By Dr. Ime Umanah
Your Excellency, one of the cherished liberties which I enjoy as an elder statesman in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria under our democratic dispensation, is the liberty to say the truth and nothing but the truth and say my mind no matter whose ox is gored. History will be kind to me that I have never relented in doing this as regards your eight years of terror and deceit in Akwa Ibom State.
In the course of your years of mismanagement of Akwa Ibom State which some of us worked hard to get created, I had written you several open letters. In some of them I called for a change of style in your mismanagement of the resources of our State. So, for you it has been a war against Akwa Ibom people. I will dwell on this but before then, let me first review the recent changes in Nigeria and your singular acts that made the change to happen.
With salient scriptures I had admonished you in previous letters on the transient nature of power. I counseled you to make amends with those you have offended. You never headed my advice but carried on as if you will be governor for ever. Now, your days as governor are numbered. I hope you have started to learn your lessons on the transience of power from the demise of the People Democratic Power (PDP)? In less than two months now, you will fully understand all my lectures on how ephemeral power and wealth are. You will see how many of the battalions of hangers-on that come to worship you now will still come around.
Soon conscience will call you to task on the billions of naira of Akwa Ibom State money you frittered away on your selfish investments and funding of PDP’s lasts wars on Nigerians. Power will always end and the vanity of wealth without honour become pronounced. As further help I will recommend two stories for you to read: “The last three wishes of Alexander the Great” and “The Queen and Her Four Lovers”. You can easily google up the stories. I believe they will speak louder than me.
Now back to PDP: You know most of the problems that brought down PDP today was caused by you. Immediately you saw the billions of naira accruing to Akwa Ibom State, you became puffed up. You began to isolate the founders of PDP in Akwa Ibom State. Buoyed by the petro-billions of the State under your beck and call you began to build a fiefdom in which only you called the shots. Although you never liked President Goodluck Jonathan when he was vice president, yet you soon wormed your way into Aso Rock and continued with your evil at that level.
The internal dismantling of PDP started with your closeness to the President. You misled him to destroy the party with the assurance of our money. You worked for the removal of Chief Don Etiebet as member of PDP Board of Trustees. I read in the Daily Independent then that the President told you to allow Governor Rotimi Amaechi to do another term as Chairman of Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF). You told the President to allow you deal with Governor Amaechi once and for all. So you pushed for the NGF election to remove Amaechi contrary to the president’s views. At the election you became the architect of the undemocratic arithmetic where 16 became more than 19 to the embarrassment of all Nigerians. And the die was cast for the dismantling of PDP.
This was how your aggrandizement initiated the problems of PDP. Your actions gave rise to the “New PDP”. You called the dissenting PDP governors “JUDAS” and tried to ridicule them. As election approached you misled the President to think that his success depended solely on PDP governors. So strong PDP leaders were isolated and made inconsequential. You destroyed PDP just like you already did back home.
The result is the humiliation of the 22 PDP governorship aspirants in Akwa Ibom State who scored no votes in your orchestrated primaries.
Think about this: did the PDP win any State in the North where the “New PDP” governors preside? No! Not even Niger and Jigawa States, where the governors later stayed back! Today all the swag of Abuja power you deluded in, is gone! Change has come! Do you think change will not also come to Akwa Ibom State? You will soon find out that God has anointed the All Progressives Congress to sanitize the confusion you created in Akwa Ibom State. Surely, Umanah Okon Umanah will take over the leadership of our State, and restore morality, stop the unresolved murders, kidnappings and looting.
May I ask, please, Gov. Godswill Akpabio what are you really looking for? At a time of sober reflection, which the elections should present, you still continue with your rampage. The same way you divided Nigerians and saw the result in the defeat of PDP at the national level, you started with Akwa Ibom State. Never at a time are Akwa Ibom people have been so divided along ethnic and sectional lines as under you. You have even asked Akwa Ibom youths to rise against their parents. You had boasted that whoever wanted to contest election without your blessing will die! What a demi-god! Please what moral legacy are you leaving for your children and our people?
During the 28th March, 2015 elections you paid some Abak and Ikot-Obioko youths to waylay me in my constituency. This was in line with your boasts that we the elders of the State in the APC would not secure any vote for General Muhammadu Buhari and for our National Assembly candidates. Paid youths led by your commissioner for information, Aniekan Umanah moved in with hordes of policemen and military men and laid siege on my village. And you think you will not regret these? Has your swag not come to an end with your dismantling and unraveling of the PDP? So what does it profit you to corrupt our youths to act like hooligans just because of power, which is so transient!
You have amassed wealth, used our commonwealth to ‘uncommonly transform’ PDP at the national level. The ‘uncommonness’ of your transformation of PDP led to disgrace of founding fathers, isolation and loss of power for the party. In Akwa Ibom State you ‘uncommonly transformed’ the God-given wealth of the people to per capita poverty for the people. While you lush and grandiose in so-called “world-class” stadium and water-fountains, the people (some of whom you have used propaganda to brainwash into thinking all is well) descend into deeper poverty in the midst of plenty.
