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By Emmanuel Sam

Maintain Peace Movement, MPM, a pan-Akwa Ibom grassroot mobilisation movement with the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel as Grand Patron, came with a bang. So far, the group has toured Ikono, Ini, Urueoffong Oruko, Okobo and Nsit Atai local government areas with the swearing-in of coordinators. Apart from the 5 already Inaugurated LGA’s, the MPM train will be visiting the remaining 26 LGA’s where MPM will be Inaugurated as well as in all the Units, Wards and Chapters across the State.

The aim is to galvanize Akwa Ibom people irrespective of party, tribe or religion to enthrone a mass mobilisation movement where issues of mutual interest can merge and be cemented for the good of the people.

MPM is one grassroot mobilisation movement with a difference. A grassroots movement that uses the people within a given community as the basis for mass mobilisation, one that uses collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national, or international level.

Effective grassroots activism it must be noted is when ordinary people take actions meant to demonstrate public opinion or demands and spark political change. This type of activism often originates among impacted communities and is characterized by a bottom-up decision-making process which many advocates as the best model of democratic growth and development.

MPM’s uniqueness is that it is a grassroot movement fashioned as a self-organized local-level effort to encourage the Akwa Ibom people and not just PDP members, to be involved in community participation on issues and activities that will foster and engender grassroot mobilisation, development and consolidation.

The difference between MPM and other groups is that rather than money which is the bedrock of others, the power of MPM as a Pan Akwa Ibom grassroot movement comes from her ability to harness the effort of ordinary people whose shared sense of democratic ideals is collective about a given issue which can be used to influence policymakers and decision making.

In growing the seeds of an idea into a flourishing cause through increased participation in the political process, grassroots movements are often said to create democracy—government by the people. This explains why MPM is laying the foundation for the Akwa Ibom of our dream in a post-Udom Emmanuel era. Drawing its power from ordinary people of the units, wards and Chapters, MPM is poised to galvanizing large numbers of PDP and non-PDP members into a unifying body where neither tribe nor religion, neither age nor gender, neither educational level nor social status can be a hindrance.

Effective grassroot activism is when ordinary people take actions meant to demonstrate public opinion or demands and spark political change. This type of activism often originates among impacted communities and is characterized by a bottom-up decision-making process that has been adjudged the best in a developing democracy like ours.

MPM represents a grassroot activism whereby individuals and groups make a determination to change norms and bring about a paradigm shift in the leadership recruitment process of the state. After all, an effective grassroot movement is an organized effort undertaken by groups of individuals in a given geographic area to bring about changes in social policy or influence an outcome, often of a political, social or economic issue.

By harnessing spontaneous support at local levels to bring about policy consolidation and sustainability in society, MPM is a grassroots movement with a bottom-up, rather than top-down approach—much in the way grass grows as it seems to work to influence sociopolitical issues, shape public discourse and debate and mould public perception and opinion for the general good of Akwa Ibom State and her future.

This explains why its operating philosophy is anchored on self-organized local-level efforts to encourage other members of the community to participate in activities, such as mass mobilisation, voter registration drives, in support of a given social, economic, or political cause.

MPM’s strength comes from her ability to harness the effort of ordinary people whose shared sense of commonness about a given issue are ready to unite towards collectively coming together to influence issues of common interests for the public good.

In growing the seeds of an idea into a flourishing cause through increased participation in the political process, MPM as a grassroots movement is out to create democracy—government by the people.

The enthusiasm of the Akwa Ibom people to MPM is unprecedented. The people have embraced it with open arms because the people want peace, they want development, they want continuous Industrialization, they want continuous empowerment, they want to see more industries beyond May 29, 2023.

Akwa Ibom people do not take the prevailing peace in the state for granted. That’s why MPM is the answer. They don’t want a return to criminality, insecurity, kidnapping, state-sponsored assassination, rape, intimidating of perceived opponents, exiling of opponents, murder of innocent citizens in the name of politics. They are rejecting these vices that were the norm in our political life in the immediate past.

Akwa Ibom people have seen the future. With Ibom Air now a success story and a brand that Nigeria is proud of, the people want a Post 2023 Government that will maintain the peace, consolidate on the achievements recorded so far and fast track both the Ibom Deep Seaport and Liberty Free Trade Zone so that the industrial revolution ongoing will be consolidated.

So what are you waiting for? Join the MPM now and be part of Akwa Ibom’s positive history and future where our founding fathers will be turning in their grave with joy, satisfaction and fulfilment that yes, the labour of our heroes past, is indeed not in vain.

MPM is ably led by a man of pedigree, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem who also doubles as the National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. This is a man who is loyal, detribalised, focused, courageous, determined and totally committed to any course he believes in. All through history, he is famous for standing by what he believes to the end.

He stood by Obong Victor Attah to the last minute. He stood by Godswill Akpabio to the end and as his trademark, he is poised to stand by Udom Emmanuel towards the realization of an Akwa Ibom where there will be consolidation rather than a reversal of what has been achieved in the last three decades. His antecedents have helped increase MPM’s credibility and acceptability among major stakeholders.

MPM’s cardinal objective is the sustainability of the peace Akwa Ibom has achieved in the last six years. And who won’t want peace? Who won’t love to see the state remain Nigeria’s most peaceful state where investors and investments thrive? Who won’t want to see Akwa Ibom remain a reference point in the industrial revolution? Who won’t want to see a state where one can sleep with both eyes closed? Who won’t want to see the state remain the way it is, whereby anybody can aspire to any elective office without fear of being kidnapped or his mother being abducted and murdered in the name of politics? Who would want to return the state to such an inglorious era?

It is therefore not surprising to see some few critics adopt the blackmail game, accusing the Governor of wanting to use MPM to further the political ambition of his chosen candidate as the 2023 curtains draw near. Nothing could be farther away from the truth. The Governor has repeatedly stated that he has no preferred candidate and that at the appointed time, God will show him who his successor will be and that when that time comes, he will let Akwa Ibom people know.

But as expected, his critics have gone to town with their usual blackmail of wanting to paint a picture of artificial insecurity, one they themselves created and wanting to pinpoint it on the Governor. But Akwa Ibom people are smarter than that. The people know how the state was in the recent past and what has become of it in the last six years.

They have seen many things Nigerians thought were impossible become seamlessly possible under the Akwa Ibom of today. From Aviation to Industrialization, from a revamped Secondary Health Care system to an overhauled Educational system, from entrepreneurship development to skill acquisition in core Technical areas, from SME growth and development to agricultural revolution, the list is endless.

This is why apart from the Governor being MPM’s focal and rallying point, Akwa Ibom people have embraced the movement as theirs. They see it as their own and have a sense of shared/joint ownership in its inheritance and future.

The time has come and now is the time for Akwa Ibom people irrespective of party, tribe or religion to come together to embrace the MPM movement and join hands towards ensuring the enthronement of sustainable peace, development and consolidation of our democratic gains and state’s glory.

…. Truly, THAT SAME GOD will never fail the Akwa Ibom people.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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