By Aniekeme Finbarr
The All Progressive Congress as a party is immune to celebrating success or anything good at all. The DNA of the party is cast in destruction. The real essence of the formation of the party was to smear the character of any good man found in the PDP. For several months, they deplored men and resources on this satanic mission and very regrettably, gullible Nigerians fell for it, thinking it was change they voted for.
I’m therefore not surprised that the APC’s honeymoon with the new speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barr Onofiok Luke is already over (apologies to my friend, Osondu Ahirika), the APC were the loudest celebrators of Barr Luke’s emergence. They wrote flowery congratulatory messages to extol him. The characteristically antagonistic and ruthless All Progressives Congress, APC, combatants and their apparatchik celebrated his elevation not because they love him but because they perceived that Onofiok Luke fought his political mentor, Chief Godswill Akpabio. It is only barely a few days and the APC are back to their path of character assassination because it is simply not in their blood to associate with good things for too long.
As I punch the keyboards these moment, you may have come across several false stories syndicated by APC’s propaganda team aimed at tarnishing the image of Barr Onofiok Luke. The latest is the false story that there is a plot by Onofiok Luke to assassinate the APC guber hopeful, Mr Umana Okon Umana. There are a handful of other stories like; ‘PDP Caucus rejects Onofiok’, ‘Uwem Ita spoils for a showdown with Onofiok Luke’ and several other wickedly concocted stories.
So, the natural question on the lips of the people is, Why is the APC scared of Onofiok Luke? This is a young man that is easily loved, respected, valued, treasured and celebrated by the great Akwa Ibom community, irrespective of tribe and religion. Luke is a man who has earned the respect of elders and the support of the youths. He commands an army of genuine admirers and a legion of followers beyond human reasoning and understanding. In his political Odyssey, he has made bold attempts to relate with people across political borders, even against conventional political practice.
Who then is afraid of his towering image? Who is afraid of Luke’s acceptability? Why are people then afraid of his political discipline? What exactly is the APC scared about?
For those who may not know, the emergence of Barr Luke is of great political significance. Pundits have analyzed the present political situation in the state vis a vis the last court of appeal judgement concerning the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election matter. The Court has ordered a re-run in the 31 LGAs in the state. While the PDP and Governor Udom Emmanuel have approached the supreme Court for its final say so on the matter, the worst case scenario is that there would be a re-run and Akwa Ibom people will go back to the polls to elect their Governor. In the case of a re-run, pundits have also said the speaker e of the house will stand in as acting Governor.
There comes in Onofiok Luke, member Representing Nsit Ubium in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, the same Constituency the APC guber hopeful, Umana Umana comes from. It is as good as a concluded issue. Barr Luke punctured the Umana’s opposition in Nsit Ubium and came out smoking at the last elections. His uncanny ability to convince the electorates to his side in the face of stiff opposition gave him the clear edge. Luke engaged in a painstaking and thorough grassroots campaign that saw him to every place where two or three were gathered; churches, farms, markets, village squares and halls, streams, pubs and people’s homes.
If the above scenario (though unlikely) plays out, Onofiok Luke will chase the APC to insignificance with his strong political aura and endearing mien. As a loyal party man, he will mobilize men and materials to ensure total and complete victory for the PDP in the state.
Like Governor Udom Emmanuel, Onofiok Luke is a child of destiny, a symbol of a new face of leadership. The audacious truth is that Onofiok Luke has been divinely equipped and endowed for this task and it is not by any stretch of imagination, beyond his competence and the massive goodwill he commands.
I know the APC is scared because Luke and their guber hopeful are from the same local government. They know that as long as Luke remains Speaker of the Parliament, their candidate is a goner. The APC guber candidate is no match for Luke in Nsit Ubium. More so, the speaker and the Governor cannot emerge from the same senatorial district. Even in the worst case of a re-run, the APC should learn to live with their mistake of choosing a candidate from Uyo senatorial zone against the hallowed zoning arrangement of power rotating around the three senatorial districts in Akwa Ibom State. Onofiok Luke is not in anyway one of their problems. They should allow him focus on the sacred task of making laws for the good of Akwa Ibom state.
Onofiok Luke is of the Peoples Democratic Party and that remains sacrosanct. The insinuations that he will betray the Governor and or act as a clog in the wheels of progress is cheap propaganda. Onofiok knows the side on which his bread is buttered. How can the APC be more catholic than the Pope? How suddenly do they now love Onofiok more than the PDP? Which party voted for Onofiok Luke in the first place?
My only worry is for the innocent political audience who may not be weary of APC’s tactics of blackmail and propaganda at getting to power. Apparently, it has failed this time.