The December 18, 2015 nullification of the April 11, 2015 Akwa Ibom State Governorship election by the Court of Appeal Abuja Division has brought about an unprecedented realignment of political heavyweights and forces coming together to support Obong Umana Umana of the APC as the party gets set to dethrone the PDP whose 16 years reign in the state is gradually coming to a terminal end.
In this piece, DAN ETOKIDEM takes a look at the death of PDP in the oil rich Niger Delta State and why the Umana Okon Umana tsunami seems unstoppable.
21 days after he won his appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division which nullified the fraudulent April 11, 2015 Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election, Akwa Ibom’s symbol of liberation and APC Governorship candidate, Obong Umana Umana made a triumphant entry into Uyo to the warm embrace of thousands of enthusiastic APC supporters, party chieftains and PDP defectors who thronged the Akwa Ibom State International Airport (AKIA) to receive him and his entourage.
Umana whose court victory signalled the final demise of the PDP in the state also nailed the coffin to the hope of outgoing Governor Udom Emmanuel retaining his transient seat which many believe was acquired by blood and bullet.
But the journey was not an easy one because from April 11, 2015 when Akpabio hijacked the process of electing a governor with the connivance of a rogue INEC Commissioner Barr Austin Okojie, the battle for the Hilltop Mansion moved from the field to the courts. A political dispute was thus taken to court for legal interpretation. In their wisdom, the Justices at the trial Tribunal nullified election in 18 out of the 31 LGAs. It was a partial victory for the APC and the gradually descent to extinction for the dying PDP.
After six months at the tribunal, the battle moved to the appellate court. The court of Appeal on December 18, 2015 worsened Udom’s predicament as it unanimously nullified the fraud called 2015 Akwa Ibom Governorship election.
To make a better fool of himself and a mockery of his new found title of a “Deacon”, Udom tagged his being smuggled into office “Divine Mandate”, apparently believing the over 40 innocent voters gruesomely murdered by Akpabio’s thugs were “Martyrs” whose blood legitimized his election. It was a victory which emerged from a process that was too free but very unfair. INEC became more dependent on Akpabio than being independent while security agencies became appendages of the PDP.
In less than 60 days from the date of the Appeal Court judgement, the Supreme Court, Nigeria’s apex court is expected to rule in the Appeal filed by Udom Emmanuel who is fighting for his political life, a battle, political analysts say he has already lost. The Onna born ex-banker whose interregnum as Governor is gradually coming to a timely end is however determined to spend every dime on those considered capable to rescue him from the impending political doom. This explains why billions of naira are ferried daily to Abuja while workers in the state celebrated Christmas without salary.
Day by day, Umana Okon Umana and the APC whom no one gave a chance and whose bid to occupy the Hilltop Mansion was earlier dismissed with biting sarcastic mockery is now the bride courted by all and sundry. Umana’s victory has drained whatever blood was left in the life of the Akwa Ibom PDP.
With the change tsunami blowing across the political landscape, Umana seems unstoppable with a popular mass support and appeal that is unprecedented and astonishing. From Oron to Uyo, Ibesikpo to Abak, it’s Umana all the way, a household name that sends Udom trembling, sends Udom’s adrenaline level up and throws jitters down the spine of the PDP.
For a fact, whether Udom likes Umana or not, whether he adores him or abjures him, whether he vilifies or venerates him, whether he detest or deify him, what Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel surely cannot do is to ignore the name Umana Umana as the name is his greatest nightmare that is set to send him to his political Golgotha.
The name also reminds the PDP folks that soon the party will not only leave the Intensive Care Unit (ICU ) they currently are to the political mortuary of defunct political party’s who have faced the inevitable phase of extinction having lost focus, torch and reality with the people.
Sharp, articulate, dependable, intelligent, humble, resourceful and courageous, Umana is one of the most outstanding products of the APC revolution. His metoric rise to national consciousness is nothing short of a phenomenon. Slowly and steadily, Umana has witnessed a geometric rise in his quest to redeem the state and reposition it for greatest.
Today, even his critics will admit he has become a multi talented individual. They see Umana the administrator, the technocrat, the strategist, the mobilizer, the organizer, the researcher, the business man, the politician and most tragic for the PDP, the next Governor of Akwa Ibom state.
If the PDP feels sad with the steady rise of Umana, the situation seems worse for Akpabio who is already falling ill with the heavy burden he face coping with the inevitable reality that Umana, a man he fought God to undermine becoming Governor is on the verge to become not just Governor but Governor by popular demand without the support of Ukana, the fountain of deceit, lies and enslavement. It is even more devastating for former first lady, Ukana Akpabio, who taught Akwa Ibom was part of her matrimonial inheritance. Before their very eyes, their political empire is collapsing, crashing with resounding descent.
To Akwa Ibom people, it does not matter what you think of him. Umana represents the symbol of change and has the divinity of divine grace.
He is the force upon which tyranny, oppression and impunity have met their waterloo. With few weeks away from the Supreme Court judgement and 90 days for INEC to conduct fresh election, Umana Umana’s name will continue to dominate political discourse. To the APC, he is the symbol of change and liberation. To the PDP, he is their nemesis.
Source: Destiny Young