By Aniekeme Finbarr
Politics has reduced Mr Anietie Usen to an all time low. A once celebrated journalist and Director at the NDDC has been drafted into a needless campaign of mudslinging and revilement against the Akwa Ibom Stste Government.
His latest article, “AKWA IBOM COLOUR ORANGE: THE CELEBRATION OF FRIVOLITY” sits logic and common sense on the head and blackmail not being his regular turf, he labours to assail the orange colour campaign with contemptuous and opprobrious language. It was a disaster to say the least.
DISASTER NO 1:
Anietie Usen attempts to criticize the orange colour. He wrote “Have always criticized those who chose it (the orange colour) as Akwa Ibom State colour. I believe little or no thought went into that choice at that time, 30 years ago. I think it is a weak colour, uninspiring, faint, cheap, childish, shadowy and pedestrian. Cannot imagine buying an orange trouser, orange jacket, orange shirt, orange shoes, orange socks, orange pant, orange singlet, orange car or painting my house or office or anything with orange paint. Ridiculous. Odd. Laughable”.
MY RESPONSE: This is very hypocritical. At what point did Mr Usen criticize the orange colour? He was at various times the Special Assistant to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State; General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Akwa Ibom State Newspaper Corporation, publishers of the Pioneer Newspapers. The orange colour has seen decades in Akwa Ibom State and Anietie, through the years never saw anything wrong with it, never voiced or wrote against it. Our taxis, our buses, our tricycles, even our darling Akwa United football club all wear the distinctive bright and colorful orange and Anietie never protested or refuse to ride in these means of transportation because they were painted orange. He now wears a new sunshade with his boss at the NDDC and suddenly, orange has become “weak colour, uninspiring, faint, cheap, childish, shadowy and pedestrian”. How sad!
DISASTER NO 2: Anietie Usen wrote: “Think about the flags of nations around the world that you admire; think about all the jerseys of football clubs that you love in Europe and around the world; and tell me how many of them are colour orange. What does that tell you?
MY RESPONSE: Mr Anietie Usen has not only lost his sense of logic, he has also lost his sense of history. He has also lost his sense of geography, facts and figures. Many countries, states and cities of the world have orange on their flags. Some of the countries include: Côte d’Ivoire, Ireland, Niger, Flag of South Africa (1928-1994), Zambia, Sri Lanka, India, Guatamala, Flag of the Dutch Republic (1581-1795), Presidential Flag of Eritrea, and several others. Even cities like Albany, New York, Miami, Florida, New York City, San Jose, California, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina all have orange on their flags.
Anietie Usen talked about football teams. I won’t go far. The Netherlands (Dutch) National team wear orange. Orange is the colour of the Dutch Royal Family. The Dutch hold the record for playing the most FIFA World Cup finals without ever winning the tournament. They finished second in the 1974, 1978 and 2010 World Cups, losing to West Germany, Argentina and Spain respectively. However, they did win the UEFA European Championship in 1988 (ALL WITH THEIR TRADITIONAL ORANGE COLOUR JERSIES) Even football teams in America like Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, etc wear orange.
Multinationals, several companies and products use orange too. Crush, Fanta, Penguin Books, Blogger and Shell PB are some of them. What about Luftansa airlines, Master Card, Amazon, Harley-Davidson, MacDonalds, TNT, TimberLand, name it. Oh even Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Chike and the River, Arrow of God, There was a Country, Girls at War all have orange covers.
Sir, you mean you don’t have these books or you never read them?
Like Mr Usen asked, “what does that tell you?” It tells me that Anietie Usen is criticising just for the sake of it. He is on a paid job to do what he is doing. Iniehe se tang. His analysis and analogies make no sense and are in conflict with facts on the ground. He has thoroughly embarrassed himself and the teeming young journalists who would otherwise have looked forward to him as a reservoir of sound knowledge and statistics. Bad politics and a few coins have drained all that way. How sad!
DISASTER 3: Mr Anietie Usen also wrote” Orange causes loss of motivation, lower self-esteem, and loneliness”. Either way, head or tail, this is a losing colour. Don’t celebrate it.
MY RESPONSE: We will celebrate with this orange colour as we have always done. Our AKTC buses shall drive around Nigeria with their tyres wriggling with pride. Our darling Akwa United will finsih the season strong and possibly win the Federation cup again in that orange colour jersey. We shall colour our profile pictures with orange and celebrate our state that has seen 30 years of steady growth. We are not there yet but, we have come a long way. We have to celebrate, we must celebrate.
We shall adopt the Dakkada spirit and rise above petty write ups from people like Anietie Usen. All our former Governors alive will file out for the first time in history and remind us of a memorable journey to where we are now. Pundits like Anietie Usen only make this celebration sweeter. They only reinforce our gratitude to God for a great state he has given us. Others have seen landslides, mudslides, earth quakes, hurricanes but through our own challenges, we have emerged stronger and better.
There is no perfect colour in the world or a colour without criticism. Ours is orange and it is unique. The orange colour radiates joy and happiness, combining the physical energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow. It is warm and inviting color, as it is both physically and mentally stimulating.
The colour psychology of orange is optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit. In fact, orange is so optimistic and uplifting that we should all find ways to use it in our everyday life, even if it is just an orange colored pen that we use.
The real social scientists believe orange brings spontaneity and a positive outlook on life and is a great colour to use during tough economic times, keeping us motivated and helping us to look on the bright side of life. Orange is also stimulating to the appetite. If you love having people around the kitchen table, orange will keep them talking and eating for a long time. Many restaurants use pastel versions of orange, such as apricot or peach or deeper versions such as terracotta, for their décor as they are more subtle than red, yet still increase the appetite and promote conversation and social interaction, which in turn encourages patrons to have a good time and to eat and drink more. The colour orange is obviously the worst color to have in the kitchen if you are trying to lose weight!
Get the colour, orange, folks and paint it. I mean paint it everywhere and if anyone should ask you, tell him or her, Akwa Ibom is 30 years of age!
Finbarr is a public affairs analyst