Her story has been like the story of Daniel in the den of terror. In the face of captivity her captors kept her just because she refused to call another faith. She is the mercurial of her own conscience. One of the first in the history that never denies her religion and She is Leah; but powerful than her co-mate in the scripture.
Leah Sharibu is our daughter. One of the girls that have brought our country to her kneels. Not just a martyr of faith but a girl whose spirit has driven us all to her struggle since she was abducted in Dapchi. And that abduction was historic.
It is seemingly a thought of a cohesive expression to the government. I see her than the way Nigerians see her. She is the girl that has made us to understand that religion is fate and faith is faith— in time of obstacle. Someone who doesn’t compromise her principle rather beseech in the spirit of prayer. That voice of Leah begins to come to us than it echoes to her captors. Meanwhile, she is supposed to be in school.
While some of her colleagues are intensely studying for the school certificate exam but she is here dying to be rescued. And Prof. Wole Soyinka has compared her to the late apartheid fighter, Nelson Mandela. In Soyinka’s poem titled: ‘’ Mandela’s Earth’’ the poem has a conjectural meaning that Mandela reverted to those who jailed him. ‘’ NO! He said’’
These particular words came out to Leah Sharibu as well. When she said— No! And perhaps in Wole Soyinka’s poem: ‘’ I am the rock, this Island. I toiled’’ this is what our own Leah stands for. However, the poem says: ‘’ in and out of time wrap, I am that rock/ in the black hole of the sky’’ truly, Sharibu has become the rock of human.
She has made us to understand that her release is important to us. That her struggle is to end bigotry and fanaticism in our country and perhaps to let everybody has the right to believe in faith. To have been in captivity for this time is terribly bad for a sixteen years old girl in her own country.
Recently, she celebrated her sixteen years birthday. In the den of terror, just because she is not ready to deny her own faith— meanwhile, if Jesus were to be alive he would have seen that Leah Sharibu loves him than her own life. And this means a lot for sacrifice. To a girl who has hope for her beloved country.
Probably, had it been her mother knew that such would happen, she would have been like the character in Toni Morrison’s novel: ‘’ Beloved’’ where the mother kills her own daughter because she doesn’t want her to face racism. Is this not a religion manhunt? — For Leah’s mother to cry helplessly for her beloved daughter to be released.
And I believed that the day she was abducted in her school with her other abductors, she would have recited the national anthem and pledge. That she was serving Nigeria with all her strength and now; is Nigeria serving her back? Or has the government forgotten that Leah is a citizen?
This means her life matters to every single Nigeria. And it is the duty of President Buhari to let her come back to her parent. Still, her life is not enmeshed, with wrong faith rather she has been the quintessential girl that knows how to identify her own right. Her life means a lot to all of us. Not that she is just a mere girl child, she is our daughter.
Therefore, it is the ability of the government to provide for her needs in captivity. To rescue her is even the major concern of all Nigerians. What is the point to the military if she can’t be rescued? Is it that our military are scared to fight the insurgency? All I know is that if Leah Sharibu is not being rescued that means her parent will lose hope in Buhari’s Administration.
However, she is the prisoner of conscience. She is the prisoner that has not failed to know her God. She has indeed believed in her faith like one of the character in James Joyce’s short story, Dubliners. And, still her colleagues were released but she was held back because she refused to deny her faith. This is a simple meaning of a cultured girl. And she strongly believes in the article of faith.
Leah is an affable girl that knows that her right is to be freed from the thraldom of dooms. In a society of ours, because what she has done do not deserve this kind of maltreatment she is receiving. If truly, we have a government that understands the people— the Leah Sharibu of our time won’t spend these hours and days in captivity.
To make the system function, let us all know that, what happens to Leah Sharibu, could affect anybody. And prior to her abduction, we knew the Chibok girls’ story. Yet, the government has not found measure to liaise with the insurgent. And what I expect the government should have done is to take the military serious than ever. And the military needs to deploy tactics and strategy because this is like a fratricide.
For every life, it matters to us that, we should never forget to know that Leah Sharibu is still a piquant subject that can never be forgotten. Thus, her abduction is cumbersome. Perhaps, I expect the government to know that Nigerians want Leah Sharibu alive.
Her parent has cried for too long; to the extent that, they talked like the English poet, Andrew Marvel, in his poem: To His Coy Mistress, which says: ‘’Had we but world enough and time/ this coyness, lady, were no crime.’’ With truism, she has no crime. But, if Buhari forgets to do the needful, Leah Sharibu’s spirit won’t make Nigeria rest just because she is innocent.
Let us know that a sixteen years old girl has decided to hold on to her faith; and this makes her to be the prisoner of conscience. Even with a conscience heart, we pray for release.
Iniubong Umoren: The Wicked Attempt to Link Her Death to Akpabio Family Will Fail
The country was recently awash with the sorrowful story of the heinous crime of kidnap and gruesome murder of the innocent job seeker and University of Uyo graduate, Iniubong Umoren recently somewhere in Akwa Ibom State.
