Editor's note: The special assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on local media, Prince Emmanuel Sam, writes on the Maintain Peace Movement, a pan-Akwa Ibom grassroots mobilisation movement with the Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel as a grand patron.
Uyo - Maintain Peace Movement, MPM, a pan-Akwa Ibom grassroots 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 local government areas, the MPM train will be visiting the remaining 26 local government areas where MPM will be inaugurated 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 grassroots 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 grassroots movements fashioned as a self-organized local-level effort to encourage the Akwa Ibom people and not just People Democratic Party, PDP members, to be involved in community participation on issues and activities that will foster and engender grassroots 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 grassroots 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 grassroots 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 grassroots 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 grassroots 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.
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.
The enthusiasm of 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, 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.
MPM is ably led by a man of pedigree, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem who also doubles as the National Legal Adviser of the 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.
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.
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