By Papa Eskor Anwana
Stories in the Holy Book, the Bible, are meant to instruct humanity about what the Almighty God who created the universe and it’s inhabitants expect from us. When through our human fallibilities we err, the Bible stories provide us templates on how we are expected to act.
King David was a great king in Israel. The story of David and Uriah’s wife is recorded in 2 Samuel Chapters 11 & 12. While king David was strolling on his roof top, he beheld the enticing beauty of Bethsheba, Uriah’s wife as she was bathing naked. Uriah was an officer in the Israelis army. David might have thought in his mind, how can an officer in the army under my command have such a beautiful wife when I, the king who should have the best of all things is still alive. I must have her, he had said. He slept with Uriah’s wife, got her pregnant, plotted for Uriah to be sent to the ‘hottest’ part of the warfront to be killed and then he married Uriah’s Wife.
In those days in Israel, a king was all powerful. It was dangerous to rebuke a king of wrong doing. You could instantly be beheaded. But God emboldened the heart of Nathan and gave him courage. Nathan went to king David to rebuke him for killing Uriah, his officer and taking his wife. According to the story, after Nathan had spoken to King David in parables, regarding a rich man who left his plenty of sheep but used the only ewe lamb of a poor neighbour to make meal for his visitor, David exploded in anger saying: “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die!”
It was at this point that Prophet Nathan disclosed the story to King David, telling him, “Thou art the man.” We are told David wept profusely and confessed that he had sinned against God and man. He unabashedly repented and openly expressed his remorse in PsaIm 51 to acknowledge his sin and asked for God’s forgiveness.
The four verses of this wonderful Psalm of repentance read thus: “For I acknowledge my transgressions: And my sin is ever before me. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: And in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me”, Psalm 51 VS 3,5,6 & 10.
I am sure if Uriah had not already been killed, David could have returned his wife to him. Although God punished David by killing his first son with Bethsheba, God heard the loud cry of king David for forgiveness. It is this attitude of humility and remorse by King David, known for accepting his mistakes, repenting and crying to God for forgiveness that made David a man after God’s own heart.
For Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, Ibaka Deep Sea Port in Oron Nation, a minority ethnicity in his State is like Bethsheba, the beautiful wife of Uriah, an officer in the army of Israel where David ruled as king.
Governor Udom Emmanuel saw the enormous economic transformation Ibaka Deep Sea Port would bring in Oron Nation, a minority ethnicity in his State. He saw that with Ibaka Deep Sea Port Oron Nation would become the economic and industrial hub of Akwa Ibom State. How can this ethnic minority be accorded such a commanding status in Akwa Ibom State?”, he may have agonized. Like David who plotted to take Uriah’s wife, the Governor may have planned to take the Deep Sea Port away from Oron Nation.
Like the killing of Uriah, he may have plotted to “kill” the suitability of Ibaka Natural Harbour for a Deep Sea Port with a fraudulent and cooked up document. A few weeks ago, Governor Emmanuel publicly accused and demonize Oron People for daring to oppose the removal of the Deep Sea Port from the preferred location near Ibaka.
Recall that David had many wives but refused to be satisfied with them. He still lusted after and took Uriah’s only wife. Sadly, this seems to be the exact scenario playing out with Governor Emmanuel. Of all the numerous industries Governor Udom Emmanuel has established in Akwa Ibom State, most of which are in his hometown, Awa Iman, there is not a single one located in any of the 5 LGAs of Oron Nation. Yet, the only industry, the Deep Sea Port, sited in Òrò Nation first by God and being affirmed by the many efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, together with various privately concluded studies by numerous marine experts across the world, he wants to take it away. As God sent Nathan to rebuke king David, He has sent Engr Nkpubre to tell Governor Udom Emmanuel the NAKED TRUTH.
From the report of those from Oron Nation who met with the Governor on October 1, 2021, it is indeed pleasing that the Governor has finally aligned himself with Engr Nkpubre by condemning the contemplation of a Dugout Port and agreeing with him that no investor would want to waste his hard earned money or borrowed funds to go and dig out an Artificial Ocean for a Deep Sea Port when a natural harbour is close by.
Like David who was a great king in Israel but made a grave mistake of taking Uriah’s wife, a great State Governor can make a mistake. We are all human and fallible. The difference is in repentance. Like David who humbled himself and repented and was forgiven, we urge our Governor to humble himself, accept that he made a mistake and repent by returning the Ibaka Deep Sea Port to its originally preferred location near Ibaka in Ibaka Bay. This will make him to continue to be a great Governor. King David could have returned Uriah’s wife if Uriah was not already dead. The Governor is fortunate because he has come to realize the truth when it is not too late. This why we hope that Governor Emmanuel will not hesitate to learn from David’s lust over Uriah’s wife.
Papa Eskor Anwana, Okete-Okete Òrò is a two-time National President of Oron Development Union inc., United States of America.