By Aniefiok Esah
I watched, by accident, a jingle on AKBC TV, which had our Governor ‘preaching’ “ I have forgiven all my detractors and blackmailers, and those who accuse me falsely … those families that have troubles, from today your troubles are over… it shall be permanent, it shall be permanent, what the Lord has done for us, it shall be permanent”. Seeing my handsome, joyful Governor smile and dance dexterously with the “it shall be permanent” melody, while others looked at him gloomily, I told myself: “Indeed, Akpabio ado Ok” not Akwa Ibom. I wondered when our Governor had become God, or His son, or His Spirit, to tell troubled families that their troubles were over! You, (dear reader), must not blame me for thinking in that direction – o! afterall, the head cannot stop thinking or talking to itself. To tell any man what to think, is, in the long run, telling him not to think at all.
I was so immersed in the thought of our Governor’s forgiving heart that I never knew when my countenance changed. I realized this only when I heard my little hawk-eyed boy tell the mother “Mommy, look at daddy’s sad face!” Offended, my wife asked: “Ete, why are you looking at our Governor so disdainfully? I like the man very well-o, because despite everything that is said or written about him, he always likes citing the scriptures and mentioning God at the end of his messages”. The strict daughter of a genuine Pastor, what would she say? Defensively, I responded: “No Madam, I am not demeaning or looking down on our dear Governor. You should know that any man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. I heard and saw something that seemed strange, so I had to be convinced or conscious of what is happening around me. I am only perplexed that the Governor says he had forgiven all his detractors, but Thomas Thomas who is alleged or suspected of wanting to clash the Governor with the two Paramount Rulers, is still in detention”. That deep thinking resurrected the recently dead Maya Angelou who wrote “I know why the caged bird sings”. Maybe Thomas, in his confined condition, is singing, knowing too well that someday he shall be free and exalted by his people to the status of a hero – the AKWA IBOM MANDELA. But, true to his words, has the Governor forgiven Thomas if at all he was one of his detractors? Is it a case of easier said than done? Barry White sang “Practice what you preach”.
People who go through life, with granite like convictions on every subject under the sun, lead a cheerless existence. These people miss all the fun of exploring, all the challenge of debating, and all the thrill of finding something new. I thank God that my wife is not the rigid type. No sooner had I mentioned “Thomas”, than she exclaimed: “Oh, that poor young man is still in prison?” and stopped talking. Yes, the heart of man! Neither my wife nor I knew the heart of our Governor. So, end of discussion.
Right now, I am thinking of how to stop thinking. Possible? No! Unless death strikes. So it is the thought of a free minded and forgiving Governor that has given birth to this write up. I am writing about the newly expected Governor of Akwa Ibom State, wherever he or she may be. I am writing about those that will work with the Governor. I am as sure as you are that all of them will be Saints. Oh! What a blissful and enjoyable State our Akwa Ibom would be, should it be run by saints, and saints alone. That’s the right time that Yours Aniefiokly will open his mouth wide, to sing with the Governor, (sorry, Ex-Governor) “it shall be permanent”. It is my belief that the Governor was not singing that chorus in connection with past and present governments, but the one that will be run from 2015 AD by saints alone. The Jehovah’s Witnesses describe such governments as “Paradise on Earth”.
Fellow Akwa Ibom person, do you know the population of our dear State? If you do, please, help me differentiate between ‘saints’ and ‘devils’ in this State. Saint Aniefiok (ie me, myself and I) takes the first position in the ‘saints’ category; maybe you can take the first among the evil-doers. Yes, who is a saint? A saint is a good person like me (male or female). He is holy, pure, moral, pious, devout, worthy, angelic, blessed, ethical, sinless and upright. He is an atang akpaniko, he is edisana owo. A Saint must be innocent, spotless, virtuous, believing, blameless, religious, righteous, spiritual, and God-fearing. A saint must be either a man of faith or woman of faith, piety, purity, virtue, chastity, morality, sanctity, and self denial. He or she is a person of blessedness, sin-lessness, self-lessness, unselfishness, and righteousness. He wishes everybody well. He is eti owo. A round of applause for his Royal Aniefiokness. I say clap those your hands for St. Aniefiok Essah of Akwa Ibom; your Governor in waiting. Thank you, thank you. Who is a devil? A devil is an evil person. He is a conman. He is a serpent in disguise. A devil is vile, and wicked. You know his wiles, don’t you? A devil is a beast, he is a brute, he is a demon, he is a rogue, he is satan. A devil is a rascal, he is savage, and he is a terror. The Bible calls him the ‘Evil One’, ‘Lucifer’. He is a monster, adversary, Belzeebub, Memphistocles, and an evil spirit. Anything devilish is accursed, damnable, diabolical, dreadful, infernal, shocking, atrocious, nefarious, disastrous, outrageous, and excruciating. A devil can never wish you evil. But inspite of the devil being in the field of damnation, he still deserves a round of applause. You might have read one of my old scripts “THANK YOU SATAN”. Surprised? Without the devil, we would not know or get closer to God, His son, or His Spirit. Please clap for Satan too. Although Dillinger says: he’s “gonna chase him out of earth”.
Anything or anybody, or any government that is good in itself, glorifies God, because it reflects God. Definitely, the uncommon government of Chief (Dr) Godswill Obot Akpabio, will soon grind to a halt. Let’s keep the score card till the end of the term. Certainly, someone will succeed him, but it must not be a forced-on-the-people candidate. That is up to us, the electorate. We need a government that will transform better than the past government. We need a government that will know no rancor or inefficiency; a government that will not fill our ears with malignant falsehoods; a government that will not instill fear into the citizenry, because it wants the people to believe by force that black is white. We want a Governor that will work together with the people, progress together, and succeed together; like when Obong Attah, like Nehemiah called: “Come let us build together”. We want a government that helps the citizenry live well, not the type that makes them whine in the midst of abundance. Yes, saints should take over the governance and management of this State named after Akwa Abasi Ibom.
As saints, (i.e. you and I), march into the hand-in-hand governance of this State, I implore that every bitterness be eschewed, everyone be forgiven, and born again devils (I mean truly born again) be accepted into the fold. Let selfishness, greed and pride be thrown into the dustbin of history. Let’s be humble and gentle, even in success. Let’s not substitute words for actions, nor seek the path of comfort; rather we should face the stress and spur of difficulty, and challenge. Let’s learn to stand up in the storm and have compassion on those who fail or those who have nothing. Let’s master ourselves before we master others. Let our hearts be clean. Let’s have high goals. Let us learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep. Let us reach into the future, yet never neglect the past. Let us sanitize the land and be serious, yet never to take ourselves too seriously. Let us be modest so that we remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength. Yes, as Shakespeare said and I paraphrase, let us have a giant’s strength, but not be tyrannical, or use it like a giant. Let us use our God given strength in the service of God and humanity. And as a people (all Saints), let us be our brothers and sisters keepers, thankful to none else than He (the most gracious) who gave us this land.
Yesterday ended last night. Welcome to the new and real Akwa Ibom State, the Land of Saints.