I have never mentioned Obong Umana Okon Umana in any of my write-ups on the issue of AKS governorship 2015. This was because, in fairness to him, he did not declare his intention to contest for the office, at least not openly. Until this recent?confirmation, his intention was merely open to speculations. What with his press statement the other day on The Nation?Newspaper?one of the edition within the month (can?t remember the date, but it was on page 46 or 56) in black and white that at the appropriate time, he would say his mind. I was very sure he would not make the mistake of declaring because I know him as a very intelligent person.

 

Gov Akpabio & SSG UmanaIntelligent people, like frogs, love water but not when the water is boiling. But since we understand that he has finally declared, I herald his declaration with the following kind remarks and advise.

 

In 2007, even my 4 years old son as at then and my dear mother who was then 73, all knew that the?governor?would come from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District. Infact my mother was aware of Don Etiebet, Umana Umana, Akpabio and “Ukara Akpa” (Chris Ekpenyong). Because everybody said so. You would hear it inside Keke, ontop of ocada (as at then), barbing salon, mechanic work-shop, market place and palmy joint. That was because the time for that event was at hand, therefore, the people, not the elites discussed it, sang it, chorused it and perfected it. No one could have stopped it. Those who tried to truncate the movement of that train to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, like Larry Esin, James Iniama etc failed. The same common people are discussing ESD now.

 

Time is a dimension in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV) “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”.

 

A wise man doesn’t put himself in the way of an idea or event which time has come.

 

What happened at the nomination?venue?in 2007 where the likes of Larry Esin picked up some votes is called sub-plot. Subplots are distinguished from the main plot by taking up less of the action, having less significant events occur, with less impact on the ‘world’ of the work, and occurring to less important characters. In a story, you introduce sub-plot at times for comic relief and other purposes; Larry Esin served that purpose in 2007. I don’t think Obong Umana would allow himself to be pushed to play that role by a hand full of rich political profiteers who are unaware of when the market is over. Even subsequent players like Udoedehe, Frank Okon et al who later came up relying on dubious support to truncate a process already on course half way, also failed.

 

Although Governor Godswill Akpabio experienced a lot of bitterness against his aspiration, this was from one person, as it where, after he won his nomination. The fact that Obong Umana has not yet stepped into the bush but is piecing his feet in the forest of bitterness in every direction should tell him that something is wrong. When an aspiration offends people’s sensibilities, it would be clear from the beginning, though they may not say it out either due to fear or a lack of channel to do so.

Gen. Sani Abacha’s aspiration was one of such and so was Gen. Obasanjo’s third term bid. In each of these cases they had substantial dubious support but what is not right is not right, therefore as always it they failed. Where the people lack the capacity to frustrate it, like in the case of Abacha, God took over.

 

Akwa?Ibom State?is on course to show-case to the rest of the country and indeed the world the concept of peaceful co-existence, equality, inclusion and accommodation by equitable zoning, sharing and spreading. No one would derail it. Like any other good thing we expect some self centered folks to have other ideas but we would defeat them.

 

I recalled when Umana’s supporters started, they tried pushing Obong Umana’s aspiration as an Ibibio agenda but then they realized that the Ibibios are too big a nation, too advance for anybody to pull by the nose because of his small ill timed interest. They also realized that it was the Ibibios that said let power shift to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in the first place indicating that the Ibibio nation is one of the most fair, wise, accommodating and peace loving nations in the world. They also realized that we have Ibibios in all the Senatorial Districts. They changed course because this whole thing is about one person, not an Ibibio agenda. Next they?claim?Obong Umana is the best material for the position of governor, given his experience.

 

But his profile posted in his website has very little to support that. Qualified, yes, like you and I, but best material? How? From his profile, Obong Umana has been in government almost all his working life, therefore he has nothing new to bring to the table. Government in?Nigeria?generally don’t generate the funds they spend. They depend on Federal allocation for over 80% of their revenues. How can you tell us that a man who has been in this same federally spoon-fed system for greater part of his working life, a supper career civil servant, is the best to lead a state with a fragile offshore dependent federal allocation for its revenue. A state that should concern itself in the next few years with alternative and more stable source of revenue. No sir, Umana cannot be deferent from his years of civil service orientation. This state needs a fresh blood, the likes of Godswill Akpabio.

 

However, I must commend Obong Umana O. Umana because he has done what no other SSG has successfully done in this country. He wielded more power, at a point, than a sitting governor.

At a point, you either support his aspiration or no appointment, no contract, not even inter-ministerial, infact his aspiration was life itself.

Yes, he is powerful, but at some point he forgot that the clinical choreography of power indicates that power rest with the people and that these same people delegated that power to His Excellency Godswill Obot Akpabio, not yet to Umana. He forgot that he was enjoying sub-delegation from the original delegate. That is another topic. But he took full control of it to attempt to preserve an aspiration that offends the people’s intelligence, sensibility, equity, good conscience and peaceful co-existence.

 

Like Abacha he cowed, threatened, psychologically tortured, bullied and bull dozed any body, especially those in government who ventures into the race. No wonder no one in government dares declare to his knowledge.

 

I love this man. I’ve never seen anybody who isn’t a sitting governor wield so much power. But who gave him this power? The answer is not his money, which his supporters claim is in trillions, not his friends who are feeding fat from him but Godswill Akpabio, his father in loco parentis, who holds this power in trust for the people. Everybody knows how much Godswill Akpabio loves Umana O. Umana. He has been his first son, the custodian of the state secrete and treasure. In this election, suffice it to say Umana has been Godswill’s first choice; that is why nobody in government has ventured. Therefore if this same father of his who has so supported him discovers that the people are becoming bitter about this aspiration and benevolently provide him with soft landing through NDDC he should act wisely. Ecclesiastes?7:12?(KJV)

“For wisdom is a?defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it”. Anything to the contrary would mean trying to black-paint the legacy of Godswill’s administration which is what the governor holds dear next to his wife.

 

A look at the map of AKS shows a pyramid; the base of that pyramid both in terms of location, natural design, population, and resources is Eket Senatorial District. This district has graciously and patiently carried others on her shoulders ever since we came to this land. When the hippopotamus opens its mouth for the river bird to peck, it is not only out of love, but out of the need for a cleaner teeth. In biology, this is called symbiosis but in human relations it is called equity.

 

Akpabio is a wise man and knows his legacies would be incomplete without this equity.

 

In an Exclusive Interview With Kakaki

Obong Umana says “I think what drives me and what inspires me or gives me fulfilment and satisfaction is the passion to make a difference…

 

Yes Obong Umana has a passion to make a difference. Nelson Mandela made a difference and today the world stands still when he coughs. His difference was not necessarily made in his 4 years as President but in his stance for justice and equity.

 

Let’s concede that Obong Umana has the war-chest his promoters claim with billions set aside for election; lets concede he has the entire party structure up to Abuja and beyond as claimed; lets concede he has the ears of the governor and His Excellency would like Umana to succeed him as claimed. We concede everything they claim but the real difference would be made if Obong Umana would for the sake of equity and peaceful co-existence choose the path of honour and concede these advantages, if any, and support the governorship train to move to Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District come 2015. Then shall history open a chapter for him to walk tall.

 

Anything contrary would amount to sleeping with his god father’s second wife (Akpabio’s Legacy). And like Jacob, Akpabio would tell him: “…Umana, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the Excellency of power: Unstable as water, THOU SHALL NOT EXCEL because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it”. Gen. 49:3-4. And the people shall say AMEN.

 

James Abang writes from Urueoffong/Oruko

 

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