Udom Emmanuel: You Can’t Beat The Reach
By Pat Reuben
The ball was set for Gov. Udom Emmanuel to begin his venture into the mainstream political waters of Akwa Ibom State with his appointment as Secretary to the Government through a press release on July 30, 2013. His appointment filled the vacuum of exit created by the failed APC gubernatorial candidate, Umana Okon Umana, who had occupied the position for more than six years. His entry into the Akwa Ibom vast political scenario left no one in doubt of his prowess and leadership resume. Gov. Udom Emmanuel exhibited tremendous capabilities, hitting the ground running with the vision of the then administration’s trademark of Uncommon Transformation. He performed with a greater deal of conviction, adding administrative spice and providing support to the administration of Senator Akpabio (then Governor ). In all, it didn’t come as a surprise to those who are in the know of the pedigree of this astute, prudent manager, businessman and Onna-groomed technocrat.
Gov. Udom Emmanuel is well and solidly grounded even before his sojourn into the world of governance and leadership with political alignment. This brief peep into his credible profile rings a bell. He had established a strong foothold in the corporate world, especially with his diverse portfolio with Zenith Bank. He was Executive Director on the Board of Zenith Bank Plc from December 2006 to the date of his appointment and equally served as Audit Manager of Price Waterhouse Coppers. The amiable gent is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, he also served as Chief Financial Officer of Zenith Bank Plc. At Zenith Bank due to his diligence in the execution of drawn task, he kept his rising profile at optimum and bagging numerous key positions in service. Group Head of Income Optimization, Financial Control/Strategic Planning Department; General Manager; Executive Director and; pioneer manager of Lagos Central Branch.
To those, during the rigorous eight months of election litigation tussle where the Governor felled victim of the worst spate of character assassination, blackmail, name calling, image diminishing attacks and grievous media propaganda by APC apologist in the state, follow up as our brand kept shinning in the face of ill-crafted web of trying to de-market his person. A man enshrined with multi-tasking capabilities and immeasurable potentials. Gov. Udom Emmanuel joined Zenith Bank in 1996 from Diamond Bank Limited and served for a length spanning seventeen years, doubled as Non-Executive Director, Africa Finance Corporation(AFC)from 2008 to the time of his appointment as Secretary to the state government in 2013; Director, Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement Systems (NIBBS)from 2009; Non-Executive Director, Zenith Bank, United Kingdom; Zenith Bank-Gambia; Zenith Bank-Sierra Leone; Zenith Insurance; Zenith Pensions and Custodian; Zenith Securities; Zenith Trustees and Zenith Registrars.
With the supreme court judgment upholding Gov Udom Emmanuel election on February 3rd, 2016, the Governor is in the know that the gains and momentum of development must be sustained and built upon. All the infrastructures that the state needs to take a leap into the league of highly industrialized states must be fully revived and made to accelerate in high speed.
Akwa Ibom is ready for the next stage of development and it is on going. What will make the difference is the leadership that can seize opportunities and build on this great foundation that has been laid.
What is required now is a proven manager of men and finances, who shares in the vision of His Excellency and has the courage to lead Akwaibom in its next quantum leap into industrialization, economic empowerment of her people, and wealth creation.
So far, so good, the scorecard has kept rolling in, the manifestation and testimonies in the month of February gives us all a reason for more things in the kitty. This is really the month of testimonies and goodwill for Governor Udom Emmanuel and the good people of Akwaibom, as His Excellency came out supremely confirmed as the authentic governor of Akwa Ibom State by the supreme court of Nigeria. Sequel to the affirmation of the Governor’s victory; a grand reception was held for the Governor, his wife, Martha and others by the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District. There was also an interdenominational thanksgiving service to applaud God and celebrate the victory at the Supreme court held at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium. The Denmark Ambassador came visiting on the early hours of Wednesday 3rd February, the same day the supreme court affirmed Gov. Udom with a renewed partnership in the development of Ibom Deep Seaport and focus on agriculture.
FA champions,Akwa United have started their Confederation Cup Campaign on a good note, stunning Congolese Vita Club de Mokanda to an away win at Pointe Noire. They also defeated Enyimba FC of Aba a few days back to cart home the Charity Cup at the Abuja National Stadium. Substantially, the Ibom International Airport is wearing real international status with the new runway of repute.
A clear sign of more to come as Gov. Udom Emmanuel has really given Akwa Ibom State a pridal place in the committee of states. And now that God has supremely confirmed and affirmed his leadership and silenced all forms of distractions on the Governor, Akwa Ibom is already on the wings of history. In anticipation for more goodies coming our stable with Gov. Udom on the saddle, you can’t beat the reach.
Pat Reuben is a Public Affairs Analyst; writes in from Awantong -Etinan.