Iniobong Ekponta in Uyo x-rays the reasons for the growing support for the government of Akwa Ibom State through the eyes of a stakeholder.
The recent inclusion of Governor Udom Emmanuel by President Muhammadu Buhari as a member of the 4-Governor team to probe the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has raised status in the eyes of his citizens back home. Other colleagues of his in the team are Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Nasri El-Rufai of Kaduna and Abdullahi Dankwabo of Gombe According to the Chancellor in-charge of the Akpabioism Centre for Leadership Development, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, that recognition of a PDP governor by a an APC government not only shows the competence of the state governor but also his qualification that justified his choice to govern the state.
He therefore has admonished Akwa Ibom people, especially those opposed to the emergence of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, as Senator Godswill Akpabio’s successor, to bury sentiments and support the new administration. Speaking in an interview with our Correspondent at the weekend, Pastor David James, who doubles as a security expert, noted that Governor Emmanuel was carefully chosen to lead the state at the expiration of Akpabio’s tenure, and enjoined the people to rally round the new administration to succeed. According to him, the Governor has a leadership pedigree in both the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy, noting such leadership experiences would propel him to take the state to loftier heights.
He however appealed for patience and cooperation for the new administration to evolve. Urging the governor not to give in to distractions, the Chancellor, who described criticisms as the normal ingredients of any political process, warned that such criticisms should not be founded on lies and personal interests. Assuring that Emmanuel would consolidate on the legacies of the Akpabio’s years, the clergy noted that with his knowhow in the area of economics, he remains the best material to steer the sheep of Akwa Ibom State out of trouble waters especially with the drop in oil prices that has affected the income from the Federation Account. “God gave him to Akwa Ibom at a time like this. I want to appeal to our people that at this time we must have one leader”, he stressed, and appealed for the enabling environment for the Governor to implement his pre-election promises.
He noted that Governor Emmanuel had since hit the ground running with his plans for the State and its people, pointing out that his laudable ideas and vision for the state has propelled him into setting the tone for industrialization and job creation by selecting time-tested men to form steering Committees for Ibom Deep Seaport project, Agriculture and food sufficiency as well as appointment of experienced technocrats into his cabinet for effective implementation of his policies and programmes. His noted that his ingenuity that saw him excelled in corporate leadership to the level of occupying the position of an Executive Director at Zenith Bank, has endeared him even to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the centre, adding that his inclusion as a member of the four-man probe panel of the NNPC was a mark of confidence reposed in him by the President Muhammadu Buhari- led central government.
Pastor James, who observed that the Governor came on the platform of equity and justice, noted that at the return of democracy in 1999, the State founded on three geo-political zones of Uyo, Ikot Ekpene and Eket Senatorial Districts, had witnessed Governors from Uyo, Obong Victor Attah (1999-2007) and Senator Akpabio (2007-2015) ruling the State in turns. According to him, by sequential logic, the next in line after Uyo and Ikot Ekpene, should rightly be the Eket Senatorial District, stressing that opposition to Governor Emmanuel, who hails from Onna in Eket Senatorial District, was a political misnomer that should not be ventilated in public, giving the fact that the former Zenith Bank chief and ex-Secretary to the State Government (SSG), was well favoured to occupy the slot on merit, character and experience. “Akwa Ibom has a destiny, and that destiny can only be defined or re-defined by Akwa Ibom people”, he reasoned and warned those in the habit of overheating the polity over selfish and inordinate ambitions to think Akwa Ibom instead of dwelling in sentiments.