- By Unwana Assam, Esit Eket
A reward is an exchange of something as an appreciation of a job well done. It is a driving force that spurs up a subject to do even more and stand firm for what he believes in.
In Akwa Ibom State, a sizeable number of youths have worked for the party over the years and stood firm against all odds. Some even gambled their lives for the party, yet with no tangible boost to boast of. If there is any State in the country where independent-minded youths have stood firm for PDP, it is Akwa Ibom State. Perhaps, it is because PDP is the ruling party in Akwa Ibom State. Even so, but I wouldn’t know.
There have been instances where some youths in the state received death threats from opponents, some got arrested, some were denied lifetime opportunities, some missed what they could have achieved for themselves and their families, while some are hitherto dubbed as PDP sycophants and apologists. All these are simply because they chose to support the ruling party in the state and stand for what is right.
In our everydayness, life has meaning when love is reciprocated. If I bail you out today, bail me out tomorrow when I have an issue. This typical adage applies in every sphere of life, nobody is left out. There is an urgent need for the party to review their reward system approach to refrain the teaming youth members from having a field time at any other party. The leadership of PDP needs to realize that without the support and sacrifices made by these people in their perspectives, the party would not have sailed this high in the state.
2023, when another general election will take place is fast approaching. Truth be told, nobody knows tomorrow and in politics, nobody can emphatically and precisely detect what happens next. Politics is like a pendulum that keeps swinging to the left and the right. What happened in Bayelsa and Imo States where the candidates who were duly elected by the people were booted out by the courts, should be a critical case study. No one can really tell how 2023 will look like even as I don’t wish another party should take over from PDP. At least “the devil we know is better than the angel we don’t know”.
Just like PDP is building up to lead the state beyond 2023, APC on the other hand is doing the same even in double edge. Yes, no one can drive off the fact that APC in the state is gathering momentum anent 2023 especially now. But trust me, it’s going to be a fight of the Titans.
However, the questions we need to ask ourselves are: Is PDP ready enough to take the state forward? How fair is PDP to some people? Are some members happy with PDP? In fact, so many salient questions are begging for answers. Who then can answer these questions? Of course, it’s the powers that be. Yes, you know who and who are the powers that be. They are in the right position to attempt all the questions and put them clear to the party’s subjects. Let us not play the game with ourselves.
In the history of PDP in Akwa Ibom state, the only time PDP reached out to its members who had supported the party for many years that are not occupying any position was in 2019 where the then Publicity Secretary, Comrade Ini-ememobong bought landed properties in Uyo and presented with documents to some of the youths. Just like the second coming of Christ where mankind is still anticipating, the second batch of reward Ini-emembong promised the faithful youths never came, and just like a child expects the return of his mother from the market, the party youths are still anticipating the second batch reward the party promised through Ini-emembong.
A laborer they say deserves a handsome reward. Those who are supporting the party, projecting the party, and standing by the party deserve to be rewarded without much ado. It takes the government of the ruling party in the State nothing to collate the faithful party members across local government areas in the State for empowerment. It does not scratch the government to do that. It’s high time PDP activated a good reward system for its members and shun all this “use during elections and dump after elections” syndrome. The antics are already antiquated.
Acknowledging the fact that everyone can not be given an appointment or occupy political positions but there are many ways of rewarding true party loyalists. As a system that glamours for inclusiveness, a good reward system for those who deserve it should be a key.
Rewarding party faithful gives a sense of belonging and fellowship. Some youths have paid their dues. Let it not always be the case of “monkey de work, baboon de chop”. Prioritizing and reward accordingly the faithful members of the party is not and can never be out of place. If PDP really wants to rule the state beyond 2023 and wants every hand on deck, then those who have benefited nothing from the party other than betrayal, blackmail, and backbiting should be rewarded.
A stitch in time saves nine.
Comrade Unwana Assam is a good governance advocate, an activist, CEO/Publisher of newsline9ja.com, and writes from Urua Okok, Esit Eket.