By: Kenneth Jude
When people conspire, they don’t aspire for a noble venture. The word itself ripples with negativity, illegality. And so some conspire to kill, others to steal – others to pillage.
So, when former Governor Godswill Akpabio belched out the word conspiracy the other day at Uyo Stadium, he was in order, because the gatherers there are in for nothing but conspiracy that is in conflict with prosperity.
But they’ll be resisted by a people that have since taken a stand against evil conspiracies because they are committed not to leave their destinies at the mercy of desperate hawks with eyes dripping with lethal venom.
The people are not only sick and tired of conspiracies that turned brothers into arch enemies, they are still livid with such conspiracies that sent many to the world beyond in their primes.
It was the same conspiracy that saw a part of the Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat become an epicentre for violent clashes where cars, tricycles that were procured with state money burnt to ashes as though they were discardable materials.
It’s such evil conspiracies that saw a promise of 31-industry per local government not see the light of day. It’s the same conspiracy that shut opposition voices. Then, the conspiracy was so much that the conspirators brooked no dissent. They led many by the nose. And so whoever made to think independently or toe a path other than theirs, they conspired and made such dissenter a goner.
In all the LGAs visited so far by incumbent governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for his re-election campaign, one thing has remained a recurring decimal: peace. Women, men, youths have all alluded to it. But some forces who know the importance of peace repudiate this fact, because they cannot believe that peace can be achieved in a state where fear and trepidation walked on all fours in the recent past.
They can’t come to terms with the reality that with few weeks to a major elections, nobody has been kidnapped for political gains. They don’t understand why opposing voices are still walking the streets free, flying in and out of town as though they were birds that ply the skies with remarkable freedom. They are in long cogitation over how state facilities are given out and rallies held peacefully without heads being broken, limbs taken apart, daggers, cudgels flying all over the place like tsetse flies.
And so, perplexed by this state of tranquility and congeniality, they have gathered, brooms in theirs hands as though housekeepers, to puncture that peace. Having always profited from anarchy and confusion, they are out for revolution geared towards returning the state to the dark, grim days of trepidation.
But a people now liberated and separated from the dark past of wanton killings and violence, have, by their utterances and acceptance of the man that stands as the symbol of that newfound peace, taken a stand to remain with and live with peace. They have rejected the assembly of conspirators whose sole intent is to perpetually remain in conspiracy against their commonwealth, peace and prosperity.
The people, now wiser, are ready to show the conspirators that their enterprise of conspiracy has since expired. They are saying loudly and clearly that the conspiracy that turned the state into a theatre of war has morphed into an enclave where investors now fall over one another to come in and invest because a new sheriff is in town who has deliberately, through his utterances and posture, banished the sad memories of the past and entrenched peace in all corners of the state hence the quantum leap in human and capital development.
The conspirators are not only envious but angry that a little over three years on the saddle, a governor can talk of industries and build more than twelve functional ones. They are afraid that they’ll be outshone. Since they want to be the only pebble in the beach, they want to conspire and push away the man that has made this possible because they can’t stand the shock of seeing another individual do what they couldn’t.
It’s no wonder that they want to return the state to war days. To ensure this comes to fruition, they say the Warsaw experience will be fully visited on the state and its people for the sole purpose of capturing power using crude and crooked means.
It’s a promise that abides disunity. It’s a promise to drag the state backwards. It’s a promise that is intended to render the industries built by the current administration otiose because workers won’t be able to go to work in a war-ridden environment. Investors will bolt for dear lives. Children will no longer walk the streets freely because parents won’t let them roam for fear of the unknown befalling them. Development will take a long flight off the state. Progress will come to a standstill. Youths will be thought the art of war again. With no job in sight, no hope for tomorrow, frustration will set in. The end result? They’ll become dangerous neighbours to their neighbours.
It’s a conspiracy to truncate the can-do spirit that Emmanuel has ingrained and awoken in the lives of every Akwa Ibom child. it’s a conspiracy to return the state to the days of prodigal excesses where sharing of the wealth of the state with blood-chilling thoughtlessness as against instilling in the people the timeless virtues of hard work and diligence. Those who benefitted from the prodigal past have since squandered all they acquired on a platter, but lack the nerve and humility to return home to the waiting and warm embrace of a governor who places hard work over and above giving out fleeting fish.
Hobbled by pride, they have conspired with those who have proven, in character and learning, to be masters in the art of conspiracy to conspire against the train of development that has seen youths stand up and be counted following a clarion call from the governor for them to do so.
They conspired and misled Jonathan. When their conspiracy expired, they jumped ship. With no modicum of shame, they told a bewildered public that the PDP (Jonathan inclusive) did nothing for Akwa Ibom State for all of 16 years. Today, they are elsewhere with the same intent to conspire. Who knows what they have conspired to do this time round? Those who where not allowed to be part of the conspiracy of yesterday who always riled and ranted as though they were with the people, are now in seventh heaven, jumping, pumping fists and rolling on the floor with sheepish excitement because the conspirator in-chief who denied them a place in the conspiracy club is now with them. How shameful!
In the new Akwa Ibom of today, the chief driver, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, a humane gentleman who has, in word, action and deed, abhorred conspiracy, is poised for collaboration. He rather elects to collaborate with his people to entrench a culture of inclusiveness, sustainable, meaningful and impactful development as against conspiracy to mortgage their future.
Collaboration is the way to go for a people desirous of making significant progress in every indices of life. And Udom Emmanuel is collaborating with those who are on the same page with him to embark on policies that impact positively on the lives of the citizens.
It’s little wonder that on coming in as governor, he called on the people to rise (dakkada) to the faith of greatness, because in the new Akwa Ibom that he’s building, he wants to collaborate with them to achieve it. He’s not a conspirator. He abhors conspiracy and detest conspirators because conspiracy births destruction.
For Emmanuel, the driving philosophy is: come, let’s build together! And together, let’s say no to conspirators.
Kenneth Jude is a Public Affairs Analyst and writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, South-south – Nigeria.