Between Gov. Udom’s Chartered Flight And Senator Akpabio’s Night Bus… By Ubong Essien


As the teacher and student broke their ties and tension brewing, the polity is witnessing war of words from the different parties. Recently, Gov. Udom was quoted to have taken a swipe at his teacher and benefactor, senator Godswill Akpabio. The following quote was been attributed to Gov. Udom Emmanuel,

“Those who came back to Akwa Ibom State through night bus and the ones who came back through chartered flight, are they the same? Empty vessels make the loudest noise. I don’t speak behind people’s back. Anybody who has anything to say should come up face to face, let us debate.”

If it happens to be  true that Gov. Udom actually posited such, then i  make an analytical look at the two circumstances of Gov. Udom returning from Lagos with a chartered flight and Senator Akpabio returning via night bus.

Ordinarily, it looks ridiculous and humiliating to Akpabio, and exalting to Gov. Udom to have used a chartered flight to return home. In this case, it would be assumed that the Senator then had no enough money to pay for the normal trip that might have cost more than the night bus. Far back then, night bus was the choice of the mean. Perhaps, Akpabio was then financially mean who couldn’t pay his fare to Akwa Ibom state from Lagos. Perhaps, his income didn’t permit him same. Akpabio was said to have been working for a prvate firm and perhaphs he was not well remunerated.

And here is a man who was an Executive Director with Zenith Bank. He travelled at will to perform his Directorial responsible in any part of the world. He wasn’t used to night bus, day bus, nor normal air flight, but charted flight. Yes, charted flight he came back with to Akwa Ibom state to test run his political pursuit.

The following points make the similarities between the two. They are both Lagos returnees. They were never a member of any political party. They never voted for anybody. They never contested for any political office, not even a councillor. But Akpabio had served his uncle, late Senator Nsima Akpabio as a personal Assistance during the second Republic in the 80’s.

And there are also other distinguished attributes in the duo. While the man on  night bus arrived early in the state, the man with chartered flight arrived late. What an irony of life! It is getting interesting that people would start pondering and asking how someone travelling on night bus would arrive earlier than one with charted flight.

The night bus man had arrived the state and joined politics/government during the first term of a regime(of Obong Attah). He served as a commissioner in two different ministries. In 2003, he had witnessed how elections are conducted. He did not only witnessed it, he joined to implant a government. All these didn’t occur with a twinkle of an eye. It never took about two years or so. Perhaps, it had spanned up to six years. With night bus, one was able to arrive the state to take up a duty of a commissioner and in a span not less than six years?

One would have expected a charted flight to have arrived earlier and the occupant start involvement in politics and government earlier. If a man with night bus had enjoyed serving in two ministries, involved in the installment of political office holders and a regime, and in no less than six years, common sense would direct us to conclude that the man with chartered flight would have arrived the state earlier because of speed and timing. The one on chartered flight would have been expected to have beaten the record of six years of serving in the politics and government in the state. He would have beaten the record of involvement in the installment of a regime or regimes. He would have been involved in the election and installment of some people into different political offices. He would have also surpassed the developmental stride by the man with night bus.

The irony of life in this context is that Governor Udom Emmanuel came back to Akwa Ibom state via a chartered flight arrived later, creates very little impact in the state politics. Shows a little in government and governance. Nationally, he has no name. Despite his travelling back with chartered flight, his feat is immeasurable and incomparable to that of a man with night bus. The man with night bus has turned so many boys to men including the man with chartered flight who never dreamt of being a governor. Like my Nigerian brothers would say, na who chartered flight help?


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