Nigerians were shocked to their marrows when it became apparent that one Frank Uduak Akpan was responsible for not only raping her but killing and burying her in a shallow grave somewhere in the State. The police declared the said Frank wanted but arrested his father who was suspected as an accomplice when it became apparent that Frank was on the run. As God would have it, he was eventually arrested through the effort of one Kuffre Effiong and the police who lured and promised him that he will receive the co-operation of the police if he is innocent as he originally claimed.
It is of utmost interest to note that Frank’s arrest was somewhere in Shelter Afrique Junction, Uyo, not in a hotel or a house of anybody.
This story is so tormenting and horrendous that emotions naturally went high when the sad news was broken both on the traditional and social media. The prayer of everyone was that whosoever was responsible for this heinous act for whatever purpose should be brought to justice and no one born of a woman who has blood running in his veins will want this kind of crime to be covered up, no matter the personality/ties involved.
However, it is astonishing and profoundly wicked for any being, let alone a trained journalist to sit in the comfort of his home or office in far away America and concoct lies just to drag the name of Senator Akpabio and his dear wife in the murder saga just to satisfy whosoever is paying him for that kind of “dirty job”.
At what point does fiction transform into a reality and to what end can any sane being market cock and bull story to un-discerning members of the public? It is still shocking that mere conjectures of a journalist have been made to develop a life and be termed factual without any shred of evidence linking the crime to the Akpabios. The only snag in all these though, is that marketing fictions today through the social media has become the pastime of evil doers and the un-discerning members of the public have become so gullible that these tortoise stories are taken in, line, hook and sinker without any pinch of salt.
In a short while, we will analyse this story as put out by this David Hundeyin who is said to be a Nigerian Investigative Journalist resident in America from where he has perfected his nasty habit of running people down with his fictional stories about matters he has no knowledge of, maybe for money or just to garner fame. Reading many of Hadley Chase books is very good, but the danger is when the reader cannot distinguish between fiction and reality.
By the way when his lies fell like pack of cards, he is alleged to have hurriedly pulled down the story of linking senator Godswill Akpabio and his dear wife to the murder allegation from his blog or someone’s blog by name Newswirengr where he titled the story “Murder in Uyo: Who Killed Hiny Umoren?” He has a right to refute the story of having pulled it down.
In his report, the journalist claimed that he analyzed the telephone calls of the prime suspect in the murder case, Akpan . According to him, Akpan called a number of people after the murder of the female graduate. He stated that the said Kuffre Effiong works with Niger Delta Civil Service. He further alleged that the killer and the said Kuffre Effiong met physically at a certain 58G, Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo. His “investigative skill” revealed that Akpan the alleged killer worked for an “illegal organ trafficking ring to feed the booming global black market organ trade”.
His fictional story line continued from his Twitter handle on 11th of May where he further published his falsehood as follows ” It has just come to my attention that Davok Suites, the hotel at the centre of the 58 Unit G/S 9, Unit G, Ewet Housing Estate nexus involving Kuffre Effiong and Frank Uduak is owned by none other than Ekaette Akpabio, wife of Godswill Akpabio”
As evidence of pure insanity occasioned by excessive use of terrible and self destructive drugs, the said David Hundeyin continued, “In other words, this place where Frank Uduak Akpan, fresh from murdering Ini Umoren came to meet Kuffre Effiong, belongs to the wife of Kuffre’s boss and Federal Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio. So which politician has Kuffre been running errands for?”
Before analyzing David Hundeyin’s super script meant for Nollywood, this writer is very grateful to God that the said culprit, Mr Frank Akpan, his cousin Kuffre Effiong and one Local Government Chairman of Uruan in the State who is a relation to both Kuffre and Frank are all alive, and happily too the culprit is presently in the custody of the Nigerian Police Authority for proper investigation. These people have made and are still making useful statements to the police authority whom we implore to employ extreme and painstaking professionalism in investigation and come up quickly with their findings, including what steps should be taken to ensure justice to the family of the bereaved. The girl’s death as a matter of fact, must surely be avenged by the Authorities.
This innocent victim sought to be gainfully employed instead of engaging in anything illegal or criminal like some do, but met her end in an unfortunate circumstance that demands remedy and justice.
Back to David Hundeyin’s story. He said “he analyzed the telephone calls of the prime suspect and he found out that the suspect called several persons after the murder”. One of the persons he allegedly called, according to him, was Kuffre Effiong who worked with Niger Delta Civil Service. Having found out that the said Kuffre works with Niger Delta Civil Service, he must have been told by his co-conspirators who specialize in smearing Senator Akpabio’s name to go ahead and link by all means the heinous crime to him in order to make headline and give them a false sense of victory. If only men were God?
In no distant time, his collaborators fed him another lies that the alleged killer, Mr Frank Akpan met Kuffre in a hotel named Davok Suites at Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo and they mentioned the address of the place. The Hotel according to him belongs to the wife of senator Godswill Akpabio. With that, he ran to the market with the story that Akpabio and his dear wife were certainly the ones responsible for the heinous murder of the innocent girl, more so since they must have been engaged in his imaginative illicit global market specialising in trading on human parts!
