By Emmanuel Uffot
Not many people had expected, Emmanuel Udom , governor of Akwa Ibom state and Chairman, of the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Council, to deliver on his electioneering Campaign promises to the people of the state between 2015 and 2019. This is because of where he was coming from: the private sector.
The worry of many was that he has never been into politics. He is a finance person who has been in the bank sector for much of his working life and thus, may not know how ‘’to manage human beings’’.
Goodluck Jonathan, a former Nigerian President who was in the state to join the people in the interdenominational service on the invitation of the state government in celebrating its 35 years anniversary may have hit the nail when head when he disclosed that when Godswell Akpabio, a former governor of the state and one-time minister of ministry of Niger Delta, was leaving office, in 2015, ‘’there was uncertainty over the performance of Udom, who was the Secretary of the government as at that time. Ex- President Jonathan who was impressed by what he saw on the ground in Uyo, the state capital, had said that the banker turned politician may have achieved that much over the last seven years in the state because he has the support of the state Executive Council and the House of Assembly, stressing that it is a good lesson for the politicians.
Given the developmental stride that had been achieved in the south-south state over the last seven years may have forced the Bayelsa state former Nigerian President to advise Nigerians ‘’not to make the mistake of voting those he had described as killers into elective positions at the state and Federal levels in the upcoming 2023, general elections.
According to him, those who will carry knives, guns and all kinds of killer weapons to gain power are enemies of the society’’, insisting that’’ if one kill to become a leader, the person will continue to kill to remain a Leader’’. He may have alluded to the circumstances that led his defeat in office by President Muhammadu Buhari, of the ruling All Progressive Congress in 2015.
As part of activities commemorating the state 35th the anniversary and showcasing what his Administration had achieved over the last seven years, the Akwa Ibom state, Governor, had invited Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President , during Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration and the PDP, Presidential Candidate for the 2023, general elections and Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta state and the party Vice Presidential Candidate, were said to have been invited by him to inaugurate one of the landmark projects in Uyo, the state capital.
Although, Abubakar, the PDP, Presidential Candidate, could not make in person, but he was said to have sent Ahmed Fintri, the governor of Adamawa, his home state to represent him and commission the road project that was supposed to have been commissioned by him in the state .
Governor Fintri may have spoken the mind of Abubakar, the former Nigerian Vice President when he ‘’commended his Akwa Ibom state Counterpart for his foresight and vision in executing the laudable projects of such magnitude in the state’’. He had lauded Udom, the Akwa Ibom state governor and the people of the state for the landmark projects, stressing that ‘’the projects were very exceptional and would attract investors to the state’’.
One of such projects that was aid to have been inaugurated by the Adamawa state governor on behalf of Abubakar, the PDP, touch bearer for the 2023, general elections, was a ten lane 9.5 Km road constructed in Uyo, the state capital. Described as ‘‘a super Highway’’, Governor Fintri, had said that Udom , has demostrated through his visionary Leadership ’’to make Akwa Ibom state become a hub for aviation with Ibom Air and a hub for infrastructure, healthcare delivery, industrialization, and agriculture which has endeared the governornor to him’’.
He was emphatic that through Governor Udom, Akwa Ibom, state has become a hub for aviation, a hub for Infratructure, a hub forhealth care delivery, noting that he is also making the state a hub for Agriculture in Nigeria , not to talk of Industrialisation of the state.
The Adamawa state governor may have gladdened the heart of governor Udom, when he disclosed that Abubakar, the Party, Presidential Candidate, has directed him ‘’to convey his message of hope that he will ensure that the country is unified, from the north to the south for the betterment of the people in order to derive that enjoyment in unity’’.He was said to have pledged his continuous support to the party to ensure that it will win the February 25, 2023, Presidential elections.
Governor Finitri, who could not hide his feelings, was said to have told the people that Akwa Ibom , alongside , Rivers and other south-south states, is the home of the PDP and solicited for their continued support to the party to facilitate its return to the state government House in one hand and restoration of peace on the other hand.
Quoting Abubakar, he had said that ‘’the crisis in the country are artificial’’ , and therefore sued for sustained prayers from Nigerians , particular, the clergies, , adding that ‘’there are capable hands in the Opposition PDP, who are ready to help redeem the country’’ .
Bukola araki, a former governor of the north central state of Kwara and one-time Senate President, in his goodwill message had said he was very proud ‘’ ‘’to be associated with Governor Udom and to share in the history of Akwa Ibom state’’. He noted that ‘’Governor Udom’s performance in office over the last seven years was ‘’a pointer to the fact that Nigerians need PDP back to restore the country to its past glory’’.
He recalled that when Udom, the Akwa Ibom state governor told him about the Ibom Air, in first instance, which not many people had believed in it. According to him, he had visit the state in February, 2019 to see things himself.
It was therefore not very surprising that when he was invited to come for the commissioning of the Ring road 10, 11, Lanes, that could not be in any part of the country, he wasted no time in honouring the invitation . Hear him: I am not surprised at your performance, the people of Nigeria are also not surprised because you are a governor elected under the PDP Platform and you want a performing country, so let the PDP, lead the way.
Aminu Tambuwal, a former Speaker of House of Representatives and governor of Sokoto state, who incidentally is the Director General, of the PDP, Presidential Campaign Council, and the newly elected Chairman, of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, may have been shocked by what he saw on the ground in Akwa Ibom state that he declared : I am proud to be part of this unveiling of the 9.5 Km ten lane Highway which is just one of the laudable projects of governor Udom’s Administration cutting across key sectors of the economy like aviation, health, industrialization , education, human capital development , agriculture and infrastructures’’.
He may have taken advantage of the unveiling of the 10 lane Akwa Ibom state road project to remind the governor in his capacity as the Chairman of the party Presidential Council, that much is expected of him, ‘’to provide the needed Leadership to the party Campaigns’’ .
Umo Eno, a Pastor and the PDP, governorship Candidate in the state , Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Hensek Engineering Limited, the contracting firm, the state Commissioner of Works and Fire service , Eno Ibanga, a Professor, Uwemedimo Udo, Chairman, Uyo Local government Area and Edidem Syvanus Okon, the Paramount Ruler of Uyo, were said to have also sent goodwill message to Governor Uom.
In his speech, welcoming the guests to the state, an Appreciative Governor Udom, hand acknowledged the presence ofAbubakar, the Party Presidential Candidate, who hadsent Fintri, the Adamawa state governor to represent him, being unavoidably absent, other governors present including the people of the state for the overwhelming solidarity, stressing that ‘’it is a clear sign that PDP, is getting stronger and more united ahead of the 2023 elections’’.
He had explained the road project was handled by Hensek Integrated Services Limited, an indigenous Engineering firm, promoted by one Engineer Uwem Okoko , noting that the road project has a 5.4 Km, underground drainage tunnel and three roundabouts, of which two have rainbow water fountains.
The good news was that the Akwa Ibom state governor had named the two commissioned roads after late Clement Isong, the first Civilian governor of the state and Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, the first indigenous military Administrator of the state .
while the portion of the road from Oron Nnung Oku roundabout in Ibesikpo along Aka-Nnung Udo road was said to have been named after late Gov.Isong, the stretch from Oron road to Nwaniba was named after late Air Commodere Nkanga. Vintage Udom.