After my last piece on Obong Nsima Ekere and his exemplary riposte on the smear campaign mounted against him, I got a surprise caller online.
He was Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke, member representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency and Chairman of the all important House Committee on Appropriation and Finance.
Incidentally, this is one Lawmaker to emerge from Akwa Ibom that has earned my deepest respect.
The other two are Hon. Eseme Eyibio and Senator Ita Enang.
I share their passion, outstanding excellence and stellar performance in parliament, but that is for another day. Hon. Luke called to appreciate my piece on Nsima Ekere.
On a hilarious note, he began, why should you ask me to TEXT NSIMA EKERE TO 2015?
That was also the topic of the script in question. Then he went ahead to make his comment. “I love the piece you wrote he said. You are objective. For me, the Press Statement by the former Deputy Governor was impeccable, devoid of name calling, accusations, or hateful anecdotes,” Luke said. “You failed in one area though”, he continued. “You should have gone ahead to project and recommend his example to all politicians to emulate.” I promised to do so.
I was not surprised because Barr. Luke himself has issued Press Statements before on unfair press reports against him.
Unknown to him, he had challenged me to reflect on what I wrote simply on the spur of the moment, I was enraptured by Ekere’s ideal Press release.
Barr. Luke’s opening comment compelled on me, a recurring ‘mental belch’ to ponder, WHY NSIMA EKERE SHOULD BE GOVERNOR.
This piece is my answer to Barr. Luke. Before I proceed, let me allude to a movie I saw in 2007, LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE, starring Fantasia Barrino, Debbie Allen and Lorretta Darwins.
It is a true life story about a poor girl who overcame sexual abuse, illiteracy and other setbacks to become winner of American idol in 2004.
If you ask me, I would say Politics is NOT a fairy tale.
When you examine the long walk to heroics of any leader, statesman or politician, say like the Obama’s, Mandela’s, Obasanjo’s Goodluck Jonathan or Godswill Akpabio of this world, you will agree with me, Politics is NOT a fairy tale.
The same can be said of Ekere to recommend him for governor of Akwa Ibom come 2015.
A fairy tale, you should well know is a story told children of myths. Incredibe and fictional stories meant to amuse but deceive them. Pushing for Ekere for the plum job of taking Akwa Ibom forward in the next dispensation is not for sheer stage talk.
A look back as several events and their signification resists any temptation to dismiss the reality of the project as mere wishful thinking.
I shall accordingly revive, review and resurrect some of them Coming off a stifling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship primaries with 55 other aspirants ion 2007, Governor Godswill Akpabio in January 2007 chose Obong Ekere who placed fourth in the standings of that Primaries as his preferred running mate.
He must have figured out something in Ekere among his legion of competitors, those who made him come as second runner up saw. It was not however to be.
Board room political intrigues aborted that dream ticket and fate thrust it on Ekere’s kinsman, Engr. Patrick Ekpotu.
Assurances that he will be accommodated as Minister, Ambassador, or other top jobs for the sacrifice did not happen.
Ekere never whined or complained. He supported the administration as Chairman of Akwa Ibom Industrial and Investment Promotion Council, AKIIPOC.
Four years later, he was again presented to Akwa Ibom in January 27, 2011 as the running mate of Governor Akpabio for his second term bid.
It was destiny delayed, but not denied. However, a picture struck me on that occasion.
It is that of Governor Akpabio raising Ekere’s hand to the delight of thousands of admirers and supporters.
He is about the only one Akpabio has so raised his hands on the soap box of his own volition. It was an election they went ahead to win.
Obong Ekere was to make history again when Gov. Akpabio proceeded on annual leave on 24 June ,2011.
He was given the nod to assume the designation ACTING GOVERNOR.
In a letter to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Governor Akpabio wrote, “I write to communicate to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly my intention to embark on annual leave of one month and my DESIRE to have Obong Nsima Ekere my able deputy to act on my behalf. “
In the words of Patsung Abang, “THIS IS NOT ONLY A MARK OF TRUST AND DEPENDABILITY BUT ENDORSEMENT OF OBONG NSIMA EKERE AS GOVERNOR.”
Hoeever Abang said so because it was an unprecedented move. This was the only officially gazetted Acting Governor following Constitutionally ratified procedure.
Again, when you weigh this against the hesitation of sitting governors to invest such power on their deputies, you can better appreciate the feat.
Enugu state governor has left his State for months on ill health, yet resists every pressure to name his deputy, Acting Governor.
Even with debilitating health, Governor. Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State is fighting to rid his Deputy and now Acting Governor, Alhaji Garuba Umar that revered appellation.
How about our dear President Goodluck Jonathan. Consider how he sweated to be inaugurated as Acting President.
Folks, let’s give it up for Akpabio, and Ekere. It was destiny at work in his still unfolding political odyssey.
To validate that history, it bespeaks of the fact Obong Ekere has the requisite experience and will not find that seat a strange one or suffer any “culture shock” occupying it.
Can it also be a divine orchestration that as Acting Governor of Akwa Ibom State for one month, Obong Nsima Ekere’s first assignment was receiving members of the Justice Uwaifo led Presidential Fact – Finding Committee on Pre – and Post – Election Violence in Akwa Ibom State.
Rewind that the state was lurched in violence that made March 22, 2011, a Black Day in the State’s political dozzier.
This is a man not known to habour political bitterness or feud and for whom power is not a do-or-die affair.
He did enunciate thereat, what he posits an ideal elections should be.
One, he is currently tirelessly working to achieve and triumph in.
Finally as I wrap this up, let me bring on TEAM NSIMA EKERE, a Youth Group at the vanguard of working for his 2015 Project as they make a case for him.
Here, they declare, “If we need a calm gentleman with credibility and integrity as our governor in 2015; If we need an accomplished professional who will consolidate and improve upon the achievements of the present administration; If we need a governor who will not tribalize the governance of the state; If we need a governor who has built, oiled and sustained relationships and affiliations with different classes of people over the years; If we need a governor who will not come and send politicians on forced retirement; If we need a governor who is well vested and rooted in the politics of the state; If we need a governor who will not pursue a policy of vendetta in the state; If we need a governor with a large, loving heart; If we need a governor who will pursue a policy of economic prosperity among the people of the state, then the choice and only choice is H.E.OBONG NSIMA EKERE.
Join us in inviting him to come out and take the state to the next level” On this note, let me with the brimming optimism of a teenage lead speaker in a Debating Session say, I hope with this few points of mine, I have been able to convince Barr. Luke and indeed all people of goodwill that Obong Nsima Ekere will fit the bill as Governor of Akwa Ibom come 2015 and this is not a fairy tale.
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