Oh! Akwa Ibom. My coinage from “Oh! Uyo” (with apologies to former Governor Godswill Akpabio). A state with a people perpetually at war against itself. A people accursed with the seven evil spirits of: hate, blackmail, pull-him-down, gossip, destruction, egocentric, and cruelty. I had earlier published an article on this, tiled: “Engr. Ita Awak and Akwa Ibom Seven Evil Spirits”, refer.

I choose to write this piece on a Holy morning like today Sunday, to serve as one of my several wake up calls on Christians in their respective churches to dedicate a moment of their time to pray for the soul of Akwa Ibom.

I fear that Akwa Ibom people are on a wrong pathway towards mutual self-destruction.

As I script down this piece, I am very conscious of the fact that, I will be called several names and tagged as OPPOSITION to the Udom’s administration. But, this will not in any way, trouble my peace or give me any sleepless night on my small dormitory bed. In as much as, I am offering my constitutional role as a private citizen and contributing my quota to the sustainability of our democracy as a journalist, and NOT as a politician or card carrying member of a political party.

Of course, many will see me as a Prophet of doom. Again, I am not perturbed. Because, I know that posterity is the accurate recorder of history and events, and one day, I will be vindicated!

Today, I may be that one voice in the wilderness like the one which posterity recorded as ‘John the Baptist,’ in the Holy Bible – preaching repentance in the Promise Land of Akwa Ibom state.

I have dedicatedly followed the unabated media onslaught unleashed on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC ) and its Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, by some indigenes of the state, especially officials of Akwa Ibom state government in recent times. Including a 7 pages paid advertorials in more than 15 Newspapers, national and local, and in several online news media wherein abandoned NDDC projects in the 31 LGAs of Akwa Ibom state are listed as part of the failure of the present leadership of the commission under an Akwa Ibom son, Mr Nsima Ekere.

Apart from being an Akwa Ibom indigene, and unlike other Ibibio sons with the traditional title of OTUEKONG, I am always on oath to defend the race, her people and where necessary, wade into disputes amongst the people.

It is on the premise above, that I felt disturbed by these persistent attacks on the NDDC and its MD; to air out my opinion, by way of this article, and to use same to appeal to Akwa Ibom State government under Mr Udom Emmanuel to please call his officials to order. There is need for caution. There is need to bid for a rethink, in the best interest of Akwa Ibom corporate image.

As intellectuals, have we ever bothered to ask ourselves these simple questions: “What does Udom government want?” “Why is it only Akwa Ibom government that is shouting of NDDC abandoned projects amongst the 9 member states of the commission?” “Why is a state government allegedly spending millions of the people’s resources on paid advertorials in several national and local newspapers including AIT, on a daily basis, just to seek or draw attention of NDDC to abandoned projects in her state?” “Shouldn’t it have been better and proper for such a government to rather use the advertorial monies to complete these abandoned NDDC projects in the interest of her people!?” And “What has so far been achieved by the government from these media attacks on the NDDC and her current leadership?”

I am pained by these avalanche of thoughts running through my innocent mind, as a result of this unfortunate development.

It is my candid view, as enunciated hereabove, that, the pull-him-down war declared against the 6 months old MD of NDDC is counter-productive, waste of task payers money, exercise in futility, uncalled for, and unnecessary, at this time.

It is unfortunate that the 2 years administration of Mr Udom Emmanuel is using the 17 years abandoned NDDC projects as an alibi to further waste the state meagre resources on a fruitless search for scapegoat, for his under performance.

If I were to meet my governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, one-on-one today in his Church, I would ask him to justify these endless attacks on his Ibibio brother, Mr Nsima Ekere. However, let me reiterate that Akwa Ibom state will be great if her people stand by their son in NDDC and encourage the commission to do more for the state.

Methinks, it would have been wise of the Udom’s government to partner with the Ekere led NDDC and seek ways of completing these abandoned projects, rather than playing the “holier-than-thou” attitude, and shot itself by the foot; by indicting his party men (PDP) who were awarded these projects as being corrupt.

It is time to speak up and I dare elect to bail the cat!

• Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator


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