By Samuel Ayara
With over 29 years investment in network marketing, Mark Yarnell; an accomplished author and orator holds on to a reputation that has irrevocably admitted networking as a force for good; an equalizer and the last bastion of free enterprise; agreeing it is time to bond more in a committed effort to uplift our friends and associates in ensuring everyone count.
Instinctively Yarnell in piecing together the value of collective individuality, acknowledged the need to respect each other’s differences while celebrating their similarities, summing the task of identifying the similarities and differences as the crux of leadership, when he said, “A leader is someone who demonstrates what is possible.”
Failure of leadership at demonstrating possibilities have become for the black race the bane of underdevelopment which has seen followers settle for far lesser than they deserve. This has left leadership so helpless that the employment of crude force and tyranny has become a new order and only tool for leaders who are bereft of ideas in leading their followers to the boundless possibilities of an enterprising system.
Akwa Ibom seems to be firing on all cylinders, having reshuffled the pack in her sociopolitical leaning to earn a different strand of leadership DNA, re-affirming the possibilities that are inherent when the passion is right. This revving poise has quickened our minds to the possibility of running with the vision once we are convinced, regardless of who drops of the wayside.
It is unequivocal, a leadership that abhors mediocrity was birthed with the advent of Governor Udom Emmanuel, and the state positioned to stand stronger on merit than pity. So much could have happened in our evolution to this present day, but most remarkable has been our can-do drive in keeping faith with leaders, to the consternation of the outside world, who often watch in amazement our commitment to unity.
Interestingly, there has never been a time our faith in leadership was not tried, neither has there been a time we felt worse over a trial than we felt at another. The beauty of our political interface has always been our focus on the Akwa Ibom project, which often leaves an air of patriotism in key players, keeping us trusting that no political interest is greater than the future of the state.
In working to ensure leadership that uplifts everyone comes to play, Governor Emmanuel has shown no pretence at ensuring every key player in the Akwa Ibom project has a role, which agrees with his political inclusion caste. Doing this he has been able to look beyond where people expected and has galvanized the state to an arena where the front door to possibilities is permanently ajar, for active citizens’ participation.
It is a truism, through this culture of demystifying governance peasants, artisans, professionals, stakeholders, investors and consumers have found inroads into having their voices on every policy of government, as they are affected. This undoubtedly may have accounted for the several markets built, numerous agricultural development programmes and the promotion of small and medium enterprises for the stimulation of the state’s economy.
Being a grateful lot, Akwa Ibom people could not have seen the visible proof of sustainable development that have turned around their socioeconomic fortune, and not grow the courage to support a government that has brought them so much prosperity. Just as Winston Churchill described courage when he posited it as “either what it takes to stand up and speak or sit down to listen”, the people have chosen to speak-up their amity for Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Streams of rally, endorsement and support for the governor’s re-election in 2019 in the last ten months have been both instructive and gratifying, given that the state chief executive roundly deserves all the accolades he can get, for the meteoric rise he has taken the state on Nigeria’s socioeconomic ladder. Howbeit, the intensity of such supports for Governor Emmanuel in the last two weeks have sent clear signals that the time to translate the endorsements to votes is nigh.
Regrettably, some bookmarkers would not spare a breath in linking the heightened series of endorsements for the governor to the recent political happenings in the state including the gun souvenir episode and the defection of some members of the PDP to the opposition APC. Sane minds would nevertheless consider the opposition APC as modeling a strategy to insulate the defeat that lurks round them ahead of the 2019 gubernatorial polls.
The resoluteness and passion to ensure the safe return of Governor Emmanuel in 2019 may be charting an undistorted course to habour “Divine Mandate”, but this assurance would not see us display the insensitivity of turning deaf to the plight of members of the opposition. We know that our positive disposition, despite their gun threats and political realignment have left them stunned enough to be convinced that no force on earth can stop an idea whose time has come.
While the rallies, solidarity marches and endorsements file past, there is need to remind ourselves that leadership abhors vacuum. These events may not be far from the usual support the governor has always enjoyed, but they are also a deliberate effort by firm believers to close in on the gap created by the few members who recently took a walk. It happens everywhere, including in the military, where the troops are duty bound to cover up for spaces created by demised combatants.
Assuming without conceding that the rallies are face-saving and desperate, as held by a section of political travelers. Beholding 8 out of the 13 members of the National Assembly caucus from the State, 24 of the 26 members of the State legislature, all 31 Local Government Chairmen, stakeholders of all three Senatorial District, youths, women, business class and the clergy declare their resolve to continue supporting Governor Udom Emmanuel beyond 2019 is undoubtedly a beautiful scenery. If such huge support base passes for desperation, then it is safe to agree that such desperation has healthily impacted our political space, to proof that the people have elected to take their destinies in their hands.
So far, it has been electrifying to realize that the queue, crowd and passion is growing by the day, so also the voices heralding Udom Emmanuel’s continuity in office till 2023. These are no shows but a sign of what is to come, the people have taken sides with justice, equity and fairness, they cannot resist having their names on posterity’s good books.
With Governor Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom people have found the possibilities of a great future through today’s informed choices. Let the Divine Mandate march on.
Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro in Abak Local Government Area.