THE RISING PROFILE OF GOV. EMMANUEL & THE JITTERINESS OF HELPLESS MEDIOCRITY

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Sir Isaac Newton, in his law of universal gravitation, stated: “A particle attracts every other particle in the universe using a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centres”. Understanding this law, which extends gravity beyond the earth, offers profound insights into the way our universe functions.

Little wonder the falling apple that got Newton amazed at what sustains the moon on the same plane that leaves other objects freely falling from all heights. True, the same heat that hardens the egg melts the ice, Governor Udom Emmanuel is in a world of his own, and like the moon, defies gravity to illuminate the Akwa Ibom space.

It takes revelation to comprehend Governor Emmanuel’s pace, zest and will in making leadership work, such revelations are never trapped in shallow minds who are not allowed to see more than their slave masters wish; it is an exclusive preserve of conscientious citizen who should do more than lame watch. Coming to this knowledge allows one the luxury of pardoning the mischief of pundits, whose job it is, to rub tar on the governor’s achievements.

The unpopular attempt to dress the governor’s 23 months stewardship in robes of disrepute is excusable, coming from a section of the society that has cut a living from staying shortsighted. They deserve the collective sympathy of every good thinking member of the public, as it may not take long to decipher that they are judging the governor from the dismal performances of their political and social allies.

Testimonials from within and outside Akwa Ibom on the achievements of the state chief executive has provided sufficient answers to the question of performance peddled by those whose eyes are closed to the realities of Udom Emmanuel’s vision of achieving a world-class state in a recession ravaged third-world nation.

Were it to be within their powers, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. William Stuart Symington and the Consul General John Bray, would never have expressed satisfaction at Governor Udom Emmanuel’s commitment to infrastructure, security and citizens welfare, when they described him as “a world class leader” who has steered the ship of the state to global reckoning.

Independent of political, ethnic, religious and primordial leaning, the duo made an independent remark of Nigeria’s fastest developing State and Africa’s investment delight, at a banquet held to commemorate their recent visit to the State, where vista of opportunities to engender robust business partnerships that would drive the states’ aspiration to lead the African development narrative were discussed.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, may be an interested party in the political turf, but his affiliation would not make him hold back his commendation of Governor Emmanuel’s capacity in harnessing the lean resources in the state, to grow it into a destination of choice, when he visited Akwa Ibom on a Townhall meeting, during his stint as Acting President.

In the presence of everyone, including the Governor’s mindless critics, some who hold positions of responsibilities in the Federal Government, the then Acting President praised the level of infrastructure and good governance the governor has brought to bear in his administration of the state. A pointer that those who are against the governor’s achievements may be at crossed purpose with the agenda of wishing Nigeria well.

It is instructive to note that Osinbajo’s endorsement of the governor’s module of good governance may have informed his boycotting the special reception that was organized for him by members of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) in the state, obviously because he never wanted to be caught on the lines of allowing mediocrity conflict with his convictions.

Hate him at your peril, but be conscious you cannot distort his well-planned agenda, as even Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung held it all bare, when he heralded the Governor’s commitment to grassroots sports development at the recently concluded youth sports festival in the State, where he declared Akwa Ibom as Nigeria’s shopping ground and hope for talents in the next Olympics.

The minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, could also not hold his emotion at the recently concluded 2017 Nigeria Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair, when he hinted that the choice of the state as host was not unconnected with the sustained pace of development it has maintained. Applauding Governor Emmanuel’s resolve to build the state into a model the nation should emulate.

These sums up as undeniable testimonials for the ONNA born international investment and financial expert, who has in all ways possible silenced dissenting voices when it comes to performance and mandate delivery by employing workable financial engineering strategies in managing the state into a beehive of gainful venture, to the amazement of those who doubted his capacity.

Interestingly, it may be apt to employ the words of the State Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo in the popular rhetoric, “imma nyene, nse’ke ajem” simply interpreted as, what more do you want? Looking at every available indices, those sponsoring media attacks on the governor are jittery of his rising profile, when compared to the bleakness of their once upon a time stardom.

A rundown of those in the detractors’ camp would visibly show a group of people who have drank from a common cup of frustration and rejection. A larger percentage of them suffered humiliating defeats in the hands of Governor Emmanuel at both the 2014 Guber primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party and the 2015 general elections. Not to mention the judicial triumph of the governor at the Supreme Court, when some of them felt they had money and blackmail working in their favour.

Whoever faults the Governor’s infrastructural consolidation and expansion push may not have been in the state in last one year, as Akwa Ibom has been transformed to a massive construction site, with several turnkey projects going on in all nook and cranny of the state to give impetus to the administration’s superior performance caste.

