By Aniekan James Ekah
Over the past months, Nigeria has suffered major blows of the dwindling oil prices and even a child in the womb has felt the effect of how things are going on today in Nigeria. The scourging effect of the oil revenue decline has seen many states running to the Federal Government for bailouts as they are finding it very hard to embark on certain projects, pay salaries and bring to reality their campaign promises.
In Akwa Ibom, our case is different! Fortunately for us, we have a Governor whose credibility and integrity has been tested and trusted. He is an astute manager, a caring father and an exceptional leader who feels the pulse of the common man. This man has given up every luxury just to make sure Akwa Ibom as a state rises to its faith of greatness. That man is His Excellency Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.
For many, occupying a sensitive position as the governor of a state is an opportunity to fan the flames of ethnic and tribal sentiments, dabble into politics not concerned with issues, plunder resources and grab all they can while it lasts. Governor Udom Emmanuel, considering his leadership style, considers his position an opportunity to serve and save Akwa Ibom State.
One would not expect anything less from a man who has occupied various top managerial positions in the Nigeria, African and the world banking industries. Udom Emmanuel was called by God to SERVE Akwa Ibom with his heart and might, especially in a time like this! He was qualified by God to SAVE our economy from the adverse effects of dwindling oil prices. He was chosen by God to save Akwa Ibom from ‘divisive tendencies that have for centuries defined us’.
In a speech tagged “COME, LET’S BUILD TOGETHER” made at the 2015 Akwa Ibom State Association of Nigeria, AKISAN Convention in Philadelphia, USA, Governor Udom Emmanuel noted that “For so long, we have allowed the negative impulses of parochialism, of ethnic bigotry, to draw lines of divisions where a clear line of togetherness should have been written in bold letters. For so long, we have allowed mutual distrust shape our thoughts and the layers of relationship among our brothers and sisters. The ime has come for us all to collapse and check our little fears and distrusts for one another and unfurl an umbrella of love, of unity and of good neighborliness.”
This truly was the case in Akwa Ibom State! Today, the narrative has changed! Akwa Ibomites are rising to the faith of greatness! Akwaibomites are becoming responsible citizens! We are towing the path of greatness in efficient management of resources. We are using our innate abilities positively for service to God and growth of humanity. In the near future, we will live to be thankful to God for bringing this astute manager and charismatic leader our way!
No wonder the Executive Chairman of Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation (AKICORP), Dr. Elijah Akpan, describes the governor as “sympathetic, empathetic, steady, kind, assertive, integrous, proficient, efficient, competent, experienced, intelligent, mature, humble, attentive, generous, God-fearing, educated, honest, trustworthy, loyal, not greedy, and modernized.”
It is worthy of note that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Five Point Agenda of Wealth Creation, Economic and Political Inclusion, Poverty Alleviation, Infrastructural Consolidation/Expansion, and Job Creation is already coming to fruition in within his first year in office.
With the introduction of Akwa Ibom Enterprise and Employment (AKEES), training of Akwa Ibom youths in Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology, Power and other vocational disciplines, wealth and over 1000 jobs have been created for unemployed youths in Akwa Ibom.
Vast opportunities are opening up for Akwa Ibom business as credibility and integrity is now the order of the day. Just to mention, as part of his Poverty Alleviation agenda, pensions and salaries are now paid on time!
His Economic and Political Inclusion agenda has been witnessed both in the appointment of non-party members into key positions and at the just-concluded PDP congress where credible standards set by the Governor were strictly followed resulting in peaceful conduct of PDP congresses in the state.
Having laid the foundation for the industrial development of our State through the provision of an enabling environment, investors are trouping into the state because of Udom Emmanuel’s Infrastructural Consolidation/Expansion agenda which is evidenced in this administration’s committed to build a vibrant economic model in Akwa Ibom State through massive Industrialization, Mechanized Agricultural Expansion, Energy Development, Oil and Gas Exploration, Human Capacity Development, Entertainment, Service Industries, Innovative Healthcare Delivery Systems and various Foreign Direct Investment initiatives.
In just 365 days in office, Abasi Ibom State has *come together in a critical mass to build a virile, prosperous state where opportunities abound, where people are ‘aspirational’, where the ‘can-do’ spirit brims in our veins and blood, and where we hold our hands aloft, strong, virile and ready to help the next person cross the hurdle or jump the hoops to the corner of fulfillment, as opposed to applying zero-sum game approach.
This is the dream of Governor Udom Emmanuel. This is the Akwa Ibom dream! For a few that are yet to wake up to the reality that God gives power, calls and qualifies, it is pertinent to note that we are building a sustainable environment where no philosophical differences in politics, slander or blackmail can thrive. We are building an economy where our businesses can outlive our generations; we are building a society where unity and peaceful coexistence is the watchword and finally, a society where commending our brothers or sisters for a good job done is no longer seen as a sign of weakness.
We collectively made the choice on April 11, 2015 and the Supreme Court strongly affirmed that truly, Udom Emmanuel is a man we can trust!
Akwa Ibom Dakkada!
Aniekan James Ekah – a social media and OnlinePR expert writes from Uyo.