January 2 every year is usually set aside by the government and people of Akwa Ibom State, since the era of the then governor Godswill Akpabio in 2008, to thank God Almighty for the out-gone year and to re-dedicate the affairs of the state in the new year to God.
However, the governor, Udom Emmanuel turned this year's event to an opportunity to visit political vendetta on his critics and the opposition, while praising himself and extolling his achievements particularly peace to high Heavens.
Not done, he invoked “Let God use this night and enter Akwa Ibom State the way He entered in those days for the children of Israel. I plead the blood of Jesus upon the land, mercy of God upon the land, peace upon the land, prosperity and development upon the land.”
The Holy Book records that after the Israelites had performed the Passover, the Angel of God in the night smote the first born in Egypt except the first born of the Israelites some centuries ago.
Before now, Dr. Sunday Mbang, the Prelate Emeritus of Methodist Church Nigeria had prayed to God to kill people who in their secret meetings were planning to rig next month's election or those planning to wreak violence in the state during the election and the congregation chorused “Amen!”
The governor noted “This year will be one of continuous peace, prosperity, unity, oneness and rejection of every known instrument of division in our land. It will be a year of wholesome rejection of violence and the plans of those who want to sell our commonwealth to the highest bidder without regard to our collective welfare and those of our children. This year will be one where Akwa Ibom interest will and must supersede the interest of individuals or groups.
“Akwa Abasi Ibom (God Almighty) detects, arranges, manages, defines and shapes what happens in this state. No instrument of man can change God's plan for our state and our people. No devices of man or naysayers- their lies, their much-vaunted Warsaw song, their battle cry, their promise to deploy the Federal might to forcefully go against the will of our people will stand.”
Lifting his face, he took a plunge “Dear Akwa Ibomites, it is shameful that our so called leaders could sit and cut deals to mortgage the future of Akwa Ibom State and imperil the future of our children just to gain power and they have the audacity to tell you that they are working to protect your interest.
“That is all but lies. For sometime now, men who are mere mortals have told you they alone can determine the course of your destiny. They have told you they alone have answers to our problems. They have told you that if you fail to follow their laid-down rules or follow their paths they have charted for you that they will visit violence on you and your children. Today, we are saying God is God alone.”
Then he queried: “Do you know that the children they want to use to unleash their planned violence on you this election year are your children? Do you know that their children are living in the best part of the world, attending the best schools and living in the choicest parts of the world? Yet, they want to use your children to unleash violence on you… Today, we say: Holy Ghost, fire!”
Udom who forgot to thank God for the state and his administration, dismissed the opposition, saying “It shall not stand neither shall it come to pass. As we usher in this New Year and when they tell you of their evil and devilish plan, inform them what Governor Udom Emmanuel has done in the past three and half years is not just to prepare the future for our children but to secure the future of our children so that they too can afford to go to the best schools as their children so that they too can have a safe, secure, peaceful and violence-free environment as their own children.”
He also gave a charge to the crowd: “Tell them that their selfish ambition will not push you to sacrifice our collective over their selfish interest. Tell them that the proud sons and daughters of Akwa Ibom have been led by not just one person, that no single person can play God in this state and that we have achieved a lot so far through only God and He alone will allow the right man to continue with His good works.
“This is a critical, important year- a year you will make consequential decisions, a year you must separate light from darkness, a year we must separate evil from good, a year we will determine to live in peace and prosperity and never to return to the dark and scary years of kidnappings, violence, politically motivated killings, an era when men played God, and you were too scared to lift your voices, to raise your hands to complain without being murdered or kidnapped.
“This is a critical year and election year that will determine if Akwa Ibom story will continue to be written in glowing terms or return to ugly, dark chapters. But we are saying with only God we shall match forward. This is the stark choice I am presenting to you, but God says choose life, choose the right path.”
He enjoined the people to “be bold, be courageous! God is the mightier of the mightiest, the greater of the greatest, the higher of the highest, the Lord of lords, the King of Kings and the God of gods. He rules over the affairs of men. You have nothing to fear!”
He alluded to the opposition against him as unserious. “All are but noise. Isaiah said all those you see are mere mortals not God. Their weapons are mere carnal not spiritual.
“When the Lord shall straight forth His hand, those that are helping them shall fall. They will perish together.”