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HomeEditorialOpinionIS MBOHO MKPARAWA IBIBIO AN EXTENSION OF PDP?

IS MBOHO MKPARAWA IBIBIO AN EXTENSION OF PDP?

By UbongAbasi ISE

“You don’t get unity by ignoring the questions that have to be faced – Jay Weatherill
On Saturday, 6th August, 2016, I strolled into an electrified atmosphere of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio Secretariat at Udo Udoma Avenue where Governor Udom Emmanuel was treated to a grand reception as well as his induction into Akwa Ibom top youth socio-cultural group, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio. I was indeed regaled by the rich, sanguine culture of my dear state put to display by ebullient citizens that thronged the venue of the auspicious event. Top citizens graced the occasion; the weather was glorious; the perfect weather provided a perfect mix with the well-kept environment dotted with ornamental trees and greenly grasses stretching both sides of a dual carriage way which snaked through and lost in the horizon.

The Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, as we know, is a socio-cultural organization of Ibibio youths founded on 1st August, 1987 by 12 young men from mainland of the then Cross River State now called Akwa Ibom State. The inaugural meeting of Mboho took place at No. 7 Bonny Street, Calabar. The primary aim of the founding members was to promote Ibibio culture, tradition and dignity, as well as fostering unity amongst the Ibibio youths through economic, social and political inclusiveness.

But at the Saturday’s event, my innocuous mood was instantaneously harassed by stark reality of political divisiveness and partisan discrimination orchestrated courtesy of sectional interest and private ambition of selfish politicians. It appeared so unfortunate that Mboho platform has fast been transformed to another ‘Berlin Wall’ cast to separate the youths of Ibibio, and Akwa Ibom people at large into rivaled political camps.

In his goodwill message delivered at the event, the Senate Majority Leader and immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio called on the entire membership of Mboho to root for Governor Udom Emmanuel beyond 2019. He maintained that Mboho has never said two different things before, and the organization has never given a chance to opposition party to come into its hall other than the state’s ruling party. In his words, “Mboho has never said two things. That is what makes Mboho different from other organizations. Mboho cannot leave this hall for the opposition to organize event – Mboho has never done that before, have they? As far as Mboho as of today handed this hall to Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, only Udom in 2019 will be in this hall, that is what I know.” Considering this elder statesman’s position, is this not a clear evident that Ibibio youths who do not have any political affiliation with political party other than PDP are from without, and therefore treated, more or less as outsiders? If there is no level playing ground, then I must question the extent of Mboho’s unity.

The International President of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Akparawa Monday Etokakpan, in his speech, reiterated support for Mr. Udom come 2019. Addressing the governor directly, the President said, “Your Excellency, we are saying Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio has reinstated to stand by you, to promote you, to support you. You have done one year, and you have to complete the remaining 7 years as governor of Akwa Ibom State.” But had this speaker actually brought into consideration, given the way things goes at the moment, whether the majority of the people would still repose confident in this governor?

Even the highly ecstatic Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Barr. Onofiok Luke, had appreciated the Mboho’s position to support Udom’s re-election in 2019. He said since both Obong Victor Attah and Chief Godswill Akpabio each served 8 years in office, therefore Udom would not be an exception.

I believe the dancer would never know his back is at improper position. This speaker of the Akwa Ibom State 6th assembly need to be told that his legislature is another arm of government; that the practice in our type of democracy is separation of power, not fusion of power; Barr. Luke needs to be told that the mandate of the house is to check and balance the excesses of the executive arms and remain dispassionate, not lend the governor support religiously.

The governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel in his remark, said, “PDP is as strong as ever – the umbrella is unbroken, the umbrella cannot be torn; the umbrella is the only thing that can cover everybody.

“Let me assure you that Akwa Ibom is PDP, and PDP is Akwa Ibom. We stand firm, and we stand strong. This is the party that is going to bring development to this state, and I stand here to reassure you again that we are highly focused; we know where we are going to. Just follow us, by the time we reach our destination, I am sure everybody will see the light; everybody will see where we are going to; everybody will realize that Akwa Ibom is the state to be reckoned with, not only in Nigeria, but all over the world.”

Akwa Ibom people must have been so weary now with promises. Mr. Udom should know it is a wrong time to begin campaign now. He should begin the work in earnest.

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