Ini Local Government Area has gotten her fair share of commendable intervention, the people of Oron lives in eternal gratitude to the Governor for remodeling their city centers, Eastern Obolo, Oruk Anam, Ikot Abasi, Nsit Ubium, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Obot Akara, Ibiono Ibom, just like others have become centres of infrastructural revolution. Name your Local Government and have a list of what the state government has done in your domain (for those in the Diaspora)

I was recently awestruck at the magnitude of work done on the Etinan- Eket Road as well as the remodeling of the Eket metropolis when I recently attended the traditional marriage of my friend Torobong Ekpo in Eket. The trip was not only free of the stress that hitherto characterized movements along that route, it was shorter and a lot more convenient, all thanks to the Governor’s hands-on approach in delivering cutting edge technologically driven projects.

Entrepreneurial endeavours in the state has attained an upbeat crescendo as the government has deployed ingenious ways of involving people across various strata in policy and programmes execution, to give credibility to the administration’s agenda of citizen’s empowerment, which has been achieved through the engagement of honest and credible indigenous experts.

The governor through the Interministerial Direct Labour Committee last year empowered thousands of people through various contracts, a gesture of inclusivity that undeniably sent cold shivers down the spines of political jobbers, who flew round town with tales of a recession to shield from delivering democratic dividends to their people.

Reactionary to the Governor’s massive empowerment approach, the recent move by a section of the opposition to reassemble what is left of their already decimated ranks is a proof that the governor’s module of empowerment has dealt a severe blow on their ventures of deceit and falsehood; pushing them to the damage control measure of throwing contract papers of shabbily executed jobs on a few desperados.

Re-inventing mischief, the Niger Delta Development Commission, have displayed an appalling desperation that has led them into listing completed projects of Governor Udom Emmanuel among NDDC jobs, the sorry state of this desperation finds expression in the sight of people working with cutlasses and shovels at project sites, a conduct that betrays all known health and environmental work standards.

Agreeing with a trending social media meme, “An NDDC Managing Director that cannot fix his Edemaya community, is that one a Managing Director” Regrettably, Nsima Ekere, cannot point to a time-tested project his commission has embarked on. Worried about the poor quality of jobs currently executed, he rather prefers littering other parts of the State with substandard projects than embarrass his Ikot Abasi people with such jobs, stirring the rhetoric; when charity stopped beginning from home.

It is unequivocal that no Federal Road has been worked on by the Shylock Federal agency (NDDC). It is on record that it took the intervention of Governor Udom Emmanuel for remedial works on the failing Federal road that leads to Port Harcourt through Ikot Abasi (Ekere’s hometown) from Abak to be carried out; raising the million Dollar question of why Ekere would neglect his people.

The Ibagwa stretch of the Abak-Ikot Abasi road that leads to the NDDC Boss’ ancestral home is at the verge of total collapse. This road, which suffers more from his characteristically unruly motorcade, has left many onlookers querying the location of Ekere’s helipad, since that would be his only means of assessing other parts of the State, when all that is left of the Army Barrack failing portion of the road goes under.

True to type, the NDDC helmsman would always look the other way without recourse to the plight of his people because the cost of fixing this very portion of the road and strengthening the overlying bridge is by far more than the piecemeal he throws around to shabbily dress streets of few meters with sand and cement dust.

With a long pole, Ekere would not dare the level of commitment Governor Emmanuel puts into turning desolate infrastructure to beautiful masterpieces. The remodeling, completion and conversion of the dilapidated and abandoned anniversary hotel on Udo Udoma Avenue to State Secretariat annex speaks volume of his capacity in turning waste to wealth. Like oil, he does not mix with water, hence the class distinction between him and those seeking to cash a political capital on the peoples’ misfortune.

Attempts to compare the sham they have institutionalized in the state with Governor Emmanuel’s projects question rationality and right thought. You cannot compare work done and resources invested in erecting a sky scrapper to what is required to construct a thatched bungalow, so also with comparing jobs executed with earth moving equipment with crude 19th century implements.

The recent release of the 2017 first quarter Interministerial Direct Labour jobs to another 5593 people (comprising ward executives of the PDP in the state) in addition to several others cannot be any less than an Achilles heel for the opposition party. This is a record they cannot beat, which calls to mind the need for their contractors to hurry for their pay, as handlers of the APC in the state may in no time elope for fear of an already starring defeat.

It was Barbara Kingsolver who said, “Truth requires no rehearsals” Governor Udom Emmanuel is focused and undaunted in the task of leadership, such that for him the next generation is more important than the next elections, a conviction that reverberates the call for his traducers to lay bare their achievements in life, profession, politics and leadership.

I may not be a politician, but it takes being an apolitical citizen to draw the line between statesmanship and politics, Udom has shown patriotism, zeal, intelligence and the required political will in advancing the next frontiers of the states’ engagement, those peddling falsehood against him are mere pretenders.

With countless accolades the world over on his shoulder, the Leadership Newspaper; an organization owned and managed by a frontline leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Mr. Isaiah Ndah, could not have been manipulated to make Governor Udom Emmanuel the Leadership Newspaper Governor of the Year. Only performance, credibility and patriotism would have guaranteed him such sumptuous feast in the midst of his enemies.

Facts are sacred and speak for itself, no blackmail will deter my Governor from delivering on his mandate of raising the state as a model in good governance in the African Continent.

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