By Akanimo Sampson
Retired Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, and a former military governor of Akwa Ibom State has explained why the electorate in big oil state massively rejected the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and his new party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in this year’s general elections.
He said the March 9, Governorship and state House of Assembly polls proved one thing: ‘’Akwa Ibom people voted for freedom, they voted to end the misleading belief of a single individual who had previously arrogated unto himself the sole repository of political power, knowledge and strength.
‘’They voted to enjoy the peace and security we have been enjoying for the past almost four years, they voted for development over the selling of our commonwealth, they voted for unity and brotherhood over the forces of division and attrition; they voted for a man who puts God ahead in all his deliberations, over those who put the power of the gun and bayonets in their daily engagements.’’
Nkanga who dominated the affairs of the state from September 1990 to January 1992, during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, was speaking at Uyo, the state capital, for the elders and some critical stakeholders on the outcome of the elections in Akwa Ibom.
The ex-air chief who had as his deputy, Obong Ufot Ekaette, who later became Secretary to the Government of the Federation under forme President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007), established the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation by edict in April 1988, and officially commissioned the station on July 27, 1991.
In 2002 he reportedly sought to be a governorship candidate for the Nigeria Democratic Party (NDP) in the 2003 elections. In 2007, he was appointed Chairman of the Akwa Ibom Airport Implementation Committee.
The International airport was opened on November 26, 2009, though the primary focus was on cargo traffic and airplane maintenance repair and overhaul, the airport started by serving commercial local passenger flights.
In December 2009 as an elder of the Ibibio people he was a strong supporter former Governor Godswill Akpabio. In January 2010 he was a member of the South-South Elders and Leaders’ Forum.
In a press conference where he thanked the people of the state for trooping out en-mass on March 9, to cast their votes to re-elect Governor Udom Emmanuel-ONLY GOD! He said there was a promise of Armageddon; of Warsaw saw war, the importation of thugs from Benin , Edo State to inflict violence on the people and cause the election to be cancelled or rendered inconclusive.
‘’This manufactured tension was aimed at causing major voters’ apathy and apprehension, the strategic imperative being to create a chill in the air and therefore, cause our people to stay at home. But you- our dear people refused to be cowed or intimated by their evil and devious machinations and plots; you refused to give in to intimidations; you refused to compromise on the future of our state, our common patrimony, you rose like meteors and voted for peace, security, good governance, the future of your children, the continuous development of our state; you rose and formed an electoral human shield and dared the so- called Federal Might to break your will. In the end, the much touted Federal Might wilted and buckled under the People’s might, God showed up and proved that ONLY HE ALONE determines who gets power and who doesn’t’’, he said.
The rest of Nkanga’s testimony goes thus: ‘’Those who boasted of Warsaw saw war, suffered the same fate as the man who had commanded the German troops on September 1, 1939 to go to Warsaw, Poland and killed the innocent Jewish people, Adolf Hitler.
‘’Like Adolf Hitler who was deserted at the end of his misadventure by the previously fawning generals and now depressed and forlorn in a solitary bunker, committed suicide, those who promised us war were consumed by the tempest of anger of the people who massively turned against their evil designs and rejected them at the polls. Their boasts of Warsaw saw war became the symphony of their political suicide. ONLY GOD!
‘’The governorship election in our state was against all predications and in spite of a few skirmishes and intimidation by those who claimed to represent our tax payers’ funded security agencies, a peaceful exercise.
‘’We have read the laughable assertion by the APC that its governorship candidate “won” in 26 local governments of the state. May we ask if such victories were conjured in their dreams, because the reality is that Akwa Ibom is PDP and PDP is Akwa Ibom!
‘’While we campaigned from unit to wards, to local government areas and the entire nooks and crannies of the state, selling our candidate, his superlative achievements, the peace and security we are enjoying and persuading the people not to return to the dreadful days of insecurity, politically motivated assassinations, kidnappings and the carnage of the past , and the people listened, the other side relied more on the famed federal might and the force or instruments of violence as the only means for them to win the elections.
‘’While we went to all strata of the society, the church, traders, auto mechanics, the professional class and the informal sectors and persuaded them to vote for our candidates, the other side was busy negotiating with militants to come and be “investors and contractors” in their evil plans to kill and maim our people in order to win election. The people voted for peace over death and violence.
‘’We wish to quote from the widely circulated post-mortem analysis of the reason the APC failed woefully on March 9, 2019, by Obong (Dr.) Godwin Noah who served as Chairman, sub-committee on Security, Etinan Local Government Area APC Campaign Committee, I knew it would be easier for the head of an elephant to pass through the eye of the needle than for our party to win the elections of the 9th of March, 2019 when we lost 29 local governments areas to PDP during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Where did we expect to manufacture votes from?” He went on to further state thus “Also we don’t need the services of a clairvoyant to know that most if not all our candidates were not prepared for the elections. Some were mere pretenders than contenders.
‘’The good people of Akwa Ibom spoke through their votes on March 9, and unanimously made their choice known on whom they felt best represents their values, hopes, aspirations and future growth and peaceful co-existence, they voted massively for the re-election of Deacon Udom Emmanuel as their governor. They people have spoken and their will MUST BE RESPECTED!’’