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The Public Irritant Called Robinson Uwak

By Sylvester Okwong

Until 2011, Robinson Uwak lived in obscurity. He had no public record to his credit except the operation of a cyber café many argue was a scam centre is Surulere, Lagos. But circumstances within the political circle combined with the goodwill of the then governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the gracefulness of the people of Oron Federal Constituency to thrust him to public space. He served as member, representing Oron Federal Constituency in the 7th Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

But Honourable Uwak’s advent into politics was to be short-lived on account of lack of tact. His coming in the first instance was initially considered as a fresh breath with expectation that being a young man, he would build an enduring career using the advantage of his youthful age that is expected to be endued with vision. Viewed to posses of a reasonable level of intellect, Senator Akpabio supported Oro people on his choice in the belief that he, Honourable Uwak would immerse himself maximally in the service of his people in particular and Akwa Ibom State in general. He started off well and was verging towards being an Akwa Ibom toast when new status virus corrupted him mentally and psychologically. From then on, Uwak has been on the road of misadventure and appears stuck there.

After the initial spark in the National Assembly, Uwak veered into crude behavioral pattern only common to people with low self esteem. His utterances which used to be co-ordinated began to reflect as studies in inconsistency. He became a volte face in behavior, utterances and even public conduct. Haunted by what seemed as inferiority complex, Uwak was always in the State blaring siren aimlessly all over the Uyo metrolis to attract attention. In one of such times, he was accosted by the police. Senator Godswill Akpabio, his arch enemy today was the one who went to his rescue. Uwak spent more time in childish pranks and phantoms than the building of political structure and cultivation of network and networth. And so progressively his value within his constituent diminished considerably. His questionable fidelity to the party also reared as a hurdle to cross. He became so drunk with his new status that those who helped him to attain the height became subjects of his aspersions. He made maligning and disparaging them his past time. It was a case of burning one’s bridges.

But Robinson Uwak whom many attribute his conduct to incorrigible immersion in substance abuse has lived in the psychotropic fixation that can best be called delirium. As common with people in the captivity of that anti-social enterprise, the level of illusion is always disproportionate to reality. In other words, they are often far off the mark of truth and reality. When he therefore failed to clinch a second term ticket to the National Assembly owing entirely to his lack of grasp of political dynamics, the blame was to be located at the doorsteps of Senator Akpabio. The Minority Leader, a man he had variously extolled as a great leader and a product of providence to Akwa Ibom had begun suddenly to receive knocks as the worst thing to happen to the State. With all plaudits and condemnations coming from the same source, hypocrisy must have its etymology in Robinson Uwak.

While Robinson Uwak enjoyed the euphoria of insulting a sitting governor and throwing his bulk around like a film star, he did not know that the culture we inherited from our forbears insists on respect for elders. And that what he construed as radicalism and popularity were actually the road to his political grave as majority of Akwa Ibom people including his kinsmen distanced themselves from the enfant terrible. The reality dawned on him in December, 2014 when he realized that his people had withdrawn support because of his wreckless vituperations against a system that made him. As one of them noted, “he cannot give the impression that Oron people are rascals and disrespectful. Afterall what has he done for Oron apart from his going to marry a wife. Is that what we sent him to the National Assembly to go and do? Not that he should not marry but that is his only achievement”, the man said. When Robinson Uwak noticed that he was alone in that misadventure of free insolence to Akpabio, he went in December to beg the then sitting governor to forgive him and beg his kinsmen to support his second term bid. It was too late as he made frantic but futile efforts to have audience with the innocent man.

Many have observed that Robinson Uwak spent four years in the National Assembly cultivating an easy life of hedonism. Having evolved a lifestyle hugely expensive to service and maintain, he is in a wilderness outside the National Assembly as the finances to service an expensive habit he has taken to are either low or not available. In the frustration, Uwak in his retrospection, sees Akpabio as the man whose negligence by way of intervention vaulted him to the condition he is currently. And for contributing to the poor and uncertain access he is experiencing from the substance that gives him delight, he must have his pound of flesh. This is the basis of his renewed attack on Senator Godswill Akpabio which has also led to his indictment of the Buhari Administration. Today, Akpabio his benefactor whom he celebrated lavishly till the twilight of 2014 deserves to be hanged in the pursuit and satisfaction of his hate content which is said to be borne out of cravings for banned substances with the former seen as the remote hindrance to that hitherto regular access.

