I returned from a usually riveting Sunday service and got online to surf the facebook timelines. Let me confess, my brother, Torobong Ekpo is one of my favourite pages. We have come a long way together writing, and so often, comparing notes.
Much as I respect his views, there are times I disagree with him on issues. One of such is his latest piece, titled, DAKKADA CREED: AN INDUSTRIALIZATION INCANTATION OR A TEN COMMANDMENT? It came with a rider, “..AN OVERVIEW OF UDOM UNGUARDED UTTERANCE.”
I did sieve through the piece which is a critique of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s position, that, those who will make his Cabinet must be able to recite the DAKKADA creed. This criterion, it seems, rankles my brother and he raised questions on why this requirement.
He wonders whether the Dakkada creed is akin to the Ten Commandment. He nurses a fear it may have occultic implication and undertone. Of course my brother says the five fingers insignia of Dakkada, stands for ‘Shege’, or as he put it, Governor Emmanuel’s codified way of saying to politicians, “SHAME ONTO YOU or WAIT UNTIL IT’S YOUR TURN.”
There is also the sarcastic view that those now labeled, ‘Lagos Returnees’, are the people the insignia solicits for. To this end, my brother put it as, ” WAIT FOR YOUR TURN, TILL MY LAGOS HOMMIES ARE DONE.”
There is also the other angle of the alleged resignation of erstwhile Commissioner for Commerce, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, as frustration with the Dakkada movement. There were other issues, but these are the preponderant themes sizzling through the piece.
Give it to him, Torobong writes in a way that retains my interest. But as I said, I hold a divergent view of all his arguments.
So folks, Let us reason together:
Is Governor Emmanuel wrong to demand that his would-be cabinet members recite the Dakkada creed?
On July 27, 2016, The Senate began screening of the 47 ambassadorial nominees forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari for legislative approval. Reports were rife that, some of the nominees, who were drilled by members of the Senate
Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, could not recite the national anthem and the national pledge smoothly. While some of them stuttered while reciting
either the anthem or the pledge, others missed their lines in the process.
The news shocked many Nigerians and the video went viral on social media. That was not the first time people who were itching to serve Nigeria at the highest levels could not recite the commonest stanzas that encode the very spirit of our National goals, ideals and vision. That questions their patriotism more than anything else. They are simply not nationalists and are journeymen who seek power for its sake.
Folks’, Governor Emmanuel has a vision for the state which overwhelmingly elected him. In words and deeds, he has encoded his dream for Akwa Ibom State. Everyman of good conscience will agree with me, that, the basic requirement for those who will qualify to serve as aides to the governor, so as to drive and translate his vision, should be people who are completely immersed and persuaded by his(Governor Emmanuel’s) manifestoe to reach his goals.
Let us spiritualize this as my brother did. The hallmark of loyalty and true discipleship is total belief in the master and submission to his teachings and doctrine. Jesus laid out the rudimentary standard and expectation of discipleship. “Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)
This implies that, to be a disciple, one must(I)Love Jesus above everyone
and everything else
(ii)Be dedicated to following Christ
and the Commandments.
(iii)Live the Word
(iv)Professes the Word regularly
and effectively and propagate same.
Jesus is the archetypal leader and set that standard requiring that, true disciples must be faithful and do the work of their master. Folks’, where did Governor Emmanuel go wrong to say that, those who wish to work with him must be enmeshed with his passion? He was right. How can you be a Commissioner when you don’t even know the Five points Agenda outlined by the governor? How then will you serve effectively, if you don’t even know where he is leading? Hmmmm!
Then, about the Dakkada insignia, it is not shege. Fact is, as the Ibibios say, ‘akene nnanga afo adat”, translated, “it depends on how you view it. Some people may see the cup as ‘half empty’, others will behold the cup as, ‘half full’. I chose the later.
Ever heard about the, ‘High five salute’? Folks’, before you read this any further, give your friend or the one sitting by you a High Five. Whenever and wherever we do this, in church, school or market square, we summon the higher cheers of optimism, hope, belief, bouyancy, confidence, rosiness expectation and achievement. That is the Arise spirit of Dakkada. A high five salute.
It is emblematic of success, ambition and light at the end of the tunnel. As a student of the Bible, I can tell you authoritatively, that, The number 5 stands for GRACE.