Fortunately the culprit has made both written and oral statements which the police authority are in custody of. The cousin, Mr Kuffre Effiong has also issued a comprehensive statement on his Facebook Page which can be seen online by those who want to know the truth and the Local Government Chairman who is in opposing political party with Senator Akpabio has also issued a statement on the incident. By virtue of their various statements, the following are the emerging truth about this case pending when the police will conclude their investigation:
(a) The alleged culprit Mr Frank Akpan, Mr Kuffre Effiong and the Local Government Chairman of Uruan are all related as they are cousins. None of them have any relationship with the Akpabios either remotely or directly. None of them has ever met Senator Godswill Akpabio or his wife or their existence known to the couple.
(b) The culprit Mr Frank Akpan was arrested at Shelter Afrique Junction by the Nigerian Police in conjunction with the said Mr Kuffre Effiong, a cousin to the culprit who used his relationship to lure the culprit into police reach for the seamless arrest.
(c) The culprit was taken to the house of the Local Government Chairman of Uruan which is at Ewet Housing Estate in company of the DPO, one ASP and Mr Kuffre Effiong who facilitated the arrest. Taking the culprit to the house of the Chairman at Ewet Housing Estate was the suggestion of the said DPO of the nearby Police Station who felt that it will be a proper place and method to use to calm the suspect down in order to elicit his co-operation.
(d) The alleged Davok Suites, a hotel in Uyo which from the story as stated by the parties in this case was never utilized either before, during and after the crime, has never been owned and is presently not belonging TO THE WIFE OF SENATOR AKPABIO. That the said hotel is alleged to be owned by Her Excellency Mrs Akpabio has been a myth used by the patronizers of the hotel to boost their ego as to the quality of the hotel they patronize in Uyo. The Akpabios have nothing to do with the hotel in terms of management or ownership. Most importantly in this fictional story of the said Hundeyin, is the fact that the hotel was never used either before, during or after the crime by the culprit or his alleged accomplices.
(e) To exhaust this issue and make an open show of the concocted cock and bull story of the Investigative journalist David Hundeyin, let me go further to give him the benefit of the doubt that assuming but not conceding that the said Kuffre Effiong, a relation of the culprit who from his own account only assisted the Nigerian Police to arrest the culprit, works in Niger Delta Ministry, does that mean that any crime he allegedly commits will be attributed to the Minister of the said Ministry? How stupid is that kind of assumption, especially in criminal jurisprudence which requires mens rea(intention) and actus reus(act of the accused) to establish criminal liability? In the absence of any conspiracy, direct or circumstantial evidence, no individual can be convicted of a crime he knows nothing about in Nigeria. None here was established in the said story.
(f) Let me extend my generosity further to Mr Hundeyin by assuming but not conceding that the alleged Hotel, Davok Suites is owned by the wife of Senator Akpabio. Will this mean that any crime committed in the hotel by a user who has no legal, biological or any direct or indirect relationship with the owner will be legally established against the owner of the hotel? In other words, in the absence of any established conspiracy, direct or circumstantial evidence against the owner, can our jurisprudence be suddenly transformed to hold the owner of a hotel criminally liable for any crime committed using his or her hotel in the absence of any mens rea and actus reus as earlier explained?
Few months ago, I was aware of the several meetings called by certain persons in Nigeria where activists, top journalists and chronic critics were recruited to engage in public smearing of Akpabio’s name by all means. The battle has been on, they started with the case of the Professor who was recently convicted for alleged electoral fraud during the last Senatorial Election in Akwa Ibom State. When the attempt to link the said fraud with Senator Godswill Akpabio failed like pack of cards as superior and more logical arguments were presented, they recoiled and came up with this one that sounds more stupid and idiotic. We never knew that they can descend into a pit like this, all in a bid to destroy a man for whatever reasons, known to them.
The Nigerian Police, hopefully are on top of this Umoren’s unfortunate death. They should be allowed to carry out a full scale investigation as to who and those behind the gruesome rape and murder of that innocent girl. Using the unfortunate incident to run down Senator Godswill Akpabio and his family has failed woefully. The truth of the matter is that “No weapon fashion against Senator Godswill Akpabio whether now, tomorrow or in the future will stand”. The reason for this is, “No man can curse a man whom God has marked out for blessings”.
Mr Hundeyin has committed both criminal and civil wrongs in this campaign of calumny against Senator Akpabio and that of his wife. If he thinks that by being in far away America he can utilise the social space to malign someone and escape justice, he has committed a grievous error. The arms of the law will ultimately catch up with him if he fails, refuses and neglects to withdraw his cock and bull story about the involvement of the Akpabios in the unfortunate incident of Ini’s death and apologize to them, he stands all the legal risks associated with such criminal and civil defamation. It is his choice!
Written by Mr. Smart Chizurum, a socio-political commentator and analyst writes from Akwa Ibom State