No government anywhere in the world should be interested in oppression. Oppression should only be a force which comes when there is no institution of govrnanance. Where government exists, its basic interest must be about catering for the welfare of the people. More so when such is democratic, its primary duty must be to look after the masses.

Its rather nauciating that when people hold power, they carry the chains of slavery in their hands. It beats rationality on why people wield absolute power, submitting themselves to absolute corruption. In Africa and perhaps most pronounced in Nigeria, those who seek political office, with promises of good behaviour, would abandon their manifestoes and seek to be vindictive. Depravity and bitterness would often swallow them up, making them move about with swollen cockiness, a sense of pride and broad shoulders like little gods. Of course, they’re gods, for only the gods visit humanity with such brutal mind.

President-General of Oron Union, Ulap (Bishop) Etim Ante sitted at the event

Early in the morning on last week Friday, February 26, 2021, yours truly came to this space with a short note to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Deacon Udom Emmanuel. In that piece entitled, “Nass Visitation: What Governor Udom Emmanuel Must Avoid”, I clearly stated that the joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives was coming to Akwa Ibom State to interface with oil producing communities on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Chairman of Obio Ifong Isong Oro (Council of Oro Traditional Rulers) and Paramount Ruler Elect of Urue Offong Oruko LGA, HRM Offong Effiong Unanonwo well sitted during the event

Consequently, I seized the opportunity to inform the governor that it would be ignoble of him to use the privileges of power to stop oil bearing and producing communities from participating in the exercise. I maintained that the five LGAs of Oro Nation have perpetually been denied their dues as the oil tank of the state. I reminded him that such denial had sparked the Oro youth protest of February 2020 which shook the foundations of the state and Nigeria. I reasoned that it would be unfair for the governor to stop the Oro people from being fully involved. I advised the governor to jump on the lifeline as an avenue where he could erase his name from the rusty book of history, by using the last four days to work out modalities that would ensure that Oro is given its right pride of place.

It was therefore very refreshing that the government of Akwa Ibom State led by Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel had dutifully extended the invite to the Oro people to participate in that important exercise. As expected, the Oro Nation, a people familiar with the sorrows of neglect and political emasculation, are known to always have their facts at their finger tips. The short notice could never have affected the volume of inputs and documents the third largest ethnic nationality would prepare and present at the forum. Indeed, Justice was done as the Oron people, well dressed in their alluring cultural attire, gave convincing accounts of their long history of oil struggle.

Sitted dresses in blue top, Chairman of Urue Offong Oruko LGA, Hon. (Mrs) Precious Selong; Secretary of Obio Ifong Isong Oro and Clan Head of Okiuso, HH Etim Oquong

It is on this note that yours truly comes back to the same governor for some informal discussion. I am sure that speculations are rife on what is expected of my person. Unfortunately, I am someone who can really disappoint. For me, expectations shouldn’t be a constant thing. In society where people change like cameleons, I don’t think I must be different. This informs my decision to publicly thank the ‘executive’ governor for once again proving to citizens of the state that he’s really a Deacon.

Sitted far left, Frontline Chairmanship aspirant of Urue Offong Oruko LGA, ESV John Isangedighi; and Secretary of Oro Think Tank, Barr Omen Bassey well captured in attendance

I watched with a sense of nostalgia, the quelling ambience my people’s appearance accorded the gathering. It would have been a different story if the governor decided otherwise. This single gesture tells to me that governor Udom Emmanuel has his eyes with him. It tells me too that the governor has his ears. It sooths my mind that Governor Emmanuel has a heart. He can see the reality of every situation, listen to and hear the right information and then allow the ministration of the Holy Spirit to guide his actions. I am most delighted that Governor Udom Emmanuel is rightly informed that governance is not about impunity, but in holistically piloting the affairs of the people and generally solving problems for the good of humanity.

Once again, thank you, Your Excellency. May your eyes open more. May your ears open more. And, may your mind constantly meditate on what the spirit tells the Church.


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