By Ini Akpan Morgan
Bob Linthicum, the author of “The City of God, The City of Satan”, an Urban Advance series of the World Vision Project contributed to reveal the responsibility of the Church in the communities it exists. Scriptures generally pictures a collection of people sharing common geographical, social, economic, political and cultural boundaries together as ” a city”, and always normally, with city “walls” and “gates” around it.
In his book, Bob posits that there are 2 forces seeking to control the soul of every city: the forces of good and that of evil. Just as the soul of man is continually under pressure from thought lines, opposite to each other, so is the soul of the city sought after by the powers of good and evil.
I was observing a “NaijaBet” shop, and drinking in the market place it turned out for our children. They innocently gamble their lives away seeking what to steal to keep on gambling. The powers of evil have sought several ways of capturing the souls of the next generation of Nigerian leaders, hence capturing the soul of their cities from when the leaders are tender, unguided and unguarded.
Are we surprised why 26 years ago Nigeria was able to conduct free, fair, credible and acceptable elections into political offices without any blood shed in the process? We remember how news worthy we followed all the political party congresses thrown up by the “Option A4” electoral guideline of that time.
Then it was a political struggle to get the military out of leadership and so, though there were political parties, but they worked together to achieve a sound democratic culture together. Today, political parties have degenerated into military camps.
Today, they have wasted every gain that was made in the Nigerian democratic polity, which was finally achieved in 1999. We are 20 years in it, as it is, but we have nothing to show for it.
Instead, the Nigerian polity has been taken over by people who have less than nothing to offer us. This was because, at a point in our democratic pursuit, the competition for political power and the need to personalise it became the central motive for the aspiration of our political leaders.
Look at it again, all that these leaders have to give to the people is the same money they steal from the people. They are bereft of investment ideas that would benefit the people, yet they all run several successful businesses themselves.
This shows that their motives were to entrench poverty among the people to make them dependant on them for peanuts. This is the unfortunate achievement of the Udom Emmanuel administration in Akwa Ibom State in the last 4 years.
At the turnover of 1998 when the present electoral systems were set up, there was a general apathy in the urge by major and front line politicians to participate in the political process because of the distrust they had for the military and their usually unsuccessful brands of “transition” programs.
This apathy was strengthened by the balkanization of our hitherto ideological persuasions along political party lines into “old” and “new” politicians by Ibrahim Babangida. The “old” were banned from the politics of 1993 and the new were thrown up to take up our political space. This was for a very short period.
This made the 1999 elections a walk over for the “new breed” politicians. This brought the generational change that turned out the worst for the Nigerian people. The “old breed” participated minimally in party formation and building at the beginning of the 4th Republic, but invested nothing tangible to take political office.
By the turn of 2002 when the first democratic transition in Nigeria was due, the “old breed” politicians became interested in fighting for political space. Knowing that the front line politicians enjoy the support of the people, on the basis of their pedigree in political struggles and personal integrity, the “new breed” politicians who had began to enjoy the benefits of political power introduced cultism, kidnapping, prostitution and rape to demobilize the interest of the old breed politician and forced them into early retirement.
Here we are today having morally bankrupt men and women leading us as a people. They have nothing tangible to offer but to pay vain characters to intimate, harass law abiding citizens and rob them of their rights to choose their leaders. As we approach the 2019 elections, the PDP youths in Akwa Ibom State are going around and threatening to kill and maim opponents during the oncoming general elections.
Unfortunately, these group of people used by their former godfathers in the PDP refused to join them when they defected to the APC. They are presently arrayed to prove to their defected political godfathers that they were indeed responsible for the victories attributed to their elections’ mastery and are ready to demonstrate it, with or without “federal might” standing against them. Is that not another insurgency brewing in Akwa Ibom State?
This is how the soul of Akwa Ibom State now rests in the arms of Governor Udom Emmanuel. He must resist the unction of cult leaders in his government to unleash terror during the 2019 general elections in the State. In line with this, an appeal to security agencies is hereby placed, that all known cult leaders in communities in Akwa Ibom State be rounded up and arrested to allow law abiding citizens choose their leaders.
In his book “The City of God, The City of Satan”, published in 1973, Robert C Linthicum, a Minister of the Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania, quoted a colleague saying “Jesus, in reality, did not like some people but there was no one he did not love”.
Revisiting this statement in his thought, Bob agreed that although he had deep seated love for all his children, there was one or two he truly disliked for giving him a lot of stress during their teenage years, arising from his dislike of their character traits which were contrary to his. And so, he accepted that it is possible to dislike someone but yet love him.
Bob also referred to a Jewish author who suggested that “if Jesus was a little tolerant and compassionate on the Scribes, Pharisees and the rulers like he did to the very poor and vulnerable, he may have won their hearts unto repentance.” Although this sounds logical but there was a self imposed dichotomy these set of Jews had that robbed them of the privilege of the new life in Christ.
It did not matter whether Jesus liked anyone, it mattered more that he loved the whole world and gave himself up as a living sacrifice, speaking “better things” to us as “good news”. It is impossible to like someone who does not like you, but godliness demands that you should love and pray for him.
This was the dilemma of Jesus: in a group of people who listened to him, there were those who received his teaching gladly and were justified of God. Yet there were those who listened to him finding offences, setting traps for him to fall into. They were constantly against him. It got to the crescendo when he moved his train of listeners into the temple, teaching them therein and his authority to do this was questioned.
They first sought an understanding with him: “you are not our problem…” they told him, “our problem is these people following you…send them away”. How could they expect that from Jesus? He called unto the weak and heavy ladened to come to rest. The call was to all, including those asking him to send the people away – they were also expected to join in with the others. But Jesus located them with the blind, and replied “you did not know the time of your visitation, now your house is left to you desolate…”
Yes indeed, there are people Jesus did not like and this is because they were blind. Governor Udom Emmanuel can not trail Senator Godswill Akpabio for more than 3 years depending on and submitting to his self conceited mastery and now seems to show that he has political muscles – ufan, inwek akan inwek. Inwek unen aba, inwek ebot aba, inwek Abasi onyung aba – which of the “inweks” is Governor Udom Emmanuel muscling?
“The glory had departed” and the “Divine Mandate” house in Akwa Ibom State has been deserted. You cannot have Godswill Akpabio as your god and then seek another after he left you. The Governor has nothing to fight for, the government of Akwa Ibom State was forced on him by one man, and he, thereby, was forced on us by one man also. His story is around that one man and now that that one is gone, what can Udom Emmanuel do? “Sorry” is his name.
Why can he not see this and allow Akwa Ibom people rest from the State’s employment of cultists and murderers to snatch electoral victories and deny the people their adult suffrage?
This is therefore, also, a call to President Muhammadu Buhari to classify Akwa Ibom State for a major flashpoint area in the seconding and detailing of secuty operatives for the 2019 general elections. The federal government must ensure that no blood of an Akwa Ibom citizen is lost because Governor Udom Emmanuel wants to return as governor by desperation.
There are indeed people Jesus did not like and it is absolute that he is not happy with Governor Udom’s desperate acts. I just thought to make some sense.
NB: After a stakeholders meeting to reconsider the drive of our political participations, drivers of the All Progressive Congress Patriots Grouping (APCpg) in Akwa Ibom State have agreed to pursue a larger mandate streamlined to pursue the interest of Akwa Ibom people in diaspora, worldwide. The APC Patriots Groupings (APCpg) has therefore been renamed “The Akwa Ibom Patriots Grouping (AKPG)”.
Ini Akpan Morgan is the convener of the Akwa Ibom Patriots Grouping (AKPG) and writes from Uyo via “firstname.lastname@example.org”
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