The Akwa Ibom State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has told Governor Udom Emmanuel to call his ‘Divine Mandate’ Elders to order.
This is contained in a press statement signed by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Ita Awak.
The press statement which is a rejoinder to the earlier press statement by elders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state, said by insulting the president, Retired Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga has urinated upon the longstanding military tradition of respect to senior military officers.
“These days in Akwa Ibom State, the phrase ‘divine mandate’ is like the Holy Grail to supporters of the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel. It excites so much passion in their breasts that the phrase animates every conversation and gathering among the governor’s fawning followers like nothing else in the State.
“‘Divine mandate’ is invoked as a curse against every form of criticism of the lamentable track record of Udom’s administration. Even the sheerest mention of the issue of governance in the state that is not laced with sycophantic praise is attacked with the invocation of ‘divine mandate.’ What they are saying is that Udom Emmanuel’s ‘election’ was ordained by God and no one should raise a voice against it or criticise anything done by Mr Udom Emmanuel’s government.
“They forget that God is not in the business of murder and assassination to make anyone governor, which means that God could not have had a hand in where Udom Emmanuel has found himself today. His current position is a function of bullets and bullion vans underwritten by Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio to whom he bears unflinching allegiance instead of the people of the State. They’d better stop the use of the name of the Lord in vain, “For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain,” says the Lord.
“In the latest deployment of ‘divine mandate’ as a talisman against any citizen’s review of the Udom Emmanuel administration, a group of men serving the Governor, led by Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, under the name “Elders of the Divine Mandate,” published an open letter in The Nation of Monday, 4 April to the President, accusing Senator Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President, National Assembly (Senate) of launching “unwarranted insults and lies” at Governor Udom Emmanuel.
“We want to take a very strong exception to the senseless deployment of public funds by the Udom Emmanuel administration to sponsor baseless advertorials in many National Newspapers, forgetting that at the time of promoting this fabrication of lies against Ita Enang, most civil servants were owed arrears of salary and pensioners had not been paid for months in the State.
“This profligacy has gone on for far too long with no thought for the welfare of the people! Akwa Ibom people are going through the valley of death right now in the State while Udom Emmanuel spares no thought for them but wallows in praise singing by the “divine mandate Elders.”
“In an 11-paragraph full page advertorial, the “Elders of Divine Mandate” could not bring out one instance or statement or
phrase or word of insults and lies which they said Ita Enang was guilty of. All they could say was that each time Senator Ita Enang is in Akwa Ibom, he uses a local radio station “to insult and lie against the State Governor.” But why didn’t they quote at least a line or a phrase from the alleged insults and lies by Senator Ita Enang in the advertorial? This is shameful and peculiar to elders who just wakeup and propose a project to Governor Udom Emmanuel to collect money and care less about their integrity in the service of “divine mandate.”
“We regularly listen to Ita Enang’s interventions whenever he is in Akwa Ibom, because he usually speaks the mind of Akwa Ibom patriots. All he does in those interventions is to demand evidence of good governance; to seek explanations to quixotic acts of government. And he always speaks for himself as a free citizen of Akwa Ibom State. He doesn’t drop names. He never invokes the name of the President in his interviews on the parlous state of governance in Akwa Ibom.
“Yet the elders of the so called divine mandate talk of insults forgetting that many of them have routinely insulted President Muhammadu Buhari on world-wide TVs and nobody has reported them to Udom Emmanuel. Maybe we should do that right here. We hereby call upon Governor Udom Emmanuel to call to order some Elders of his “divine mandate” who have been insulting and lying against President Buhari.
“One of them is Senator Anietie Okon of the linguistic bombast fame. He routinely insults our President, Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of dictatorship and of being “a threat” to the rule of law. The most egregious insult to Buhari from Udom Emmaniel’s Elders of “divine mandate” has come from rtd. Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, the leader of the divine mandate himself. Whereas Nkanga is obligated by military tradition to show utmost respect to the President who was senior to him in the Nigerian Military, yet Nkanga urinated upon this cherished tradition and described Buhari as an “Illiterate who is not fit to lead the nation” during the last general elections campaigns.
“Of course, Nkanga and Anietie Okon took a cue from their leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who insulted Buhari at every campaign stop throughout 2015, calling him “an illiterate who had no educational qualifications to rule Nigeria but was only qualified to shoot guns as a retired soldier”.
“Even as recently as 2016, Udom Emmanuel, the State Governor himself, described President Buhari as “a Hausa Fulani man who was only after Akwa Ibom oil.” The question then is: Who is dealing insults and telling lies? Of course, it is the “divine mandate” clan.
“The bottom line is that Governor Udom Emmanuel should call his “divine mandate” elders to order instead of the other way round against Senator Ita Enang and stop funding such baseless propaganda on the pages of National Newspapers to appease himself”, the statement reads.