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The Many Sides of Vena Ikem's Declaration By BASSEY ITA

APC Huber aspirant, Barr Venatius Ikem

The political lexicon will continue to harvest new vocabularies as political events unfold. Some have a semblance of reality while some end up as Jest considerations. But all are defined by the content of minds and the resultant actions that follow the conduct of each and every character in a particular scene at a certain time.

Suffice it to say then, that the drama that characterized recent declaration for APC governorship ticket by Barr. Vena Ikem has further advanced the meaning of '' Politics with Ethics'', a theory advanced by Prof. Ben Ayade which represents the  visit of mayhem on political opponents in a bid to reduce their strength and prowl. It was a study in shame! as rightly captured by Barr Ikem in his remark on the issue. I'm sure the good people of Obudu would have a verdict of resentment to express about such bestiality.

Whatever the reactions might be afterwards, one thing is certain, the declaration actually took place and of course succeeded in playing out different sides of itself. That's the unique character of the event. The declaration was one too many!               

The planned disruption was in my imagination and opinion perpetrated to stop the public impression of the event perhaps to run home with the impression that it did not see the light of day. But alas, such thoughts as made manifest in the actions of the hirelings was a disappointment to the perpetrators. Did they consider what spiritual undertones the success of the event brought? Did they ever consider that the Traditional Institution had one leg of  blessing and anointing for the office to dish out to any of their sons or daughters they decide to lay hands on?

The declaration was a composite event and had succeeded in all fronts. The 12 clans of Bette Community where Ikem and Ayade hail from reenacted the biblical injunction that there is always one blessing or anointing to dish out at times of contention and that whom they choose to bless or anoint is already equipped and empowered for the plum job of Governor of Cross River State.

So significantly, Barr . Ikem was that chosen one. Anyone who comes like a thief in the night, can only get the black market anointed, to borrow a typical Nigerian slangs. After all, the Holy Book declares that Jacob was blessed but Esau was cursed. For Ikem, again, it was a traditional endorsement which has the significance of being the general statement of the Bette people and beyond.

Chief Austin Nawa who presided over the event as the Paramount Chief of Bette Nation, did not mince words in the traditional declaration as he blessed and released the guber hopeful with the very strong victory harp '' Go forth and conquer ''.

The traditional washing of his feet indicates that like water, according to one of the popular Fela Anikolapo kuti's renditions, 'water no get enemy' will never be swift to be taken by any opposing force whatsoever. And the community leaders did not fail to express their joy with him as well as their resentment with Ayade.                             

Apparently smarting from the hope that beacons, a prominent son of the area, Barr. Angilibi Ogar said while addressing a sea of party faithful that '' We can't breath even fresh and clean air anymore'' apparently referring to the poor road infrastructure in the town which has been a serious health issue. All those roads have been scrapped and have been left bare. The roads were said to be constructed by Ikem during his days as Council Chairman and as Works Commissioner. The people live at the mercy of dust which even blocks visibility and results in accidents and death.

By this singular act of Ayade, Ikem got more support and accolades from his people like never before. Utsu Sampson Ogar, Clan Head of Bediading Ukwel said 'we call him' katsuetsue kpizi' which means the ability to win out of strategic swiftness against all odds. Or 'Angwubua', indicating that he is loveable for his prowess likened to the white man's mastery of affairs. And 'Utelibuom He 1',literally interpreted as one leader who is followed because he is trusted.

The political endorsement drew deep inspiration from the expressions on the faces of party faithful during his early hour declaration to his Bediading ward. They beamed with sustained smiles and made a celebration out of a mere declaration. And he was really at home with them as usual.

The gunshots, the violent attacks and all the campaign of calumny did not deter success. the declaration followed his presentation of letter of intent to the chairman of the Obudu chapter of the party. This is as selfless party members drawn from far and near defied the  attack and the resultant  fear and or tension to find their way to a new venue quite some kilometers away from the theatre of violence.

One thing came to mind concerning the overall, it was a verdict by the resilient and resolute mass of Cross River people against the misrule of the PDP that has taken their state farther backward.           

BASSEY ITA writes as an eyewitness and a stakeholder of the APC.
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