The State earned over N3 Trillion in the last eight years. Please where is the evidence of this fortune on the lives of Akwa Ibom people? Yet you are leaving a ‘generational’ debt of N500 Billion behind! Yet, you still seek to borrow more from Zenith Bank, to have extra to loot! Meanwhile, Julius Berger has not been fully paid for the stadium and unpaid contractors are leaving the State. The matter got to an embarrassing stage when the first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, was prevented from using the stadium during her last visit by the unpaid developer. This points to the massive scale of corruption under your watch. All the properties you acquire around the world are they not vanities? Do you really believe in God and heaven as you love to pretend?
No one destroys his own house. But you have destroyed not only Akwa Ibom State but also polarized our ancestral Annang land. You have been commissioner for six years, governor for 8 years. Yet you insisted on taking the senatorial seat for Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial Zone for yourself, from Abak Federal Constituency. Are you that greedy and insatiable? You soon realized that our people rejected you. So to achieve the inordinate ambition, you used everything, the good, the bad and the ugly. You worked with a discredited Resident Electoral Commissioner, one Austin Okojie, who is infamous for his magical conduct of elections, like the abracadabra he did in Imo State in 2007. You used thugs in uniform and youths you have impoverished in the midst of plenty. There were no result sheets! You used intimidation; and you used a controversial returning officer (who did not even have INEC jacket and tag, and who did not even know the name of the senatorial zone). And then you thought you robbed APC and Chief Inibehe Okori, who won the senatorial election. Time shall tell.
Governor, I still believe you are not totally irredeemable. But you must act before it is too late. The APC published a detailed inventory of your reign of terror, murders and kidnappings at pages 55, 56 and 57 of The Nation of Thursday, March 26, 2015. Most disturbing is the list of 105 Akwa Ibomites kidnapped or assassinated under your watch. I still find it difficult to believe that as detailed and verifiable as this list is, your government has not deemed it fit to make a formal statement on this atrocity. Please, have you heard about the International Criminal Court at the Hague? Have you heard about God’s Court of Justice in Heaven? The blood of Akwa Ibom people will speak like the blood of Abel at the appointed time! Like I said, you are not irredeemable. If you want, you can seek to do justice, you can undo your past injustices, you can make amends, before it is too late.
As we prepare for our governorship election, you are once again alone. Leave your professional advisers and hangers-on for a moment and guage the momentum outside your cocoon. Akwa Ibom people are unanimously yearning for change. Everywhere you go people are calling for Umanah Okon Umanah to liberate the State. You might not have observed that people are now removing your candidate’s stickers from their cars! Who wants to be left behind in the peaceful revolution going on in the State? Yet you want to play god.
At the inauguration of PDP’s campaign committee, you announced that your candidate Udom Emmanuel was discovered and hand-picked by your wife, Unoma. This is ridiculous as usual. Have you turned PDP into Unoma Akpabio party for her to nominate the party’s candidate for them? Or can one individual pick a governor for five million Akwa Ibom people? Yet, you have committed all sorts of atrocities and breaches of faith to ensure your wife’s wishes prevail. So that is how a governor should be made? While there is nothing wrong with you working to enthrone your wife’s picks, but this liberty should be limited to picking her maids and personal staff and not the governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Your legendary boasts are not limited to the one where you said your wife’s wish must prevail. You have been seen boasting that Austin Okojie, the infamous REC from Uromi, Edo State was sent by his kinsman Chief Tony Anenih to deliver Akwa Ibom State to PDP. You have also boasted that the present Commissioner of Police who has served in Akwa Ibom State for more than 15 years was sent by Chief Mike Okiro, Chairman of Police Service Commission, to help deliver your wife’s governorship candidate and other PDP candidates. Now, are you not playing god again? Austin Okojie has not thought of taking a cue from his boss, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who acted creditably and honestly.
You have now concluded plans with your REC, the infamous election rigger, Austin Okojie, to thwart the will of Akwa Ibom people. Upon his arrival at Uyo, Okojie was lodged in your wife’s hotel, Davok Hotel at Ewet Housing Estate until it became public knowledge with the media feasting on it. He relocated to the Le Meridien where your brother, Emem Akpabio, who you assigned to take keep a close tab on him, frequently visits his Room 268/269. Okojie has failed to use the REC’s official quarters. You have also concluded plans to again misuse the Army, Police and the DSS during the governorship election. Stop and think before it is too late.
Now that change has come to Nigeria, I join world leaders and other eminent Nigerians to commend President Jonathan for the manner he reacted to the defeat of the PDP like a democrat and statesman. It is gratifying that he did not listen to the ill-advice of people like you to embark on the misadventure of resisting change. President Jonathan has written his name in letters of gold and posterity will remember him on a positive note. Take a cue from the president before it is too late. Allow the will of Akwa Ibom people to prevail. Neither you nor your wife is running for the office of the governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2015.
Akwa Ibom State is greater than you and your wife.
God Bless Akwa Ibom State.
God Bless The Federal Republic Of Nigeria.
Dr. Ime Umanah,
( Ufan Ndito Ubuene )