Akwa Ibom State Political Discontent: Tom-Mbeke Replies Nya-Etuk

Architect Ezikiel Nya-Etuk is an ex while gubernatorial candidate of Akwa Ibom State during the 2007 election which Chief Godswill Akpabio contested and won. Then that was election! Nya-Etuk is one of Akpabio’s adviser and currently supervising some housing projects embarked upon by Akpabio’s administration. In his own language, Nya-Etuk had said he does not only admire Akpabio style as a personal brother, but that he is supervising his different housing project in one of recent outpouring frenzy of apologies.
This has been greeted by reactions in different fora mostly the biggest Akwa Ibom State Diaspora platform, Ibom Forum.
Read Dr Tom Mbeke-Ekanem’s reply

My dear Arc. Nya-Etok:

Having gone over the contents of your email of December 12, 2012 several times, I have come to the inevitable conclusion that our exchanges, and indeed the views expressed by other commentators on burning political and social issues of our day, offer us an opportunity to have a useful discussion about how to rescue Akwa Ibom State from its current state of deep-seated animosities among various groups and the pervasive fear, helplessness, and hopelessness among the generality of its ordinary citizens.

It is axiomatic, as the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, once reminded the late Dr. Ukpabi Asika, many years his junior, that no condition is permanent. In less than three years or so, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State will be history as he is expected to complete his term and hopefully, hand over to a successor. Beyond the façade of his so-called developmental strides, Akpabio will leave behind a legacy of a divided house, where the masses will have to deal with the despair and consequences of being sidelined by an administration that betrayed their collective aspiration.

Unlike anytime in the political history of our state, our people came together as one in support of Akpabio against forces that were opposed to his election in 2006 when he, as well as your humble self, first ran for the coveted office of the governor. When Akpabio took the oath of office, he promised to, among others, uphold the Constitution, protect the weak against oppression, and safeguard lives and property.

After Akpabio took office, what happened? He went back on his sworn mission to serve the masses. Once a peaceful and serene state, Akwa Ibom became a killing field. A reign of terror was unleashed, perceived political opponents and other people were hounded, kidnapped, many were killed, or an entire family was exterminated in bizarre and inexplicable circumstances. Imagine the killing of the king of Ibibioland, (The Oku Ibom Ibibio III), like a fowl only for such to be swept under the carpet!

In the face of the recurrent tragedy that our people suffered during Akpabio’s first term in office, a responsible government would have taken it upon itself to see to thorough investigation and prosecution of all the heinous crimes, such as murders, in the state. Instead, this sacred responsibility was neglected and I dare say, such dastardly activities were even encouraged in the name of “no vacancy in the Hilltop Mansion.” Indeed, a free reign was given to the privileged few and their thugs to run the affairs of the state

It wasn’t a surprise that within the same callousness, Akpabio considered it his number one priority to host a lavish state-sponsored birthday party for himself at a time poverty is still very rampant, majority of our people are destitute, and our community is traumatized by and deeply divided over unresolved heinous crimes and other social issues.Nevertheless, it is not too late for Akpabio and his administration to take concrete actions in order to clear up all the unresolved murders and other terrible crimes in the state and rededicate itself to the mission of promoting the welfare and security of our people

My question to you is this, at age 50, is Gov. Akpabio willing to set up an independent, non-partisan, multi-stakeholder Commission to investigate the killings and other heinous crimes in AKS? Is he willing to make public reports of some key investigations conducted by Commissions he set up? Will he adopt policies to stimulate investment and job creation in the state rather than thwart efforts of private citizens of the state as he did with Amakpe refinery? Is he willing to reverse those policies that have highly favored a small group and, thus, created a new extremely wealthy class based solely on ethnicity? Taking some or all of these actions, hopefully, should bring justice and hopefully, closure to the concerns you have carefully highlighted. Failing to act now, only means things can only get worse, partly given human nature that seeks vengeance, and partly the strong belief by the current political class that violence yields great political dividend.

Keep in mind that it may be tempting to speculate that after Akpabio’s tenure, peace and sanity will return to the state. However, that is most unlikely since he will do everything possible to enthrone someone of his choice, as we have already witnessed some positioning and alignments against 2015. Moreover, Akpabio’s propaganda machine which is responsible for the prevailing environment of terror in Akwa Ibom State, where valiant men and women have been cowered and live in fear will still be alive and well
So, looking ahead, the period leading to 2015, and for the foreseeable future thereafter, is unlikely to bring true restoration to Akwa Ibom people since Akpabio would likely deploy the same apparatus of propaganda, terror, bribery, and blatant violation of electoral processes to ensure his chosen candidate emerges in 2015.

Yes, my brother, I concur with you. “…Our state is littered with bitterness, hurts, offenses, acrimonies and rancor, and others too numerous to list. These do not augur well for love, peace and harmony….The scars of hurt are deep, and cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand…”
Therefore, in view of all the atrocities I enumerated in my initial mail, which no one has denied, and in addition to immediate action I stated above, I believe there is a greater need for a statewide summit where a cross section of Akwa Ibom stakeholders must assemble to analyze the mode and operation of our democracy. This, in my opinion, will be one of the avenues to pave way for a credible path towards lasting democracy that will rescue Akwa Ibom from the pending disaster. If it is okay with you, we can take the subsequent discussion on this matter off the open forum.

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