#AkwaIbomAt30: Celebrating Divine Fulfilment
By Uwemedimoh Umanah
The creation of Akwa Ibom State on the 23rd of September, 1987 was to very many, an answer to the many years of prayers and expectations by majority of people that constitute the mainland part of Cross River State. The struggle gained currency during the COR State Movement which was powered by the late Justice Egbet Udo Udoma in the 1950s.
The totality of these efforts by the movement crystalised in the creation of the South Eastern State, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom States. The story of akwa Ibom State is that of evolution and fulfilment of divine prophesy adumbrates what is written in the Good Book, “I have promised to bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Camarutes, Hittites, Amorites, Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Exodus 3:17).
The transformation visibly recorded in Akwa Ibom between 1987 and 2017 could be described as meteoric, unprecedented and to say the least, dumbing. It is a negation of the Hamitic Hypothesis, propounded by the Europeans in the 18th and 19th centuries to relegate Africa to the background of social, economic and political discourse. This hypothesis associated Africa with Ham in the Bible who was cursed – resulting in the darkening of his skin. This thought was reinforced by Trevor Roper, a Regius professor of History, Oxford University to the effect that “all about Africa was darkness, and darkness is not a subject of History…”
Thirty years on, the Trevor Ropern and Hamitic Hypothesis have been demystified, while the Biblical prophecy by God, of taking the Israelites to the Promise land, has been fulfilled. The reasons cannot be far-fetched. The industrial revolution which ensued in England for about a century is being replicated in Akwa Ibom State, with the initialisation of some of the world’s best factories such as the Syringe and Metering plants.
Secondly, the state is the highest attraction to Foreign Direct Investors (FDIs) in Nigeria after Lagos, which was the Federal Capital Territory before Abuja and the commercial and industrial nerve centre of Nigeria. What this implies is that Akwa Ibom creates more jobs and alleviates poverty more than any other state in Nigeria, except Lagos. What else could typify a land flowing with milk and honey than hope and sustainable livelihood?
As a corollary, Akwa Ibom has some of the best infrastructure in Nigeria, ranging from quality urban and rural roads, urban renewal programs, bridges and social services such as electricity. It is gratifying to note that the state enjoys more hours of electricity than any other state in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, thanks to the dynamism of its leadership component led by Mr Udom Emmanuel, an international investment expert, who is making judicious management of resources, in accordance with international best practices, his cardinal thrust.
Also, it can be recalled, just as the Bible notes in bolder relief, that our savior Jesus was baptized at age thirty. By possible extrapolation, it was the formal beginning of his ministry and battles for the redemption of mankind from the clutches of darkness. 30 years of age therefore is remarkable in the annals of human history as dawn of a robust beginning and in the context of Akwa Ibom, it coincides with the administration of a divinely chosen Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
Mattew’s account in the Good Book, strengthens the assertion that there is more to a name that meets the eye. Governor Emmanuel has the name with Jesus Christ and this implies that he is divinely inspired in the making of choices, particularly, in the management of the affairs of Akwa Ibom. ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us’. It can safely said that the current administration in the state signals the evolution of a reform which could be likened to that King Josiah which the Bible also notes that he did what was pleasing in the eyes of God.
As Harrold Stoessinqer, a professor of Political Economy noted, “leadership is the brain of the state… it alone is capable of maximising the use of other resources towards the achievement of the object of national interest…”. In this connection, Governor Udom Emmanuel has proven to know his onion in the galvanization of the other resources in the state toward the actualization of the object of socio- economic and political development.
Akwa Ibom at 30 is on the threshold of history. Its 30th anniversary has been named ‘Orange September’ depicting joy, creativity, success, encouragement and freedom. Akwa Ibom is an exemplification of these, which capture in its entirety, the essence of the promise of God to His children. Akwa Ibom is God’s own state and under the good, quality and viable leadership of Udom Emmanuel, is flowing with milk and honey.
Uwemedimoh Umanah, an International Public Affairs Analyst, writes in from Abak