It is ridiculous and shocking that the baseless and unconscionable incidence of blackmail and campaign of calumny against Mr. Okon Bassey Okon , the Bursar of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, by those who feel he must be their surrogate, stooge and insider-agent of evil against the Academy, keeps assuming mul-tidimensional tentacles by the day.

And it will be no less ridiculous and shocking if this trend continues for so long as the Bursar Mr. Okon remains resolute in protecting and defending what is right and altruistic.

Again, the Concerned Oro Youths, a socio-cultural organization in Oron Local Government of Akwa Ibom State, have gathered enough information on how Mr. Clement Utin, a lecturer at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, did not only literally insult but went online to cast aspersions on Mr. Okon Bassey, the Bursar of the Academy, same institution that Utin serves. On the same train of genetic ingrates was Mr. Chris Abasi-Eyo who was no less irrational and culpable in his wild assumptions of indifference by Mr. Okon Bassey for which reason he had no option than to verbally assault Mr. Okon Bassey Okon.

What were Mr. Utin’s spurious insinuations? He claimed that Mr. Bassey has been rebuffing him and turning down invitations from any of his community people. Just that? How saucy and infantile! As damnably false and debated that must sound, was that too tall a matter that Utin could not seek grounds for dialogue with the “offender” or allow time to temper the situation, than hurriedly and indiscreetly capitalize on the generosity of the social media to cause a storm in a tea cup?

If Mr. Clement Utin has an iota of respect for his full-grown self and his elders viz-a-viz the cherished cosmology and inherited customs of Oron Nation, he would have fought to resist whatever promptings may have persuaded him to attack his elder in age and senior in service at the Academy, Mr. Okon Bassey. But because Utin wears laminated indecorum as his wristwatch and Sauciness in place of his official Identity Card, it was not surprising that he brandished such ill-fated audacity against a man whom in other cultures he would willingly prostrate before.

Again, If by etymology and contemporary usage the words “Clement” and “Utin”, translated in Oro language, have anything to do with pleasantness, courteousness, brightness and illumination, then Mr. Clement Utin, has lost the essence of his identity; not deserving of that name; emasculated; and therefore has clearly proven to be the reprobate many have always seen him to be within and outside the Academy’s walls. The point is therefore made easier for all to see: Mr. Clement Utin, perhaps out of jealously, envy, hatred and pent-up malice over the years has seeking for flimsy excuses to excoriate the person of Mr. Okon Bassey.

Mr. Chris Abasi-Eyo, on his part or by conspiratorial imitation of Utin’s methodology, also claimed that Mr. Okon was in the habit of not honouring invitations to community interface and functions or by syllogistic extension identifies with community development projects. We conclude that it is more than shocking that Chris Abasi-Eyo, the renowned isolationist and egotist who has served as this and that at practically all levels of the State’s administration from inception in 1987 could easily have lost memory of how useless he has been to his linear family and the extended family Ukonteghe-Uda community. Let us pretend to have forgotten about his conspicuous lack of legacy for Oron Nation, except in matters of shameless profiteering that cumulatively accrues to his selfish dispositions.

More straightforwardly, what do Messrs. Clement Utin and Chris Abasi-Eyo have to show the joint and concerted efforts and sacrifices of the entire community have taken them through schools and to where and whatever they are today? Truth be told, would any of them be counted among the first 2000 in Uda and first 5000 community developers and emancipationists in the entire Oro Nation? Then, let them come forward and prove otherwise or be in a hurry to utilize the same social media to that effect. As much as we can remember, all the theatrical pretensions that Chris Abasi Eyo may have put up as a socialist and humble compatriot never went beyond the very moment he jumped from office to office in government quarters. If he comes to the village, as he so often would, he did so in his tinted jeeps with the notoriety of being the darkest official vehicle amongst government appointees.

Ordinarily, their rantings would not have merited any quality attention, but in reference to facts and reverence to public sensibility, a little remonstration suffices. For the avoidance of doubt however, we can say on a mountain of evidence that Mr. Okon Bassey Okon (aka Okon Powerful)we know is a grassroots developer and emancipator, mentor, philanthropists, astute public servant, and highly celebrated officer in the Maritime Academy of Nigeria and beyond. To the Council of Oro Traditional Rulers (COTR) and Oron Union, with members at home and in the Diaspora, the name Bassey Okon rings bell in absolute humility and modesty as a pillar of progress and development, including leadership matters. That is why traditional and political office holders in Uda cannot deny him place in their history book of recognitions. The fact is, it has never been in Mr. Okon’s character to wait to be invited to any progressive communal functions. The Academy community across ranks hold Mr. Bassey in incomparable high esteem because of his character, philosophy of work, integration and compliance to rules.

In interpersonal relationships, Mr. Okon has always been a friend to familiar faces and visitors. The thought of him snobbing anybody, like Clement Utin purported in error, can only be understandable if such contacts were in advance deemed inimical to coexistence and progress or for the purpose of planning any evil against the Academy or any persons. If Chris AbasiEyo have suddenly come to his senses to realize that he has cunningly kept a distance or created a vacuum between himself and Mr. Okon Bassey for those years in corridors of power when he foolishly must have thought he had arrived, the sanctimonious AbasiEyo should face his woes than blame Mr. Okon who has always sought to maintain a symbiotic and luxuriant relationship with him and others who were disposed to such courtesy.

In summary therefore, the unfortunate insinuations and blackmail by both Utin and Abasi-Eyo would have merited deeper inquiries had both of them not known Mr. Okon Bassey in official and secular capacities for as long as they have lived. It is for this reason that we felt that the recent synchronised and currently attack by the duo against the Bursar may not have been for nothing, but a tactical advancement of their hatred against him. According to intelligence at our disposal, they have vowed only to change if Mr. Okon “play the game” at their whims and caprices by becoming credulous and pliable in robbing the Academy to gratify heir selfishly satanic demands.

Just because, and solely for that reason, Mr. Okon has chosen and still insists on working by the law and operational principles guiding his services and obligations to his employer, MAN, some rifflags and vagabonds who claim to be “his people” from his community have elevated to fine art the aimless, platitudinal attitude of branding him with names that have nothing in common with the lofty and highly respected personality and philosophy that he represents, with volumes of impeccable record of service in unaffected attestation by those within the Academy and decent minds on the outside, Mr. Okon does not deserve such deliberate abuse.

Perhaps the most shocking facet of the virulent conspiracy is the timid obsequiousness and reckless complicity with which those who otherwise would have been mistaken as mature minds and who should know have demonstrated in this ill-advised misadventure. Of course, the sources and reasons for this atavistic vendetta against an innocent man who holds no grudges against anyone have since been discovered. It only worries decent minds that the mischief-makers are inventing and improvising novel methodologies in carrying out their heart desires and evil plots. They are bent on possibly destroying the hard-earned reputation and integrity of Mr. Okon, forgetting that even golden silence has its limits.

They operate with and on what looks like a well-coordinated syndication of gullible and frustrated hungry managers of fictitious media platforms who are mobilized in batches at appointed time at the commanding directive of their pay masters. But why must they make it seem as if Oron and the adjourning host communities of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria fit into the derogatory and nihilistic description of “an atomistic society at war with itself”, an irredeemable victim of the crab syndrome? It is sad.

By Duncan Nduonofit