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Opinion: The Absurd Jibe of Akwa Ibom’s “Private Jet” Governor; By Wole Arisekola


Is there anything we will not hear from our effusively childish modern politicians?
Last week , Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State was so proud of his achievements as the first Akwa Ibom son to fly a private jet to his state from Lagos before he became their Number One citizen.
He said, “those who came back to Akwa Ibom State through night bus and the ones who came back through chartered flight, are they the same?”
If Nigeria is a country where people reward achievements, I think Mr Udom Emmanuel deserves one.
Or is it not an achievement to fly a private jet to see one’s parents in a mud house? Is it not an achievement to fly a private jet to where you have no single building before you became governor?
This is one of the hazards of promoting individuals beyond their intellectual capacity.
Most renowned politicians started their lives as nobodies.
I am sure Chief Awolowo did not fly a private jet to Ibadan when he became Premier of the Western State, neither did the Sardauna of Sokoto nor Chieif Azikwe.
It is so disheartening that our politicians have brought governance to this level.
Mr Udom does not know the difference between the politics of the elite and that of the masses. In his own opinion, he has no business with the masses as long as he continues to fly his private jet.
My mother taught me a popular Yoruba adage that says “ọmọ ti a ko tọ́ ni yo gbe ile ti a kọ́ ta”, meaning that a child that is not brought up well, will eventually sell the house we build at a giveaway price.
That is the irony of what the indigenes are passing through in Akwa Ibom State.
Their Governor sees himself as an elite Governor, he turned governance to that of the elite by the elite for the elite. Whenever he wakes up in the Government House and remembers that he flew a private jet to Akwa Ibom, he is pleased and his ego is satisfied. That to him is an achievement.
He sees himself as someone who is more fortunate than the man who came to Akwa Ibom in a night bus. He doesn’t have any contact with the masses of his state . He is running his government in the air . His achievements are also in the air. What an irony of an empty headed leader!
The road to his village was constructed by a man who came in a night bus. The bridge that leads to his father’s house was constructed by a night bus man. The airport where he landed his rented private jet was commissioned by a night bus man. The person he calls a night bus man is a friend of the masses, a grass root politician who eats and dines with the masses because he belongs to them.
He is not like a private jet passenger who doesn’t have feelings for the poor because he doesn’t belong to them.
The gods are not to blame, this is where we have found ourselves in this country where we always elect people who have no connection with the masses. They don’t feel the pains we are going through. They don’t know the prices of yam, garri and plantain in the market. They import their food through their private jets.
Besides, if Emmanuel Udom is upset at his gold medal award as “Governor do Nothing”, he should not take out his frustrations on Godswill Akpabio. He should face the umpire who gave him the award, The Ex-Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Obong Victor Attah.
Akpabio, who rode to Akwa Ibom State in a night bus is however unique. He is such a different man. He has little but gives so much to his people.
He is not in the state because of the elite and private jet passengers but on a mission to transform his people into private jet owners and not passengers.
Akpabio’s life reminds me of that of Che Guevara the young Argentinian doctor who fought all over Latin America for the liberation of his people without much consideration for his personal gain or safety.
He is such a committed man that he will never think of working against his people. His life is all about the welfare of people of Akwa Ibom. His mantra is always “I am an Akwa Ibom man first and then a Nigerian citizen”.
Like the scripture says, “many are the tribulations of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all”.
The good Lord will surely deliver Akpabio from the unwarranted insults from people who denied being beneficiaries of his goodness and indeed joined detractors and political opponents to malign, castigate, denigrate, and condemn him.

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