By Robinson Uwak
By the mid-90s Chief Edet Osung Uwak had passed on. He was now to be addressed as Late Chief Edet Osung Uwak. He was 61years old at the time of his death.
Known for his philanthropy and stance against injustice many thronged to his Udung Ukpong country home to attend his funeral.
The once energetic, charismatic yet compassionate father, community organizer and advocate against injustice lay stiff and motionless as men and women from all walks of life turned up to pay their last respect as he lay in state. Late Chief Uwak was laid to rest on the 21st day of May, 1996.
Apart from the many scholarships, employment facilitation, support to the needy, to mention a few, he is remembered to have stood against injustice at all levels and in many instances sponsored legal representation in defense of persons wrongly accused or incarcerated. Like many other parents of our time Chief preached hard-work and upright living to his wards.
Parents in our time did their best to entrench good morals in us. They vigorously followed up on our activities, pointing us to men and women of proven integrity as role models. Our parents maintained strict zero tolerance for corruption and never hesitated to discipline us if they ever found us in company of persons perceived to be corrupt.
Late Chief Osung Uwak was my father; he would have been 81years old by now if he were to be alive. He could have been a contemporary of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The question is; could I have sat back to watch from a distance while my father locked hands with his contemporary President Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against corruption?
General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida had this to say during an interview with BBC Hausa service by mid-April, 2010 and I quote
“Honestly, it is our wish that God will bring the younger people that will take over from us if they are available. I was the one who introduced the politics of new breed in this country. We have seen signs that they are not capable of leading this country and so we feel we should help them. May be they are not given the proper education that is why. I have spent 17 years since I left office.
Haba! The younger generation is supposed to be in charge by now.” – General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida
IBB spoke bluntly like a general and he is not far from the truth. Get on the social media today and you would see the young people General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was referring to.
Young people paid to glorify the men and times of a leadership who told us “stealing is not corruption”. A government who glaringly exalted militancy over education and career. Leaders who by their lavish patronage for “runs” said it was not prostitution. They promoted sharp practices and fueled the vehicle of corruption that has driven our economy into a state of recession.
IBB was right, only his contemporary could do the job, particularly one who has a reputation of being upright.
I can imagine President Muhammadu Buhari’s heart and thoughts when he wept in 2011 while thinking about us. Buhari did what any right thinking father should do. He refused to give up on us; he refused to let this country drown. He literally stepped out of retirement, shuttling towns, cities and states in campaign just to fight what was fighting our infrastructure and stealing our future.
As we inch closer to a new year in the life of our nation, let us stand with our fathers in the noble fight against corruption. Add your name and share this message. Let the world know what your father stood for.
I can tell what the father of Inibehe Effiong stood for by his stance against corruption. I can tell what the father of Japheth Omojuwa stood for, I can tell what the father of Abubarkar Sadique Usman Stood for, I can tell what the father of Chinedu Ekeke stood for, same for Muktar Daniyan, Uche Chuta, Sam Hart, Isa Audu, Leo Ekpenyong, Abubarkar Suleiman, Reginald Bassey, Omoyele Sowore, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Zainab Usman, Nicholas Ibekwe, Kayode Ogundamisi.
Uwak is the immediate past representative of Oron Fderal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatves