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We reject servitude and those who want to turn back the hand of clock – Gov Udom

Being text of a broadcast by His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State on the Appeal Court ruling in Abuja, December 19, 2015

Fellow Akwa Ibomites,

Almost three decades ago, our God, in His infinite mercies, hearkened to the dream of our ancestors, and blessed us with a state. Our fathers having considered the history of this blessed state, the faith of our ancestors and the faithfulness of God hailed this land as the Land of Promise.

It was their belief that this land holds the promise of justice for everyone. It was their belief that this land holds the promise of equality for everyone. It was their belief that this land holds the promise of prosperity for everyone. It was their belief that this land holds the promise of reviving and rewriting the Nigerian story.

Yesterday that promise was put on trial at the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja and suffered a miscarriage of justice. It was not the first time that promise was challenged; neither would it be the last. 

A few years back, we were denied oil revenue by a curious injustice known as the onshore/offshore dichotomy. But we overcame. We were subjected to servitude. But we overcame. Concerning this attempt to annul our hopes and aspirations and return us to the days of servitude, we shall also overcome.

The judgment of that Court did not only challenge your right to elect your leaders, it challenged our right to rebuild our land and to pursue our happiness without having to sell our commonwealth to those who do not wish us well.

While we affirm our faith in our judicial processes, we reject completely a judgment, which rested on media propaganda, and substantially deviated from standard norms and practices in Courts of Appeal. 

We refuse to believe that the fundamentals of justice have been so eroded that a people can be brazenly raped and denied their rights to choose their leaders according to their free will. 

We are not afraid of a rerun but we would not allow a judgment which would pose a dangerous precedent in the annals of our history stand unchallenged. It would be a callous disservice to the course of justice in our nation. Consequently, we will exercise our Constitutional rights by appealing the judgment at the Supreme Court.

Neither our state nor the promise of this state is for sale to the highest bidders. We will not sacrifice our commonwealth at the altar of personal ambitions. We will not foreclose our children’s future because of the inordinate ambitions of some Sanballats. The future of Akwa Ibom people is greater and more important than anybody’s ambition.

On April 11, you made a solemn commitment and showed your fidelity to the Divine Mandate. We painted a vision of the future for you and you believed in us and entrusted your destinies in our hands. You rewarded us with a clear and decisive mandate. We must protect that mandate.  

As the Custodian of the hopes, aspirations and dreams of this generation of Akwa Ibomites; as the current holder of the Divine Trust which binds our destiny in eternal covenant to the God of our fathers; as an instrument of God’s plans and purposes for our generation, I solemnly declare to your dear brothers and sisters:

The great Akwa Ibom people that the mandate you freely gave me six months ago continues to rest in the Secret Place of the Most High. It rests there because it was a Divine Mandate and I intend to keep it in trust for you.

Let me restate before God and the blessed people of this State that I came with a clean heart to serve God and my State with every ounce of energy in me. Be rest assured that, by God’s grace, what you freely gave, God will protect with the God-inspired zeal.

We know that in any fair contest between light and darkness, light will always win; and in any contest in our State, Divine Mandate will always triumph. Akwa Ibom people will always win and put those who collaborate with outsiders, who covet our resources, to shame. We are not afraid of any re-run, because our people are solidly behind us.

For too long, our people were looked down upon; we were seen as gatemen, cooks, housemaids and houseboys. The same people who today want to take your mandate were those who collaborated with the people who now wish to return you to those houseboys and maids status. We are not ready to return to those sad days because affliction shall not arise a second time.

While we are chasing the dreams of Akwa Ibom people and our posterity, they are chasing their own selfish dreams. Do not believe the satanic propaganda that those who wish to mortgage your commonwealth have been spreading in their local tabloids. 

I am firmly in charge of this State as your Governor and by the special grace of God, will remain your Governor for the next four years and beyond.

Those who oppose my administration have claimed that we are an appendage of the last administration. That is not true. We are an improvement on the last administration. The last administration took us out of Egypt to the Jordan River. 

This administration is taking us across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. This administration is here to lift us up above those people who once underestimated us.

 It is a sad commentary on our politics that people who were a part of the last administration for seven of its eight years would now turn around and demonize the administration. They claim that the administration was wasteful, irresponsible, corrupt etc. 

Such talk cannot and will not fool Akwa Ibom people. When they lie to you, ask them the source of their wealth, and what investment they made to become wealthy and super-rich.

I wish to end this broadcast by appealing for calm. I remain in charge of this state as your Governor and I pledge to continue to work to uplift your condition. Do not be fooled by lies you will be fed by their propaganda machine. 

The people of Akwa Ibom state will reject a return to servitude; we are a proud and great people who have decided to ‘dakkada’ and claim our rightful place in the boardroom of the Nigerian enterprise. We reject servitude and those who want to turn back the hand of clock. God bless Akwa Ibom state and its great people.

His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel

Governor of Akwa Ibom State

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