For those who are not or not too familiar with the story, it is about a certain woman who stopped by a stream in a hot afternoon to cool off her severely heated skin. And she was still in the stream enjoying the effect of condensation on her previously burning skin, when a passing mad man made away with her clothes.
As expected of any sane person, the said woman, having found herself in such situation, only would have remained in the stream, while hoping that someone gets to hear her raised alarm and consequently meets her rescue. But sadly, her “common sense” was not enough to guide her properly, as she ran after the mad man (still naked) through the farm tracks and to the express.
Well, a certain version of the story claims that both the mad man and his victim were apprehended by some members of the community who bundled them to a psychiatric home; but my own version could not see any reason(s) why the mad man could have been bundled, owing to his appearance which obviously had showed his level of experience in the madness business. Rather, my version claims that the people had suspected the woman to have just lost her sense and as a result, decided to help her get urgent psychiatric attention before she crosses the market gate. And upon being held, not even her loud screams of “I am not mad” could save her. After all, how many of the mad people do admit being mad. But then, to the woman, it was a sad and humiliating experience, one will agree.
Having had so much distractions contributively from the many attacks by Boko Haram, impeachment wars, zoning fuss (particularly Akwa Ibom), and most recently, the epidemic of Ebola virus; we had almost lost memory of the open letter writing saga, as re-introduced by our dear 2-time ruler, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo as a new tool of political communication; but for the magnanimity of a supposed distinguished and honoured senior advocate of Nigeria who is currently serving Nigeria in Russia on an ambassadorial appointment that would have better off been an exile, and who just recently reminded us of Baba’s solace-finding way of expressing political frustrations in the name of letter writing.
In the said letter which had the Akwa Ibom State’s secretary to government, Udom Emmanuel as recipient; Chief Assam Assam (SAN) had taken so much time to recount his life’s frustration and ridiculously, made efforts to put his onetime boss, now political arch rival, if not enemy, Godswill Akpabio (Governor) at the centre of blames for his frustrations… just like a drowning man will always mistake stripes for straws.
Trust me, I had wished to ignored that great show of comic talent by our dear ambassador, or better still, recommend it to the entertainment world as a good show for comic relief, but for another part of the letter where Chief Assam had so much confidence in his fantasy-like guber dream. Truth be told that after reading the Assam letter to Udom Emmanuel, I could not help wondering if there are other means one can become governor in a democratic setting without being voted for, because aside the non-electoral process (that’s if any), Assam’s guber ambition for all I know, will only end within his illusive mind, as was ever borne.
However, considering my version of the story, and juxtaposing same with the recently launched open letter war between Chief Assam and Udom Emmanuel, I need not explain who is playing the role of the mad man and that of the woman in the stream. But if I must play the role of the interveners, then I will have to ignore the already known mad man and save the woman who perhaps, is not truly mad, but only mistaken to be due to the situation.
As much as I understand Udom’s desire to prove to both Chief Assam and every other person that even bankers, especially professional ones of international repute as he claims to be, are equally good in letter writing, why he had to issue a reply to such a letter and to a figure as controversial as Chief Assam is what I am yet to comprehend. And owing to a deceptive thought that crept into my mind, I was about asking him (Udom) to sack the very aide that suggested to him the idea of replying Chief Assam, when a certain part of the reply letter gave me a counter proof that both the idea of issuing a reply and the letter of reply proper could only have been the handwork of Udom. But should the earlier thought in my mind be true, then while the later may be affirming Assam’s claim of Udom being a stranger in his own land, the said thought will only present the adviser to be either not an Akwa Ibomite or an Akwa Ibomite who had spent almost all his lifetime in diaspora.
Be that as it may, Udom erred by ever conceiving or buying the idea of replying Assam. At least, if he had avoided chasing Assam in his nakedness, maybe he would not have exposed his ignorance in public… ignorance that misled him into believing his benefactor, Governor Akpabio who must have told him the glorified lie that he (the governor) exacted no revenge, following the PDP/ACN clash that sadly consumed lives and properties in Ikot Ekpene and Uyo in 2011. And I am sure Uncle Udom must have been overseas at that time, because even non-Akwa Ibomites in Lagos and other parts of the country heard of, and can still narrate the story before, during the after the clash. Only if he had ignored Chief Assam, maybe this would still have been a secret.
As blame-deserving as the woman in the story was, Udom, the supposed only sane person in this context knew of Assam’s letter writing antecedents, yet still considered another letter from an unrepentant Assam reply-deserving, even with its glaringly ill intentions and inciting nature.
Also in the letter of reply, Udom at a point, got so carried away by emotions that he barely knew when he robbed modesty of its due regards by reminding us once again of his ‘intimidating’ profile. Same profile we have been reading in prints for over a year now; or maybe we were yet to hear from the horse’s month.
Again Uncle Udom in his letter had accused Chief Assam of having lacked love for, and believe in his state- a convert reason he spent over four(4) decades (40 years) contributing to the development of a foreign land without mounting as small as a bungalow in his state of origin. This is a well known fact. But then, how right is it when pots refer to kettles as black, even as black as they equally are? As bad as Uncle Udom wants us to believe Chief Assam is in this regard, can he show us the seeds he sowed in the state that are of general benefit to the state? Okay! At least he owns a bungalow in the state, and in that case, he has less black stains than Assam.
The good and interesting thing discovered in this movie of open letter writing is that Udom, like a brilliant student that he is, is fast learning politics and so importantly, adapting to the dirtiness of its nature. Udom, by counter-attacking Assam, has, whether knowingly or the reverse, proven how much he desires the Hilltop Mansion job and how much determined he is to pass through the process of getting there. But that notwithstanding, if he would ever be given the chance; it will certainly not be based on his economy transformation outcry. After all, with all the records and international connections he has been making boasts of, why did he not show us little examples by partnering the state on some small scale investments, irrespective of how little of an effect it would have had on the economy? Or did he just realize he is from Akwa Ibom State?
Summarily, now that Udom has shown his capacity to read, understand and reply letters accordingly, I hope he will be able to reply all the letters underway, because having gone out naked in chase of a mad man, I am seeing the same mad man who must have enjoyed the first show returning for a rematch, or perhaps from other mad men who possibly felt unhappy missing the first show and may likely attempt creating similar shows for themselves. I so hope Udom is ready to bear the stigma that will follow when he is done showing off all the nakedness in him. I really do hope.
CULLED FROM THE SINE QUA NON COLUMN OF COMMUNITY PULSE NEWSPAPER (TUESDAY, August 05 edition); AND WRITTEN BY UBONG SAMPSON, A PUBLIC/POLITICAL AFFAIRS ANALYST.