By Udeme Utip
At the age of 35, Udom Emmanuel, now the Governor of Akwa Ibom state,
was already a world class citizen, sitting on the board of
profit-making companies at the global stage, before the age of 40, he
was sitting on the board of 12 corporate bodies, including groups, he
was executive director in Zenith Bank, which can be rated as one of
the best banks on planet earth before he gave into pressure by the
previous administration to save his state, as secretary to the state
Before he became the secretary to Akwa Ibom state Government, findings
reveals that at his level as the Executive Director in Zenith Bank
Mr. Udom Emmanuel was earning a salary of not less than $1 million per
annum and could afford any level of comfort in the world.
Confirmed sources from Awa Imman where the Governor hails from have
also said that his father, Mr. Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanag, who is a
retired school head master, built one of the best homes in his native
Awa Imman, in Onna local government area of the state without holding
any post in Government.
It is also a known fact that Udom Emmanuel was in the fore front of
those who built one of the best houses in Ewet Housing Estate when the
number of houses in the estate could be numbered long before he even
conceive taking any position in Government.
Udom Emmanuel’s status both financially and otherwise before his first
appointment as SSG, shows clearly that his mission to the Hill Top
Mansion was to use his wealth of experience to save Akwa Ibom State
His official profile shows that Udom Gabriel Emmanuel was born on July
11, 1966 in Awa Iman, a City in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa
Ibom State, Nigeria. He rose from being a Sunday school leader at Qua
Iboe church to become a bank director and his greatness is propelled
by humility, honesty, prudence and hard work.
He is a man of goodwill with good works, a man who values others’
plight more than his; a leader who believes in team work, a financial
manager who can translate a little income to collective fortunes. His
work experience reveals that he is an excellent developer. Mr. Udom
Emmanuel and his family are strong members of Qua Iboe Church,
As devoted Christians, and as a Deacon, they are altogether very
active in the faith. This commitment has helped Udom and his family
stayed strong and united, while weathering through the storms of life.
His father, (Retired) Mr. G. E. Nkanang was an educator, a Head Master
Mr. Udom Emmanuel is a corporate strategist and an experienced private
sector player. With over 23 years cognate experience in financial
services garnered from Price water House Coopers, Diamond Bank and
Zenith Bank, he is authorized by the Financial Services Authority
(FSA) to carry-out financial services in the United Kingdom.
At Zenith Bank, he was always sent to develop new branches across the
globe because his employers knew his capabilities of making a dead
stream an ocean. He developed the Zenith Bank in United Kingdom;
Zenith Bank – Gambia; Zenith Bank – Sierra Leone; Zenith Insurance;
Zenith Pensions and Custodian; Zenith Securities; Zenith Trustees,
Zenith Registrars and turned all these positions to the treasure base
of the Zenith Bank group. It was his uncommon performance that earned
him the position of a director in a Bank that he is never a
His astute qualities in the financial sector stood him out among
equals and as such when Akwa Ibom State went shopping for a Governor
who would sustain the uncommon transformation strides of the previous
administration led by Senator Godswill Akpabio, the search light
beamed on him even when he was hardly involved in practical politics
apart from being a strong and financial member of the people’s
Democratic Party (PDP) which produced him as the Governor of the
During his campaigns, Mr. Udom Emmanuel rolled out his five point
development agenda; which included:
1. Wealth Creation
2. Economic and Political Inclusion
3. Poverty Alleviation
4. Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion
5. Job Creation
And after being voted by the people of the state and winning the April
11, 2015 election by overwhelming margin, on May 29, 2015 date of his
inauguration as the 5th democratically elected Governor of Akwa Ibom
state, Governor Emmanuel rolled out a 12 point agenda which he
promised to execute to the latter as long as it was enunciated during
his political campaigns. The 12 points included:
1. To leverage and build on the Uncommon Transformation of the
Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio administration.
2. To transform the economy of our State via industrialization and
sustain public-private sector initiative, thereby opening up
opportunities for growth and improved living standards.
3. To respect and uphold the tenets of democratic governance which our
great party (PDP) unflinchingly stands for, as well as respect the
party’s structure, decisions and hierarchy.
4. To ensure the security of lives and property of the people at all
times, while adhering to the principal of the rule of law, thereby
ensuring equity, justice and fair play.
5. To promote unity and oneness across the State, with due respect for
Traditional Institutions and the Elders of our Society.
6. To continuously develop mobilize, and empower our women and the
youths via planned and well articulated welfare and capacity-building
7. To give all Akwa Ibom persons (both within Nigeria and the
Diaspora) a proud sense of belonging-built on good governance,
economic advancement and due respect for the Fundamental Human Rights
8. To pursue the task of Rural Development and Integration with all
vigor, bring the benefits and dividends of our democratic governance
to every nook and cranny in the state, and provide basic amenities of
life to all.
9. To ensure Accountability and Transparency in government by fighting
and tackling corruption in all facets of our Administration.
10. To provide trade, commerce and tourism between Akwa Ibom and the
rest of Nigeria, and in fact, the rest of the world.
11. To foster, develop, and maintain a good working relationship with
both the legislative and the Judiciary arms of Government in the
state, as well as ensuring an effective Local Government
Administration for grassroots development, mobilization and
12. To attract all possibly required Federal presence to Akwa Ibom
State, by developing and sustaining a harmonious and very cordial
relationship with the government at the centre.
