You never chi chum chin” is one of the recent musical raves which line has become a street parlance. Its equivalent is the widely used slogan in America, “aint seen nothing yet”. In “You never chi chum chin”, a toddler ordained with foresight seems to warn of the untoward that lurks and ready to prey on its quarry. That political predator is beginning to reveal itself with Akwa Ibom and its people being the target of this attrition.
From 1999 which signaled the return to democracy, Akwa Ibom people signed on to a party which ownership structure were patently the people. It has since remained in that party where it has had a say and procured an identical niche. It was from that platform that His Excellency, Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah, former governor of the state asserted himself and launched an agitation for our common good.
He did not suffer immolation or persecution by the party for doing that. The dues of the State still came and political office that accrued remained undeniably ours despite the then President’s swashbuckling manners.
It was also from the platform of PDP that Senator Godswill Akpabio while a governor launched the monumental development stride that has rightly earned the appellation of uncommon transformation. The era which was largely revolutionary also witnessed a mental rejuvenation that imbued the Akwa Ibom people with a new mindset, a new purpose and I can do Spirit. This new spirit precipitated a departure from the mental servitude and servile attitude that used to define Akwa Ibom people.
It introduced a new beginning with the people becoming assertive and audacious for the right reasons. For once, Akwa Ibom and the people became items of pride and respectable stakeholders in the Nigerian project.
In the build up to 2011 general election, Senator John James Akpan Udoedeghe introduced something strange to the polity of the State. He brought a strange party which only interest was pecuniary returns to the investor and his cohorts. By his action, he had hurled the collective interest of the people into a business bargain without any scant regard to their well-being.
He bartered with the destiny of the people and negotiated their interest away in a manner only similar to a business deal that has zero sum morality. But thank God for discerning Akwa Ibom people who saw through the deceitful fog. And so despite the propaganda, the unremitting falsehood, the blackmail and the lies, the truth prevailed and Akwa Ibom people rejected him with his gambits. Today, the people listen with shock to the dishonourable acts of mistrust and complete lack of integrity that pervaded that strange party.
They listen to the shenanigans and underhand deals that dogged that party. Their dirty linens are today in the market place providing entertainment to the people they conspired to short-change and subjugate.
Again in the build to 2015 election, the Abiku returned, this time reincarnated into an outmoded oral drug. Lacking in structure but desperate to negotiate themselves into power with the State as the pawn, they returned to the ever willing mercantilist and investor. They are here and determined to seize the State by fire, by force. It is projected that the State notable for oil bearing would service the interest and investment of the investor as well as absorb the cost of the political programmes of the ruling party.
The revenue collection of the State is also to be handed over to investor who would from time to time graciously remit pittance for the running of the State. From that period, we would say good bye to capital projects. The State would only service wage bills and the ego of its leaders. There is no quicker way to return to servitude than this contrived plot.
Their intent to hurl us back to the era of servitude has already begun. On December 21, 2015, Barrister Dan Abia, the managing director of Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, a statutory federal board was sent packing without prior warning. He was immediately replaced with an erstwhile commissioner for information to former governor Rotimi Chubuike Amaechi now minister in Buhari’s cabinet despite allegations of impropriety against him.
NDDC is a statutory board which tenure rotates across States that make up the Niger-Delta region. Dan Abia’s tenancy as managing director served as the Akwa Ibom tenure on that board. The proper thing therefore was to either allow him serve out the State’s tenure or if found complicit in any act of impropriety, replaced with another Akwa Ibom son or daughter.
But it is not in the character of APC to do what is right or to see justice and equity as critical decimals in any human society. It is the lack of these cardinal decimals that gave rise to its fielding of a candidate from the wrong senatorial district.
But it will not be the first time that the Buhari administration would indicate to the people of the South-South that it is not ready to integrate and make them co-partners in government. For them to subjugate the South-South sufficiently, it must subtly weaken their best and eliminate their strong. We noticed this in the way they conspired, threatened and hounded Alamiesiegha to death.
The same subtle tool was also employed in the case of Mr. Joshua Okpo, the deceased Rector of Maritime Academy, Oron who was reportedly goaded to death via vicious threats by former governor Rotimi Amaechi now Minister of Transport.
The APC and the Buhari Administration had since therefore shown us what to expect. They have through body language and action tried to inform us that we are mere pawns in the Nigerian project and therefore do not have any say. They view us as a captured people. And so for them, it is their avowed duty to pluck us off the Olympian height we have occupied these past eight years and force us back to where we used to be before the era of our uncommon transformation.
For them, it is a sentence they must enforce. It is why in his seven months, apart from the statutory ministerial slot, only Senator Ita Enang, a cerebral and accomplished legislator and legal luminary has been given the insignificant office of Special Assistant. May I remind us that Senator Udoma Udo Udoma was once dangled the office of a junior minister and he promptly rejected it because it was patently beneath him. Many years later, he has been given his appropriate due. Many of us think that the office of Special Assistant is beneath the very ranking Senator Ita Enang whose prodigious contributions on the floor of the Senate was always regaling and riveting.
The office of NDDC would have been more suitable for this fecund intellectual. But APC cannot give him because it would defeat their intention to subjugate and possibly pulverize the Akwa Ibom person into oblivion. We don chi chum chin.
-Joe Iniodu is a public affair analyst