Before Ita Enang Deceives Us About Eagles
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
It is of utmost importance to give all glory to God who, in His infinite mercy, granted the Super Eagles of Nigeria a 4-0 victory over their Indomitable Lions of Cameroon opponent in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier encounter played on Friday, 1st September, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium (Nets of Champions), Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
The victory came after the State Governor, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, led the state to the Government House Banquet Hall on Friday, by 2pm on a one-day fast where the entire state congregated and prayed for the Super Eagles to win the match which, to the glory of God, they did – a victory, which has made Nigeria the first beneficiary of the 30th year of Akwa Ibom State creation prayers. It was not just a magic as the spurred the Super Eagles to play to their expectations.
Before now, there have been series of insinuations by some unscrupulous elements in the state especially the likes of Senator Ita Solomon Enang, who has derailed in his jurisdiction of appointment as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), whose duty is to annex between the Presidency and the National Assembly, but has, in the time past, shifted his focus to criticising the activities of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel. Even to the point of crediting the lofty achievements of the Governor in the state to President Muhammadu Buhari, his boss.
His counterpart in the see-nothing-good and pull-them-down business is the Facebook lawyer, called Inibehe Effiong who termed the ‘Nest of Champions’ a ‘cursed stadium’.
The Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, formerly Akwa Ibom International Stadium, is an all-seater national sports stadium located in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital. It was built in 2012 and completed in 2014 by the then Governor Godswill Obong Akpabio, now Senate Minority Leader representing Akwa Ibom North-East in the National Assembly.
The stadium serves as a home to the Nigerian Super Eagles as well as a center for various social, cultural, and religious events. The 30,000 seater ultra-modern multipurpose sports complex was modeled after Allianz Arena.
When Senator Akpabio, built the stadium, a lot of detractors discouraged and castigated him, claiming that it was of no economic importance to the state. Today, all of those critics are directly and indirectly benefitting from that edifice. They should have hid their faces in shame as they pray that matches should be played twice or thrice a week because of the various businesses the stadium attracts for which many of them are beneficiaries.
Governor Udom Emmanuel is vilified, castigated, abused, and insulted for similar reasons and circumstances because he dares to be a visionary leader. He dares to consolidate by putting down structures like roads, renovating and equipping hospitals for the people, increasing power supply to the people, bringing back failed industries to life and building new industries. Typically, as would be expected, there are no applauses, adulations and appreciations from these “holier than thou” sanctimonious, pharisaic, hypocritical and parochially minded Machiavellian critics whose families utilise these facilities the most.
Imagine what would have happened if Gov Emmanuel were to be out of the state for just one month. The answer is not far-fetched. When the Federal Government was not giving our state government the complete and constitutionally allowed 30 percent allocation for several months, we were all silent. The economy of this nation was destroyed within six months of entering office and there were no criticisms simply because those that are culpable are not leaders from Akwa Ibom State. Ibaka Deep Seaport is politically being stalled yet Akwa Ibom people are not seeing it. The Maritime University is not being given the proper attention it deserves yet we are not criticising the Federal Government for it.
When will those who specialise in destroying and pulling down their leaders look to see beyond their noses? It’s really a shame. A visionary leader must not be deterred by what the people say but must conscientiously go ahead and do what is best for the people because posterity will always judge all our actions and inactions.
I stand with Udom Emmanuel for industrialization. I stand with a situational and visionary leader that God elected to lead the state at these trying times – a Governor whom several governors are grappling to have his input to move their own state forward.
God bless His Excellency. Long live Akwa Ibom state. Life is better at 30. It is #OrangeSeptember. It is #AkwaIbomAt30.
Kingsley writes in from Ibiono Ibom