The eight months of distractions which took him and the PDP through
the Election Petition Tribunal, the Court of Appeal and finally the
Supreme Court, which gave him the final and a favourable judgment, did
not deter the Governor from hitting the ground and running with what
he had purposed to do for the good of the state.
At the end of the struggle, Udom Emmanuel only called on the
detractors to close ranks and bring their ideas to bear for the good
of the state and the people.
“I hereby call on our brothers and sisters from the other side of the
political divide to close ranks and join me, in moving Akwa Ibom state
to surpass superior performance and ensure development that is
sustainable, impactful and expansive. We don’t have any other state to
call ours except the great Akwa Abasi Ibom State”. The Governor had
While still battling with the court cases, Emmanuel who was focused on
governance and reorientation of the hitherto myopic and backward
mindset of an average Akwa Ibom person launched the Dakkada initiative
which has formed the slogan of the administration and the state in
According to him; Dakkada is a clarion call for the people to rise to
the fate of greatness, shake off the shackles of complacency, of
dependence and of the cultivation of a defeatist and pliant mindset;
to arise to exploit and posses the greatness that is embedded in them
by the Almighty God; the need to arise to join their brothers and
sisters from other parts of the country to make meaning of their
lives, to be productive, to be aspirational.
It is evident in the state that the people have heeded the Dakkada
campaign, so many people have arisen to take their place in the
boardroom of Nigeria, and not as the flotsam and the jetsam of the
Nigerian project who were seen only as the cooks and house helps of
the rich and powerful; they have arisen to take their destiny in their
hands and in unison tell themselves: Never again shall we be treated
as mere irritants or the fringe elements of the Nigerian enterprise.
Payment of salaries, new projects, education, security and
leadership by example, Governor Udom Emmanuel will score excellent in
For the avoidance of doubt, the Commissioner stated, “Akwa Ibom State
Government has paid all its workers’ salaries to date, has the most
robust project rollout as shown in the 100 days score card of the
The State is implementing the Free and Compulsory Education Programme
and had paid subventions to heads of Primary and Secondary Schools for
the administration of school children.
Akwa Ibom is one of the safest States in the Country and Governor
Udom Emmanuel has remained exemplary and focused in his pursuit of the
wellbeing of the people.
He outlined some of the achievements of Governor Udom Emmanuel to
include; ongoing construction and dualization of about 140 km of roads
with nine bridges across the State, the Ibom Deep Seaport development
drive, the on-going construction of the second runway, massive
electrification projects, the ground-breaking for the establishment of
different industries; the construction and rehabilitation of blocks at
the St. Luke’s Hospital, Anua; training of 1,000 youths in Oracle
Database; emergency intervention in threatening erosion along Calabar
– Itu Federal Highway and School of Nursing, he performed Ground
Break of AIT studio complex in Abak.
He said the Governor has so far worked tirelessly to keep faith with
the covenant he made, when he was sworn-in on May 29.
Other laudable achievements for which Mr. Umanah said Governor
Emmanuel deserves commendations are, the payment of the 10 years
arrears pensions and gratuities to primary school teachers and Local
Government employees; re-commissioning of Peacock Paints Industries.
In just one year of his administration, the Governor had spiced up the
story of Akwa Ibom as over 50 foreign investors are currently
discussing with the government on modalities for setting up businesses
in the State especially with high expectations from the Ibom Deep
Hopes are high that before the end of the present administration in
2023, Akwa Ibom would take its proper position in the committee of
As part of activities to mark the 2016 Democracy Day celebration and his one year in office, Governor Udom Emmanuel has inaugurated a number of life-touching projects executed by his administration across the 31 Local Government areas of the State.
According to a press statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, the multi-billion naira projects are in fulfillment of the governor’s promise to engender progressive development of Akwa Ibom in all ramifications.
Projects so inaugurated include emergency works on Oron urban roads/outfalls; 1.1 km Information Drive, Uyo; internal roads at Cornelia Cornelly College, Uyo; Medical Emergency Operation Centre, Ikot Ekpene; and the 3.5 km Ikot Udo Road, Ibiono Ibom LGA.
Others are AKWA PRIME Hatchery, Mbiaya Uruan; State Secretariat Annex, Staff Medical Clinic and Government Mechanical & Electrical Workshop, Uyo as well as Sports Centre and Remodeling works at West Itam Secondary School, Itu.
The Governor also flagged off the construction of Ikot Okoro-Ikot Ibritam Road, Oruk Anam; Ultra-Modern Regional Market, Mbiabong-Etoi, Uyo; Coconut Plantation/Refinery project, Mkpat Enin/Eastern Obolo/Ikot Abasi axis; and International Oil Depot by Delmac Petroleum Group in Ibeno.
Ongoing projects also inspected include the second runway at the Akwa Ibom International Airport; Idiba-Nda Nsit-Nung Udoe Road; Sports Academy in Ikot Mbong, ONNA LGA; 5 km Ikot Usop-Ikot Edeghe-Ikot Ekpuk Road with 30m span bridge; 6.6 km road network in Atan Offot; 6.4 km Nto Edino-Ekwerre Azu Road in Obot Akara; dualised Eket-Ibeno Road with four bridges; dualized Uyo-Etinan Road and the 1.2 km underground drainage along Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo.
The epoch-making events which commenced Tuesday May, 24 was rounded off on Sunday, May 29 with a State Banquet at the Le Meridian Ibom Hotels and Golf Resort, Uyo.