By Pat Reuben
Today, as we continue to solidify on state growth and development in our dear state, it can be said convincingly with a measure of pride that travelers and visitors can no longer claim to pass through the state without noticing the spate of strides and achievements embarked upon by the government of Gov. Udom Emmanuel. In just eight months in office coupled with unnecessary human crafted hurdles to slow down the pace of work, the Udom administration has changed the face, philosophy, psychology and mannerisms of the people and the state with a grounded vow and promise to nestle it in a comfortable range among the best in Nigeria.
Given the achievements of the government in less than two years, and under excruciating economy, it is churlish for detractors to continue to disparage it. Continuous aspersion on the government can whittle down its effort and deny the state the opportunity for growth. If progress was the reason behind the clamour for the creation of Akwa Ibom state on September 23rd, 1987, it behooves everybody, including the opposition who are in a continuous perpetration of smear campaign to demonise government, to support the lofty objective of statehood for the overall benefit of everyone.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has demonstrated both in speech and action that he is determined to drive a change that will place the state on a pedestal of excellence. Akwa Ibom people as a race with high entrepreneurial spirit and strong impetuous drive for success need his magic to seize this rare moment and opportunity to move the only state we have forward. The governor has not only undertaken various roadmap projects but he is poised to sustain them on the double.
Udom Emmanuel came into the Akwa Ibom leadership scene prepared. Every day, and each moment you come across this gentleman; everyday you think through with him, you see the zeal he uses as a propelling factor in him to make Akwa Ibom succeed. There are certain things that would have happened if God did not like Akwa Ibom State. We would have had a hitch over a successful handover with a wrong person on the saddle. The Governor has done extremely well in just eight months running. This cannot come without his experience in life; how he started completely from a small and humble beginning in his community, Onna – His parents, teachers in their own domain – and quickly grew up to serious height in the management of human beings and money in the financial industry, the country and in the international community.
There are those who wanted to be Governor through the back door using smear campaigns, fanning of ethnic war drums and throwing all caution to the wind. Governor Udom, without the skills he had acquired over the years, would have been intimidated by the antics of these people. Probably a governor that doesn’t know his onions, he could have just come and decided to say ‘who actually drafted me into the scene?’ Getting into the Government House where funds, all over the world – not only in Nigeria – is a problem, you would begin to wonder where to start from. A leader without focus in an era of total austerity would be completely devastated. Projecting Akwa Ibom in the next four years and beyond by the grace of God, under the able leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel forecast the man that has the future of Akwa Ibom State at heart. Under him, the people see a state in 2023 to be an autonomous division where all the industries will reside. This is where all Agricultural produce for Nigeria would come from. I see Akwa Ibom State attaining a height of Dubai and other major Asian tiger status. The Governor, aside focusing on industrialization, also has passion in expanding the road networks around the nooks and corners of the state. Human capacity enhancement is on the top priority list of His Excellency. He sees the picture that is not narrow minded. And if I may blow your mind further, road creation will transcend into swamps so that even the people in the sea can bring their product on land.
The driving force of the Governor in terms of pursuing his vision burns out of the milk of human kindness in him. Udom Emmanuel has the passion that exceeds bounds for Akwa Ibom youths. That is why you are seeing the trainings that are already taking place. He knows for you to have one thousand workers, you have to train two thousand. For me, that is the real beginning of industrialization because it sensitizes the teeming youths and the whole state, telling them that something is coming and in tandem preparing them for the challenges of the future.
There’s a sieving process of ensuring that the right set of people, material and industry for Akwa Ibom state comes to us through a perfected channel and with ease. It is indeed glaring that His Excellency is hitting the ground running and coupled with experiences as Secretary to State Government. He knows exactly what is best for the pivotal take-off of government in view to attaining adequate success.
“Today I have come to lay the responsibilities of that office at God’s feet, and submit myself to Him to use in accomplishing His will for this blessed land named after Him”; text being a portion of the Governor’s address during the May 31, 2016 Interdenominational Thanksgiving Service.
And with the February 3rd, 2016 Supreme Court judgment that put paid to the blackmail and character assassination of the Governor’s hard-earned image during the past eight months. There is no disputing the fact that our God has been faithful to us.
Finally, if we must toe the path of those things that enhance the developmental strides of the state, we as well-meaning Akwa Ibomites should stand up – Dakkada – and support this open window of industrialization piloted by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Pat Reuben is a Public Affairs analyst and writes in from Awantong, Etinan