Robinson Uwak’s reinvigorated battle for the soul of Senator Akpabio paints a picture of a desperate man seeking vengeance and not willing to pay heed to the scriptural maxim that vengeance is of the Lord. That is if Akpabio had wronged him in any way. It is an approach that depicts the jettisoning of the cord that binds us in brotherhood. His action is illustrative of our dimmished humanity and inversion of our values. In a hollow attempt to sound philosophical and profound, he penned an obtuse phrase “is there a man more corrupt in our Nation than Godswill Akpabio? No, not one” With an imagination of an unstable mind, he added, “Not a case of stealing deserves to be tried in our Nation if the gargantuan, monumental and cold hearted stealing of Akwa Ibom State resources by Godswill Akpabio and his family is not tried and concluded”. Bereft of the benefit of fecund imagination, the attempt to find a name that would make the family look sordid and despicable is captured in the simplistic phrase, “The Akpabio Crime Family”. At the level of semantics and syntax, this collocation shows a banal character that is not capable of deep thinking.

For stealing as claimed by Robinson Uwak in the magnitude he has warpedly represented, it must be done over a period of time. Uwak was still consumed in lavish praise for Akpabio until the later part of 2014. One can vividly recall what he said at the Town Hall meeting in Oron somewhere between March and April wherein he described Akpabio as a great leader that God had sent to transform Akwa Ibom State. Why was he not aware from his privilege position as member of the National Assembly that Akpabio and his family were engaging in “gargantuan, monumental stealing of Akwa Ibom State Resources” Why did this important knowledge come to him at the twilight of Akpabio administration after he lost the second term bid to the National Assembly? Why do politicians make their personal fights a people’s project yet they appropriate the people’s resources as personal? They hoodwink the people and procure their votes and proceed to use them to settle scores while pillaging the public till for personal gains. In the total matrix, the people are the losers while the likes of Robinson are the gainers. But the God who protects the weak on seeing their ungodly behavior relinquishes His hold on them and satan takes them over to plunge into destructive habits.

Uwak’s use of trite allegation that former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala accused Akpabio of spending only one percent of the State’s earnings and which had since been denied by the latter shows the consuming desperation to put the former governor on the spot. Iweala had since dismissed the statement as untrue yet Uwak still finds it as a useful commodity of blackmail believing that it could add credibility to his asinine quest to have Akpabio nailed. Even Senator Theodore Orji’s retort to Akpabio’s evidential analysis of Abia as having the history of widespread kidnap cases ended up as Uwak’s summary that Akpabio encouraged kidnapping. Akpabio’s analysis may have been based on the activities of Osikanko, the kidnap kingpin that was caught in Abia State. What empirical evidence did Theodore Orji submit to support his allegation that kidnappings and murders were State sponsored? None! He just dredged up a wild and unfounded allegation that could not be substantiated. That is the one Robinson Uwak chose to use in his petition entitled: “Arrest and Prosecute Godswill Akpabio Now”.

Robinson Uwak should count himself lucky that he is still a young man. He should internalize the maxim that the hallmark of a great man is not in never falling but rising every time he falls. If his people decided not to elect him in 2015, having elected him in 2011, he should have returned to the drawing to study and isolate those things that went wrong and contributed to his rejection. The blame game cannot help him. Holding others in guilt for his foible is also not a dignified approach. His resolve should be to see how to correct those things that hindered him. If it is a habit, he should jettison it. If it is garrulity, he should apply caution. If it is poor public conduct, he should mend his ways. Let him not allow the adage of “what a beautiful thing youth is, but what a pity that it is given unto children” to have an unmitigated manifestation in his life. A stitch in time serves nine

Okwong contributed this piece from Oron

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