In the Bible, it is significant because by
his creation, ‘Man’ has five
fingers, five senses and five toes. These are the major enablers of man to rule and dominate his world. It is therefore the epitome of God’s grace empowering him to excel to greatness.
That insignia is not from illuminati, freemasons or any other deviations for that matter.
Then to the
issue of Commissioners. Methink, we do Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem great disservice if we keep mixing the facts. I don’t think Enoidem has told anybody he is desperate to remain a Commissioner for life. If I am correct, he holds the record of being the longest serving Commissioner since the creation of the State. He has been there as Commissioner since June 2007. Haba!
If the governor, whose sole prerogative it is, to appoint Commissioners desires to reappoint him, so be it without apologies to anyone. If he gives another person opportunity, that is not the end of the story for Barr. Enoidem. He may get bigger responsibilities tomorrow. Of a truth, he is a solid believer in the Udom is Right project. He did say only rapture will stop Udom from being governor, and he was pretty right. That doesn’t mean, he must have it his way.
I am certain, he knows that. Already, people are mounting pressure on Governor Emmanuel to drop the ilk of Barr. Enoidem accusing him of being a stooge. Now, they are also accusing him of victimizing the same man after cabinet dissolution. Haba!
The issue of Lagos returnees is neither here nor there. I wonder when it became a sin for one to leave home and pursue a career outside, and after a successful stint, return to serve his people. In saner climes, such people are celebrated and begged to come and contribute their expertise to raising the bar of public service.
Did Dr. Mrs Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and several others like Oby Ezekwesili not return from the world Bank and Diaspora to help revive Nigeria’s economy? These people are not less qualified Akwa Ibom indigenes than those who are home based, simply because they sojourned in strange lands. As ibibio’s say, “Inuen afuro ke enyong, mkpat asuk ase isong.” They are not slaves or extra terrestrial beings. They are bonafide Akwa Ibom citizens and have every right thereto.
Finally, the issue of the governor’s aides using keke or not having cars is also blown out of proportion. The other day, some people were attacking Governor Emmanuel for flying in the state-owned private jet. They lambasted him saying it is elitist and insensitive in a recession economy. The governor of Abia state was even promoted as flying a commercial. Peace Aircraft and that was showcased as prudence. When the Ministers or governors of other states fly in chattered private jets, there is nothing wrong with it. Hells fury is only let loose, when it has to do with Governor Emmanuel. Forunately, a tiny minority share that antagonistic view. We all know, the governor does not junket around in the jet, just for the fun of it.
I will not waste time engaging in a unprofitable controversies and debate.
Finally, I will not speak for the governor or his aides. But I know, those aides will not swap that status with anyone, official car or no official car. If they don’t have it today, it can come tomorrow. They very well know that, so long as there is life, it is possible.
I have refused to criticize the governor on this score because, I am not unmindful of the fact that, the revenue accruing to the state has declined considerably, while the challenges, statutory, capital, recurrent and emergent expenditures, remain constant and increasing. I have no doubt, all will be well. Let the aides serve selflessly with joy and total loyalty. Their payday will come.
I only hope, when it does come, Governor Udom will not be accused of profligate spending on aides by the opposition.
Folks’, I am going straight away to learn the Dakkada creed. It is all about attitudinal rectification, mental reformation and economic
regeneration. Now for those who don’t know of the creed, it reads:
“Akwa Ibomites, rise to the faith of
Rise to the faith that with God all things
Rise to the faith that Akwa Ibom was
created by God out of greatness
Rise to the faith that as a people, we can
move beyond ethnicity, biases, religion,
Rise to togetherness
Rise to the faith of our resources, beyond
what others see, human and intellectual
Rise to chart a new course for us, our
children and a generation of Akwa
Rise to the faith that one day; we shall be
counted as great people of a great state
with great minds
Rise to the faith that all these are possible
and many more
Hold fast the confession of our hope
without wavering, for he who promised is
I rise to the faith that Akwa Ibom was
created to be great
I rise to the faith that Akwa Ibom is
destined to be great
I am an Akwaibomite
I rise to a faith of greatness
Akwa Ibom Dakkada!”
Ami mme dakkanda!