It is really appalling that one so often gets to read some gibberish in newspapers, all in the name of commentaries or opinion.
In this latest, my attention was drawn to a piece, titled, Emmanuel’s Will, written by Olukorede Yishau, published in The Nation newspaper edition of Friday, August 28, 2015. In his column, Above Whispers, Yishau made lame attempts to portray the Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel and his predecessor , Senator Godswill Akpabio in bad light whilst inventing false scenarios in order to drive home his jaundiced viewpoint.
It is unfortunate that those who ought to know better, sometimes condescend to mislead the public with personal bias and prejudices, dressed as public affairs analysis. So, what is the kernel of Yishau’s musing against the Akwa Ibom Governor? I will make haste at this beginning to lay bare, how the writer unwittingly invalidated his entire ‘hypothesis’ with his own inking.
Lifted from the last paragraph of his essay, Yishau submitted, “My final take: what is Emmanuel really afraid of? A fight with Akpabio? Or is he just postponing the fight? Or he does not want to open Akpabio’s yansh in the public? Or is the oracle still in charge and capable of pulling the rug off Emmanuel’s feet? Whatever it is, it is the people and accountability that is being taken for granted.”
Before I proceed with the arguments and interrogation of Yishau’s real intention, another poignant conclusion of his is pertinent to refer here: “…THERE IS NOTHING WRONG IN TAKING LOANS ONCE THEY ARE JUSTIFIED” One therefore wonders, why Yishau embarked on the whole academic exercise of blowing hot air on the issue of Akwa Ibom State’s debt profile, if he knows, as he confesses that there is nothing wrong with taking loans once they are justified? What does he want to achieve in this twisted castigation of Governor Udom Emmanuel over the disclosure or not of the debt profile of his state.
If Yishau is fair and objective minded, he would agree, that playing to the gallery is not the norm of serious governance and politicking. Will the so-called disclosure of loans taken by the State Government write-off the debt? Is the disclosure an instrument of debt rescheduling? What are the benefits of amplifying the indebtedness of Akwa Ibom state, or indeed any other State on the pages of newspapers to the disclosing authority?
Yishau should well know that, before the State Government takes up any loan facility, local or foreign, there are constitutionally prescribed procedures by which such loans are approved and accessed. One of such is that, it must be tabled before the State Legislature, where the people’s representatives evaluate the necessity of such loans as justified by the Executive. As such, the undertaking of trying to personalize issues surrounding the loan portrays mischief.
More worrisome is the fact that, in canvassing reasons to energise his opinion, Yishau thinks aloud. His dark wish of seeing a political street brawl between Governor Emmanuel and his predecessor, Chief Godswill Akpabio is carelessly leaked. Hear him:”… what is Emmanuel really afraid of? A fight with Akpabio? Or is he just postponing the fight?” Haba Yishau! Even you, an otherwise respected opinion moulder?
Yishau should do well to answer these questions: what will be the value- added of any political fight between predecessor and successor? How does such a brawl advance the course of the much needed good governance and attainment of development in the state? Who stands to benefit from the stoking or outbreak of acrimony between leaders of a state, who enjoy a robust relationship? Until Yishau comes clear on all these questions and justifies his call for that big fight he so anticipates, I will hold this as his biggest folly ever.
Of course! Yishau is not infallible, so we can excuse him this goof. My counsel is simple: those who have the rare and sacred privilege of wielding a platform as credible as a commentarial slot in a national medium of the stature of The Nation must not abuse it by employing its advantage to foul the air of reasoning. Honestly viewed, that is what Yishau’s subtle pressure on Governor Emmanuel to embark on a dog-fight with his illustrious predecessor amounts to. The public I dare posit, have absolutely nothing to derive from such event.
I have followed Yishau for quite some time on his beat, which he presents as a weekly intervention restricted to South-South people and matters. One sore point stands out however. His interventions on Akwa Ibom issues are consistently garnished with slander and spite for Governor Emmanuel and his predecessor. This trait has spiced his reportage on the Governorship Primaries of the PDP via which Governor Emmanuel triumphed, the coalition of the other PDP aspirants who didn’t make it then known as the G-22 and post election events in Akwa Ibom. Yishau is decidedly anti-Akpabio and has blacked-out the internationally acknowledged sterling performance of his administration, which gave him the acronym The Uncommon Transformer.
Our brother has also declined to see that Governor Udom Emmanuel is already off to a flying start and is focused on delivering on his Five-point agenda of Wealth Creation; Economic and Political Inclusion; Poverty Alleviation; Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion; and Job Creation.
I will not allay Yishau’s fear about the strong camaraderie existing between the duo of Their Excellencies, Governor Emmanuel and former Governor Akpabio. They are not going to fight anytime soon or later as you wish. Indeed, for those who are waiting to be entertained with a fight by both leaders, they should prepare for a long wait. The fact as it stands now is summarized as follows:
(I) Governor Emmanuel is focused on the onerous responsibility of delivering on his campaign promises to the people who overwhelmingly elected him and will not be distracted.
(Ii) Former Governor Akpabio has since moved on. After selflessly serving his people for eight fruitful years, he is now the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District in the National Assembly and is currently the Minority Leader of the Senate. That enormous responsibility is soaking up his time and there is no room to bicker.
(iii) The vast majority of Akwa Ibom people are grateful to Senator Akpabio, CON, for his stewardship and are equally satisfied at the pace his successor, Governor Emmanuel has started implementing his promise to industrialize the state, crest wealth and develop skills amongst Akwa Ibom people. Nothing else matters to them, least of all a needless fight between their illustrious sons.
-Umanah is Commissioner for Information & Communications, Akwa Ibom State.