Why Udom Emmanuel should continue as governor of Akwa Ibom State
Sir: We hope the owner of the universe will tarry in His visit. If so, there’s every likelihood that the incumbent Governor of Akwa Ibom State will continue with a second term in office. Chief among the reasons this will happen, stems from the fact that, the peace that eluded the state between 2007/2015, has become a norm, and so, the people that were affected most, the church in Uyo are now conducting their business unhindered.
This is why the church as a body, has cried that, “afflictions shall not arise a second time.’’ I was in the state for 11 days and spoke and listened to faith leaders. They want the peace experienced to continue.
The governor is unpopular among the civil servants? Yes. There’s a visible anger once you mention his name. He’s not owing them their salaries, but emoluments like several years of leave allowances, pensions etc. In my quest to understand what’s on the mind of the governor, one of his senior aides agreed that the governor had a meeting last week with Level 14 and above officers and explained to them the poor financial situation, offering them notarised promotions.
I was also told “Udom’s boys are living large, buying property and the good life.”Emmanuel as governor isn’t seen as a friendly and humble person and those around him complain he’s not flexible with counsel. Human flaws? Yes, but, there’s been a lot of developments in the state and decorum in managing the finances.
This sitting governor will return because, the defection of Godswill Akpabio to All Progressives Congress (APC) has unsettled the plans and successes achieved before his arrival. An aspirant of APC swore to me that, they’ll all vote Emmanuel, to “teach APC a lesson.’’ Everywhere APC had structures, the uncommon transformer’s entry undid all, leaving the party with bitter tastes in their mouths. Streetwise consensus is that, if Nsima Ekere, the APC gubernatorial candidate was staking his reputation, there would have been a real battle, sans the braggadocio of Akpabio. Most people of the state are done with that era.
Take for example, the APC primary in the state, lives were lost. Though the process was inconclusive, the party’s anointed flag-bearers were announced. This again is a relic of our locust years.PDP in the state seems to be strategic. When I screamed why Chris Ekpenyong, one-time deputy governor of the state, who recently was lampooned, cursed and abused by constituents of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District on a radio phone-in programme, should be given a ticket to oppose Akpabio, a senior PDP person suggested that, the party might not be interested in winning that position.
Again, the obvious confrontation from the camp of the NDDC chief executive, regarding projects in Akwa Ibom isn’t resonating with responsible adult in the state. The expectations are that, the Federal agency, should have partnered as the provision is, with the state government in determining strategic and important infrastructure to move the state forward, instead of the former behaving like another governor of the state.
The people of Akwa Ibom State are desirous of the tranquility that was in the state before the coming of Akpabio and whoever is offering that peace, they have elected to petition their Maker for the best.So, the battle to return the governor is actually a spiritual one, not for Emmanuel himself but also for the future of the Akwa Ibom people.
• Ubong Nelson, a journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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