniekan Akpan and perhaps public pity for him and merciful excuse for that inane and banal interview he granted the skewed program, Team Nigeria on Planet FM. Even though the presenter of the Programme was more professional than her counterpart as she made great efforts to rein in the guest when he became possessed with the innate loose cannon tendency that underlines his tongue; the failed politician still freely launched diatribes at the government, the governor, public officers and even the traditional institution.

Team Nigeria seems to be developing a fan base among the people who can abuse government, public officers and the governor more. Earning an invitation as a guest to the programme seems to be predicated on one’s level of cynicism towards government. Rt. Hon. Aniekan Akan cannot be adjudged as an eloquent speaker but he is a regular guest to that programme because he is seen to lack the cultivation and breeding of civilized communication which is not the preference of that programme. Sadly the programme does the converse of what is expected of the media which core demands are to educate, inform and entertain. One is tempted to ask the question, does abusing the governor educate? Does telling the public that a governor of a State should not be addressed as His Excellency educate and inform? Does harbouring palpable disdain for a governor and government and openly calling them 419 educate, inform and entertain?

A wise saying posits that what issues from a man’s mouth represents him. It is a window into the person and his thoughts. What spewed out of Rt. Hon. Aniekan Akpan’s cavity in that interview depicted in all measures a completely flawed character; a man possessed with anger; a man running out of schemes and taking to pedestrian shenanigans with the hope that it would produce the same result and benefit that have always come his way. Just as thunder, they say, does not strike at the same place twice; one cannot fool all the people all the time. His subterranean undertaking this time around is dead on arrival. And so, notwithstanding the grandstanding, the sanctimonious piety picture he seeks to cut for himself, the populist approach he is adopting, the people know him and he cannot fool them again.

The ill fated interview which started on a note of cynicism could not couch its tendentiousness. When the presenter sought his comment on the cheering news of the upcoming local government election, he said he was not excited. As an incurable pessimist, he presumes that the election would not be free and fair even after the governor has warned politicians not to bring people to him to endorse as government would not interfere with the election process. If a man can stand publicly and make such a weighty avowal, would it not be right to give him the benefit of the doubt? But not Aniekan Akpan. According to him, unless card readers are deployed, the exercise would certainly not be free and fair. It takes the mindset of a character like the former chairman of ACN who sees the betrayal of public trust as normal and one of those things to shamefully presume that no one can conduct a free and fair election without card readers. Of course, he is said to be a bully and they believe in brute force, not civilized conduct and behavior.

When Rt. Hon. Aniekan Akpan impishly reeled out figures of disbursement of Mobil funds, one was amused at the former chairman’s sustainable memory. This was the same man who recently sat on the same programme and could not remember a single thing he did in his four years of chairmanship. Recall that he served as Transition Chairman for one year as reward for his treacherous conduct and an elected Chairman for three years making four inglorious reign of incompetent leadership. But in the interview, he was adept with figures and storyline because they suited his intent for mischief. He has forgotten that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. When the host of the programme asked why he has not exploited the benefit of the information at his disposal to petition relevant authorities especially the House of Assembly which has convened a public hearing on the Mobil matter, the hatchet man who seems to be doing someone’s bidding fidgeted. Rather, in his coarse manner, he carpeted the House for wasting public funds and people’s time in convoking a public hearing. A timeless adage in our local community posits that, the man who teaches another what to say does not also teach the questions that would follow. The reason is that he may not be able to predict the questions that would be asked. That was the dilemma the loquacious former failed Chairman found himself. He made all the noise but delivered very little sense.

The combative interview dissipated energy in casting aspersions. Hear him: “Everything about this government is “shredded” (sic) in secrecy; it is like a 419 business”. “He said ‘vividly’ (sic) that the commissioner for works is a burden”.  Obsessed with anger, he lost his temper when a caller added the prefix “Honourable” to the name of the commissioner for Works. In a tone livid with anger, he thundered that Ephraim Inyangeyen just came from Lagos and has never stood election before and so should not be so addressed. The tone denoted a personal feud.  He also took a swipe at traditional rulers whom he said disrespect themselves by always going to wait for the governor during events. The deduction from his narrative is that traditional monarchs should not attend public functions as a “needed” pre-requisite for their self respect. But first class traditional rulers like the Sultan, Obas and Emirs attend federal government functions yet such actions are not seen as detracting their public esteem and that of the traditional institution.

Well a character sketch of Rt. Honourable Aniekan Akpan may be salient to this discourse. Not a well baked product of the University of Calabar, he hauled his hat into the political ring early as a member of the People’s Democratic Party. He remained an active member of that party to 2011 when he indicated interest for the office of Chairman of Eket Local Government Area. His lack of tact and public goodwill denied him that bid. In anger he left for Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN which then was the rival to PDP. He was made the State Chairman of that party. Elections were held that 2011 but before one could say Jack, Rt. Honourable Aniekan Akpan dumped the party as the State Chairman and returned to the party he so vociferously maligned. He procured huge rewards but is angry today that the goodies have ceased. Yours truly has it on good authority that he wanted a commissionership portfolio. Having failed to get it, he has gone gaga in his identification with the opposition.

Rt. Honourable Aniekan Akpan seems to have some obtuse thinking that he should always be doted as a politician. Such thinking must come from the quality of company he keeps. He must be hobnobbing with people who see him as superior. It is a character flaw to always kick when things don’t favour you. If you are not favoured today, you may be tomorrow, so keep working. But his case is different. Let him align himself with the scripture in Proverbs 15:2 which avers thus: “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright but the mouth of the fools poureth out foolishness”. For emphasis, Proverbs 15:7 also states: “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge but the hearts of the foolish doeth not”. As an emerging politician that the system has favoured enormously, let him internalize the virtues of this scripture and dare to be different next time he is on radio. I assure him that he would curry the goodwill of many including my humble self.

 

Source: Joe Iniodu