By Umoh-Obong Kingley
“When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret…” (Matthew 6:3)
There have been series of publications on the social media, accusing Governor, Udom Emmanuel refusing to throw money around on the streets, thereby making people poor. Very sad and poor thinking from people who ought to be rich in thoughts.
Wise men do not throw money on the streets, but take people off the streets. Yes other politicians might have thrown money on the streets but one cannot point out the economic effect of the money on those thrown at.
Those who give with genuine intent don’t show off neither do they boast over it. Giving for self recognition is an hypocritical behaviour. Trying to monopolise the act of giving, or blowing trumpets, is nothing but an act of building an empire just for self recognition, without any significant reward.
“When you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others…” (Matthew 6:2). Here, the scripture clearly warns against doing something good with publicity in mind, and practicing righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them.
Rather than throw money on the streets, it is worth mentioning that Governor Emmanuel has been able to secure the future of every Akwa Ibom indigene, with the establishment of over 18 functioning industries and still counting in the State. That is where he is throwing money into.
How about the over 50 unemployed youths per local government area, (Dakkada Youths) drawn from various villages in each local government area of the state he placed on salaries, to support them in their small scale businesses and scholarships?
Would the ranters mention that Udom is not a giver, at the market place where traders are communing, after being told that the Governor is still continuing the interest free loan scheme to them, with facilities ranging from N100,000 to N5 million?
It would have been disappointing if Udom Emmanuel came and suddenly decided to devalue the naira by throwing it around rather than giving jobs to the youth.
Charity is different from throwing money around. Yes the Governor gives and sponsors several medical trips. Chief Otu Robert Akpan could readily come to mind as one of those he sent out for medical attention, and when he came back, he turned around to call for Udom Emmanuel’s head, saying he has done nothing. Through the Divine Mandate Community Service and street parties, several largesse are usually distributed to people in various rural communities by the Governor’s lieutenants at Ibom Plaza and other Social places, or is it because the Governor does not physically go there himself?
Has there been an attempt to quantify what the state first lady has done for orphans, the less privileged and multiple birth children? The governor must brag about it first?
For those who say he is giving because he is in politics, how can this be justified for a man who instituted scholarship for young people, empowerment schemes for the widows and incentives for church workers, singlehandedly over 20 years ago, before he even thought of joining politics?
Givers don’t brag. No one has ever heard or seen pictures of orphans who receive from Udom Emmanuel every other day. He doesn’t give for applause.
It is rather wrong to try forcing Mr Emmanuel to become loquacious. A man who has built a good and excellent reputation for himself over the years cannot change overnight.