On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, I was graciously nominated by Award winning ace broadcaster, James Edet, to join him on his compelling breakfast show, Centre Point on Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Corporation Television, AKBCTV. The drill was to play Co-Host, and interview a very important guest on the show, the State’s Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.
I took the invitation with glee. Grateful at the opportunity offered me to as this man, who has emerged as the central theme of the Akwa Ibom Governorship race and the many unsolved riddles around him. I prepared very intensively for the session and armed myself with the questions,(missiles, if you like), likely to ‘clobber’ him to true confessions that will assuage the thirst of the people to get answers to many riddles around his 2015 Project.
Having heard his famed timeliness to any scheduled event, which is not surprising, given his professional background and being a top corporate player, I made haste leaving my house by 8am to arrive the studio early, ahead of the 9am Studio time for the programme.
(Un)fortunaley, I arrived the studio 2 minutes past nine, only to hear Deacon Emmanuel saying, “Good morning James, thanks for having me on the programme.” Reason? I ran into a draining traffic jam triggered by a broken down vehicle on the two lane Nwaniba road before St. Lukes Hospital Anua. Before I could wriggle out of it all, the rest is history.
Thankfully, James, ever erudite in his elements, made a class act of the interview. I wanted to ask this man, why he is running and if he has the sterner stuff politics in our clime needs. His opponents derided him as a stooge of the incumbent, H.E, Governor Godswill Akpabio. He is a stranger in politics they protested. His cabinet has already been imposed on him should he win, one of his opponents in the race for the Hilltop Mansion alleged on an interview syndicated by print and electronic mediums. So much mud was racked against this man, that, I wanted to take my chance and sound him out especially, on how he intends to match the hate-mob, blackmailers, intellectual thugs and scaremongers massed against him. James did all that. So, I missed nothing.
Let me confess, I never started out with Udom Emmanuel as my No. 1 to succeed Governor Akpabio. He couldn’t have been, given what you may agree is his late entry in the race. As he(Udom) came to affirm in his magnanimous victory speech after the Party Primaries, there were other very stellar and qualified persons who were signed to the race too. It took a simple, but very superior attributions, propositions and rationale laid out by my boss, the Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Prince Enobong Uwah to join him, blindfolded as a recruit to the UDOM IS RIGHT ARMY.
The interviews over, I had Udom Emmanuel up close and personal. Like the two disciples who after a chat with an unknown man, came to realize he was Jesus said their heart burned within them while yet He(Jesus) spoke, I got enthralled by the powerful evocations of Udom. His mental stamina, his perceptive sharpness, his acumenical brilliance, his professional projection, his humanism, his passion, his integrity and his compassion easily blended into a perfect symphony of excellence. I now knew why Prince Enobong Uwah insisted that, even if everyone else, deserted his boss Chief Godswill Akpabio on his choice of Udom as the RIGHT successor Akwa Ibom will benefit from, he will sail or sink with the homily: UDOM IS RIGHT.
It was a decision that earned him so much contempt, but thankfully, from some misguided quarters. Some even accused him of selling-out on the interest of Uyo Senatorial District. Uwah was undaunted and I remember in the height of the vicious campaign to kick Udom out, Prince Enobong Uwah spoke reassuringly to a group of journalists and said, “trust me on this one Governor Akpabio means well for Akwa Ibom and Udom is Godswill for the State, from 2015.” He insisted he was ready to face the firing range to defend this conviction. Alas Udom is ahead on all known indices of figuring out who will win this race.
On a personal level, I have sat back to spiritualize the emergence of Udom Emmanuel and what he now christens DIVINE MANDATE 2015, the alias of Udom Emmanuel/Moses Ekpo Campaign Organization, and here are my honest submissions.
ON THE HE IS NOT ONE OF US COMPLAIN: Politicians branded him an outsider coming to reap where he did not sow. They said the basic criteria for replacing a disciple as recorded in Acts 1:12-26 is,”… one who had been with us all of the time the Lord was here”, disqualifies him for he was not in the system. But they forget, David was not in the reckoning but away in the bush when God sought him out and had him anointed King in the stead if Saul. Jephtha , Solomon, Joseph, Mordecai, Esther etc were not aborigines of the system that made them reign. The more reason I believe Udom is an Act of God.
ON HOW HE EMERGED AGAINST TOP FAVOURITES: I have earlier admitted in this essay, that Udom made a latter day entry to the guber race. He however upstaged those who had earlier blazed the trail as top contenders. As the scripture says, the LAST BECAME FIRST. But, that Governor Akpabio and key stakeholders of PDP settled for him against earlier aspirants is down to God’s doing. Scripture was fulfilled as God said, Ezekiel 21:27 King James Version(KJV),I WILL OVERTURN, OVERTURN, AND OVERTURN IT: AND IT SHALL BE NO MORE UNTILL HE COME WHOSE RIGHT IT IS; AND I WILL GIVE IT HIM” Udom is that man whose RIGHT, it is to be the next Akwa Ibom Governor, so shall it be.
ON THE NOTION THAT HE HAD NO POLITICAL STRUCTURE: Of course, that weakness was turned by God to his strength. The arms of flesh failed those with all the structure. As the Psalmist writes(20:7)”Some boast in chariots, others in horses; but we
will boast in the name of the LORD our God. Udom rode to victory on a chariot powered by God. Can you beat that?
ON THE RUSE THAT HE IS AKPABIO’S STOOGE: That Udom Emmanuel enjoys the support of Governor Akpabio, his wife, H. E. Ekaette Unoma Akpabio and the kingmakers of PDP/the people is a blessing from God everyman should fast and pray for. It is a heritage from our God whose covenant is to make us dine on the same table with Kings and have them minister to our needs.
In conclusion, I borrow the text of Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Church in Philipi recorded in PHILIPIANS 4:8 [NIV], wherein he exhorted them saying:
“Finally brothers & sisters, whatever is TRUE, whatever is NOBLE, WHATEVER IS RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is ADMIRABLE-if anything is EXCELLENT or PRAISEWORTHY-think about such things.”
A look at Udom Gabriel Emmanuel incontrovertibly reveals the following:
TRUTH: His truthfulness, integrity and honesty accounts for his rise to the zenith of his sterling career in the Finance, Accounting, Auditing and Banking sectors.
NOBLE: udom’s noble upbringing is not in doubt. His grooming, carriage, and disposition speaks of nobility.
RIGHT: is Udom not right? A man whose emergence is the right man for the right job at the right time, for there is a time for everything. This is the right time for a man of Udom’s rare pedigree, quality and quintessence.
PURE: Udom is fresh. He is untainted by the blemish of our dog-eat-dog politics. He has no political baggage. No bitterness or scores to settle. He is a new wine in new wineskin. His purity in the much polluted tortoise politics of many years is snow-white.
Permit that I paraphrase him, ”
LOVELY: Udom certainly is loving, lovable and lovely.
ADMIRABLE? Oh sure! His handsome looks is a perfect foil for a radiant and beautiful heart.
EXCELLENT: I dare say, no Governorship candidate parades the exceptionally rich profile, exposure, international networking, experience and citation of Udom Emmanuel. His story is the very epitome of excellence.
PRAISEWORTHY: Udom is certainly praiseworthy. A good son makes his father proud. Mother Akwa Ibom is most assuredly glories in having this illustrious son.
In conclusion I plead with all persons indigenous and resident in Akwa Ibom, UDOM IS RIGHT: THINK RIGHT! ACT RIGHT! KEEP RIGHT! VOTE RIGHT…remember the words of Apostle Paul, “… Whatever is RIGHT, Think on such as you elect the next governor.