Thursday, 23 October 2014

In these season of anomie


Why are some folks adamantly bent on dragging us back to that dark era where hooliganism, political thuggery and inimical but unwanted onslaughts reigned supreme? Are we so pig-headed that the need to build a virile society where democratic norms and principles are the hallmarks has been lost on us? What really are we turning into at times like now? Why do we take so much delight in instigating needless violence, fomenting trouble and engaging in conducts that fuel disunity and hatred?

Seasoned writers, analysts and commentators alike have at different times harped on the need for us to uphold the tenets of democracy so that our long cherished unity and love that have been threatened to its very foundations by political expediency and other interest would be restored, yet some chaps see no wisdom in turning a new leaf. They are still living in the old order. They detest change. They are the proverbial wolfs in sheep clothing that employ the services of hungry and demented young men to perpetuate evil and vile against humanity. They abhor what is right but promote acts that are geared towards the breakdown of law and order in a given society. Isn’t it said that putting off the candle of another won’t make yours shine brightest? What benefits are derivable from bringing down the character of another or casting vitriolic aspersions on them?

It’s regrettable that at a time sane climes are on the cusp of celebrating years of unity and their cherished values, we are still tucked on sentiments and discourses that portend a bleak future for the citizens and this contraption spirited individuals came together to build and nurture to this level.
The electioneering season should ordinarily serve as a moment where citizens of a given country or State come together in Unison to freely exercise their franchise through the instrumentality of the ballot box without unnecessary fuss and resort to exchange of fists that often creates tension that more often than not renders the polity porous and susceptible to full-scale uprisings.

When we do certain things, what really are our thoughts and mindsets? Do we allow the interest of the generality of the people and our dear State to supersede our personal yearnongs? Do we often spare some thoughts for posterity especially the kind of environment we will bequeath to our unborn children? When we spend scarce energy and resources engaging in unemployed chaps to carry out evil deeds burning down bridges of unity painstakingly put on ground by our forebears and promoting undemocratic actions, do we then have the moral right to mount the soap box to mouth how much we love the people and our State?
No country or State makes any meaningful progress in an atmosphere riddled with violence, uproar and rancour.

An atmosphere of such nature only breeds backwardness and stagnation in virtually all sectors of the society. It further decimates the walls of unity and foundations upon which we should thrive.

We live in a time where we are served diverse tales; some, fabricated and circulated by mischief makers; others, concocted by the litany of political groups rooting for one candidate or the other; while those in the third leg are the key players – the political juggernauts whose intent is to get their wish regardless of whose ox is gored. These are indeed desperate times – little wonder then, some persons are clutching onto anything they belief will smoothen their way to achieving their ultimate desire. Receptions upon receptions are being held all over the place. Some are disguised and garbed with ‘thank you’ apparels. Others have taken the toga of counter reception in what analysts have termed a vain efforts to make nonsense of whatever reception was held for those many have christened with ‘fatherly’ sobriquets and further crediting him with many lofty ideas whose pioneering efforts gave birth to what we are feasting on today without qualms or recourse to our benefactors.

The other day, Abuja nearly went up in ‘flames’ as persons purported to be indigenous to the State took to the streets to voice their concerns over attempts by the oga to impose his preferred man on the people. They were vociferous an vehement in their stand not to fold their arms and allow what they termed ‘undemocratic’ to happen the State. They also called for a level playing field for all aspirants gunning for the Akwa Ibom State Government House when electioneering hostilities gets underway. They also made efforts to ensure that the delegates’ list is not manipulated to favour a particular candidate.

The laid various complaints and ventilated grievances on the political altar of the country, calling on those that matter to beam a searchlight on certain activities in the State in order to reverse trends they maintain are suffocating and anti-people.

That, of course, did not go down well within the State government circles. It created bedlam and sent tongues wagging and firing on all cylinders. It also led to some hurriedly organised clandestine meetings with the kernel of such gatherings bothering on the PDP primaries coming up next month, the zoning brouhaha and the thorny issue of imposition and all what not. Since then, tempers have continued to flare, letters ridden with venomous instincts have been exchanged and name-calling has become the order of the day.

Threats and counter threats have taken a life of its own. Accusations to slay and smear the image of certain people have been flying in the sky like kite. There’s tension and uncertainty in the land. Suddenly, and in a flash, bosom friends have turned arch enemies. Those who hitherto shared a plate of meal and a glass of wine are the same persons threatening fire and brimstone in the polity. They no longer see eye to eye. They romanced together for all of seven years plus but got divided along the line by ambition. Their friendship, no doubt has suffered a setback. It has been severed by interest. While one is bent on having his choice candidate hold the reins of power in the next transition, the other wants to thwart that effort by all means and eventually steal the show. In this game, we are merely spectators, so to speak; hence, we can only watch from the stands as our political hulks engage one another in a battle of wits and supremacy. One only hopes that the next man that will ‘run things’ in the State will be one that places the overall interest of the people first above every other sectional considerations.

Talking about the delegates’ list, the vexed issue of zoning and the fierce battle for the control of PDP in the State, who really is going to have the last laugh? Is it the camp of former petroleum minister and PDP BOT permanent member Atuekong Don Etiebiet and his comrades, or will the ever towering political clout of Governor Godswill Akpabio, his sagacity and influence at the federal level work in his favour and see him have his way? Well, only the passage of time will determine who will get the garland of glory. Meanwhile, there’s a compelling need for us to work towards a peaceful transition that will be devoid of bloodshed and uproar.

Akwa Ibom State is our pride. We are the custodians of this blessed enclave. It’s up to us to guard it jealously while joining hands to build it. The people deserve a good leader that will utilize the enormous resources inherent in the State for the growth of the economy in and pursue programs that will minimize poverty in the land while also engaging in capacity building that will improve the lots of the citizens. But wait awhile. Recent activities in the State have left a bad taste in the mouth. Actions that are capable of causing serious rife in the polity have since taken a damning dimension; and if not checked, it may lead to a full blown wrangling that will surely alter political calculations and foul the seeming peaceful coexistence that we are savouring at the moment.

The media have been awash with tales to the effect that posters, billboards and election materials of some political aspirants have been torn to shreds. Some of the affected billboards were posted on the social media with majority of the comments and reactions frowning at such thoughtless expedition of destroying campaign materials of aspirants. Who are those behind these mindless and puerile acts? What do they want to achieve by violently feasting on these materials?

This writer does not belong to any political party or penning these to curry favour from a particular candidate. No. Am doing my job which subsists in pointing out the ills in the society that bear bad omen for our collective existence. It is that desire to deliver on the thrust of my primary responsibility that I condemn in totality the resort to tearing down or distorting, in any form, the political facilities or materials of any of the candidates. Doing such is tantamount to expressing deep fear and feeling intimidated by the persons whose messages are disseminated on these billboards.

Those who are doing these senseless acts are being misled and deceived.

The actions bear no marks of democracy which we are striving real hard to entrench in our polity. Whether they are agents of desperate politicians or paid gangsters, they should resolve to desist from this self-defeating agenda as it will do no one any good at a time we want to strengthen the bond that unite us and put the future of our dear State on a sound footing.

The acts smacks of illiteracy and is self-deprecating. Those perpetuating the evil are being misguided by people who abhor peace, concord and brotherliness. They should stop forthwith and rather pursue their various views democratically and in line with best practices instead of the fruitless resort to elementary violence. I hope they are listening.

In this season of political gimmicks and all that, it’s normal to employ avenues and means that will more or less grant success to a particular candidate, but what is dangerous is doing so with evil intent, gun wielding and character assassination. It’s high time we outgrew these juvenile skirmishes.

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