By Aniefiok Essah
Welcome Tommy. Who said you would not return home? Who said you would die in detention, cell, prison, or in his house? You are very much welcome, Sir. How I admire your bushy, long, and unusually kept hairs. You said you protested and decided to keep them so unkempt; a situation that reminds us of great minds like the late Nelson Mandela and Gani Fawenhinmi. I wish you could trim those beards and moustache again, handsome boy.
Tom, do you know that you have changed from the “Ibibio pig” they once referred to you as? You are now a “BIGGER BOY”, and fairness will not forgive you if you stop sending thank-you messages to the man that made you so; our dear Governor. Forget not to send “gbosas” to your beloved NUJ. Once again, I welcome you to freedom. I wish Mrs. Freedom (the Magistrate) celebrates with you too.
Listen dear reader, Thomas Thomas ( TT) came to this world just like you and me, with a purpose and destiny. His, through speaking and writing, is for the emancipation of the oppressed, suppressed and depressed. He is an advocate for his misused people; he is the voice of the voiceless. He is a humanitarian; that is why yours Aniefiokly is in the same league with him. Love Thomas or hate him, Nature so made him. Today he has made history. He is now a household name.
I want to give my unreserved thanks first and foremost, to the Supreme Intelligence, our Uncreated Creator, and Wheeler of Hearts, for creating everything at its time; including a time for Thomas to be incarcerated, and a time for him to come out triumphant. A million thanks for the time, skill and judgement of the independent and truth-filled legal team that set Thomas free. Our concerned Ibibio Elders gave unconditionally to the “RELEASE THOMAS NOW” project. Those in the diaspora, led by Ikpafak Thompson Essien, the international community, etc, you fired from all valves to release Eyen-nnyin. All those behind-the-scene actors, unnamed but not unknown, we appreciate your loving and committed involvement. There is no way to express fully our respect and gratitude to you, everyone. Enemies and friends of GLOBAL CONCORD, we thank you all for making Thomas a celebrated writer of the year.
People steal and afterwards host a big party for stealing without being caught. Sometimes they even go to church for thanksgiving, and donate part of the stolen money, while God watches. People kill and afterwards host a bash for killing successfully. Shouldn’t people who are persecuted for righteousness be exceedingly glad? Right here on earth, the GLOBAL CONCORD family is rejoining with its victorious Monday editor, Genuinely Honorable Thomas E. Thomas.
The good book advises that we should rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn. The most joyous guy on earth today is Thomas, let us rejoice with him. There are people who enjoy all the advantages of great wealth, but they are not happy. Their opulent lives allow them to travel extensively, shop where they wish, and enjoy the comfort of their many lavishly-furnished homes; but if you were a mind reader, you would know that they are not happy. These people have never suffered a moment’s anxiety over financial insecurity, but they are not happy. They may have healthy intelligent children, or loving, concerned spouses, yet they are not as happy as Thomas. Their consciences are leaving them restless. They are angry at themselves for being unhappy. They are fortunate, but cannot understand why they are not content. They throw money about, and get loads of compliments, but they are not happy. They are living wonderful lives by everyone’s standards, but they are still miserable. Whatever aphrodisiac they take, boosts their ego temporarily. Joy has nothing to do with material things or with a man’s outward circumstance … a man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched; and a man in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy. You are aware that Thomas Thomas had severally shunned pecuniary inducements or overtures. He may be financially poor, unlike other writers who sell their dignity for a mess of pottage, but he suffers from no mental poverty. He is very rich, brain-wise; an erudite, prolific and versatile scribe! Inyamkpe, se anwa do.
As Ralph Emerson said: “… Shallow men believe in luck and believe in circumstance, but strong men believe in cause and effect… ”. Today, now as free as air, a very strong, sturdy, firm, hardy, solid, stout, hearty, mighty, robust, staunch, muscular, powerful, resolute, vigorous, well-made, steadfast, tenacious, determined, flourishing, substantial Thomas, is happier than the happiest Governor, or the happiest President in the world. Yes, he is happy because of those real riches or infinitely precious things in him that cannot be taken away from him – his soul, his brain and his mind. Thomas how great thou art! Sem ke iko mbakara “afo ado legend”.
The people’s Editor, to borrow Brenda’s words, “… was taken away by security men” on the first day of July 2014. He was let loose on the seventh day of August 2014. That day coincided with one of my boys’ seventeenth birthday. I personally thanked God for Thomas and my son; and celebrated and jubilated. But that was not enough.
Today, by the unction bestowed on me to function, you are hereby invited to be our guests in our happy reunion party by 8am at our Uncommon Venue b(Concord Plaza). You are indiscriminately invited, dear Sir/Madam/boy/girl/. It’s a ballroom dance. Wanna dance waltz, Ajasco, or Awilo? Wanna boogie down, skiank, or gyrate? Wanna dance Eka-eka unek? It’s a hero’s party, it’s a victory dance, it’s fun galore. Akanam mutanda inneke une, eyenek mfin. It’s party time. Tonight, I say I am going to dance on the ceiling. If you discover that I am drunk or lost, please call my wife. Hip! Hip!! Hip!!!…Let the writer play.