By Utibe Ukim
Akwa Ibom people had waited many months for the god of Hilltop Mansion to speak on his succession plan. Many times in the past year when his worshippers prevailed on him to show them the way, he always fought back pressure to name a successor. Each time the question was thrown at him, his usual answer was that he’s on the mountain waiting on god to reveal his successor to him.
And yesterday, god landed, naming the calm, collected King Yellowman, one of the newest members of his inner sanctum, to his partymen as god’s choice. Yesterday, god spoke.
I am not sure when awa god heard from his god but for a long time, his body language has been pointing towards the cleric who makes money selling beer and renting short-time rooms for men who don’t often tell their pastors and wives what they do behind his closed doors. Remember that wicked press report just a week ago? It wasn’t false prophesy.
I am also not sure which god awa god has been referring to all along. I know without doubt that the Nigerian politician is a god of some sort. If you have been in Nigeria since 1991 and do not know that any politician with some level of executive power is a god, then you have been living in denial. We deified our leaders a long time ago. We worship them, pray to them, genuflect at their appearance. We deliver our thinking faculty to them and believe every thing they tell us. Their wives are the goddesses we ignore at our economic and social peril. Their brothers and associates are the angels who minister at the throne, decide how the government is ran and transport goodness from the throne of greed to us mere mortals. When their children are too young to play serious roles or ride around in motorbikes and cars the cost of a state’s annual education budget or wed in reckless opulence, they are armed with guardian angels and educated at the best schools abroad. Their birth lottery guarantees they are too special to be trained at the school we build for other children. When they show up at state events, men and woman old enough to be their grandparents rise in worship.
We hail them: They are the best things that have happened to us. They are god-sent. They are the answers to the prayers our forefathers prayed before independence. We lie through our teeth and fall over ourselves to find new adjectives to describe them. It is not beyond us to take sacred songs of pure heavenly worship and put in their names in place of God. Haven’t you noticed that nowadays, political campaign songs are modified church praise and worship songs? Why not? Afterall our political leaders are the gods we see. They feed us. They make us as the wife of a former governor here would often tell people. We know the God of Heaven delight in praises. Why not a few to out our gods of politics?
Gods do no wrong. So our presidents, governors, ministers and local government chairmen are infallible. You disagree and question them at your risk! Whoever challenges a god and live? You cannot blame them when they are angered by your refusal to believe the lies they spew out. When they call black white, you must believe and accept. When they say that have fixed Calabar Itu Road just believe. Even if you can’t find the Family rice in our markets, don’t doubt that we are a major rice growing state. Whoever questions a god? When they say they are intellectual giants and go ahead to reel out budget titles that shows they belong to circuses rather than government houses, they expect you to believe! They remind me of an African god before them called Omar Bongo. He ruled Zaire. Now DR Congo. A short man with oversized ego and greed, ruthless with anyone who held the mirror to him so he can see that the little height he had attended was enabled by the six inches high-heeled wedge he stylishly covered with their A-shaped trousers.
They are like the African gods who must be sacrificed to. And what do they want for sacrifice, they best that’s available. They waste the best men and women so they will go unchallenged. They grab the best lands and own the best mansions that are maintained at cost that could train hundred of our people and equip them with skills and competencies the world needs today. Even when we know they are stealing us to death, converting our common patrimony into their personal estates and mortgaging the future so our great grand children will become slaves to their children and cronies, we still hail them, sing their praise and dance to their sneeze.
We call them honorables when they are truly horrorable. Horrific. Deplorable. Men and women who are fitting characters in State of Hell.
Being sworn into public office offers the added advantage of ecclesiastical powers in our clime. I didn’t say getting elected. That doesn’t happen often. The gods chose. The system delivers. And the millions of accomplices which most of us have become just line up behind them.
Awa god has spoken. We will all line up. One sleepy Senator told him last year to bring a cripple and the state will deliver to Government House. In a state where government is the main business, you will only find very feeble opposition. The gods own the ticket. When they speak, we must obey.
There will be angst in the land. Those who love King Yellowman are celebrating already. Many of those who wanted to be awa governor’s pick will rise and protest like headless chicken. Truth is, they all wanted the favour of awa governor. But you see, only one person could be picked. The picker has a right to his pick! The unpicked and unpickables can cry as they wish. Some will look forward to the party primaries to revenge the choice of the gods. Hmmmmmmm. If you watched the primaries in Ekiti, you will know that man proposes, but god disposes. And you remember, awa god was in Ekiti to ensure god’s will is done there. So he sure has some secrets on how to do it here too. Besides, most – if not all – were the ones crying now were the archangels that gave awa god its powers. Once given, you can’t take it back. Of course, the primaries will be a season of harvest; a time to repay some of them with the same treachery they visited on other aspirants before them.
We may have a repeat of G22 of 2015 when those schemed out of the primaries that handed awa governor came together to form a feeble opposition. Many were financially rewarded and soon became active leaders in the praise choir. A few will continue the fight hoping the 2017 scenario plays out. Those who think that way forget awa god was trained by the great teacher from Ukana and has no time for vision and plan like the architect from the lion’s den. Awa people have no room for failure.
My advise to King Yellowman; don’t mind the crowd of aspirants that will gather against you. It has happened before. Only God picked you. That Same God will deliver you to government house. Have you forgotten the quake when God spoke to the children of Israel in the wilderness? They were so afraid! The place shook. Akwa Ibom will shake. It is not the first time. Nor will it be the last.
Congratulations joor. I have been checking my ancestry to see if we are not related in some ways. I need some rights to a choice portion of the goodness you will share to your insiders. Enjoy your bullet – proof car. But don’t intimidate me with it just yet. You are a governor in waiting. And in Nigerian politics, 24 hours can be such a long time. Be very careful, Nigeria, gods change their mind. Remember that guy who won the PDP nomination for mayor of the capital? Where is he now? He saw Canaan but couldn’t enter. Pray; spend more time on the mountain with your fellow Fathers of Faith. Look for Mothers and Children of Faith too. That’s your best antidote to these faithless sons and daughters of men.
As my friend would say, if you are not coming to improve the state, at least don’t plan to leave it worse than you met it.
Since 2023 is still far, let me form my own praise team and sing,
Can we all say Amen?
Can we all say Amen?
god has spoke