EditorialTop News

Five Years Of Peace, Progress

On this day, May 29, 2019, exactly five years ago, Mr Udom Emmanuel as the fourth democratically elected governor of Akwa Ibom State publicly took oath of office, pledging to build, protect, defend and love the state and its people. He concluded the oath-taking and colourful ceremony with the statement, ‘Help me, oh God.’


On face-value the event could have passed as the usual recitation and ritual of office, but not for Governor Emmanuel on whom the import of the ceremony would never be lost.
Since then he resolutely set out to not only simplify governance but chart a new economic course that would eventually change the status of Akwa Ibom from a stagnated civil service economy to a vibrant industrialized economy.


Relying absolutely on only God to whom he had called for help at the inauguration ceremony, Governor Udom began to whittle down all the encumbrances that made government wieldy to run and constituted waste. The economist in him set to work with prudence, probity, astuteness, eliminating waste and blocking all economic drain-pipes.
Without playing to the gallery and neither acting as a populist nor adopting the demagoguism of a politician, he began his industrialisation drive with all passion and a promise to deliver. He simply motivated the people through his ‘Rise To Greatness’ (Dakkada) creed and philosophy.


But first of all he brought about peace to reign in a state whose psyche had hitherto been unprecedentedly brutalized. He achieved the much needed peace and the citizenry heaved a sigh of relief. With the peace restored, he won the hearts of the people without inducement.


His managerial acumen was put to great test less than a year in office at the onset of the recession during which period his economics shone for all to see as Akwa Ibom remained solvent in those lean periods the nation faced.


Also within the period, and for a greater part of his first term, Akwa Ibom was the highest state to draw-in direct foreign investments to Nigeria.


Through his economic vision and rising profile, he brought in several investors and industries began sprouting up in the state. Today, as at the last count, there are already 18 industries humming and buzzing and still counting. Never has Akwa Ibom State had as many industries as Governor Emmanuel has established in only five years.


Indeed, an industrial revolution has been triggered off in the state within his five years, and more is to come.


Governor Emmanuel is winning on all fronts and sectors of the economy. In the agricultural sector, his rice revolution is a huge success as evidenced in the thousands of bags of home-grown rice distributed as palliatives to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Never before has the state produced such a huge metric tonnnes of grains,


What it all means is that Akwa Ibom has attained food sufficiency which had always been the dream of past administrations but never realized. Governor Emmanuel has efficiently achieved the impossible.


He works like a man who sees tomorrow or else how come that at inception he set about constructing, reconstructing and rehabilitating hospitals across the state which eventually have become the saving grace at this period of coronavirus pandemic?


As a mann who thinks ahead, his plan for a permanent and magnificient centre for disease control located in Methodist Hospital, Ituk Mbang, is a novel idea which most other states will likely emulate.


Even at this period of coronavirus pandemic, Governor Emmanuel has wisely demonstrated his love for the education of Akwa Ibom students and pupils with the introduction of the School-On-Radio programme.


In fact, Governor Emmanuel is an all-rounder in the field of development, impacting positively on all sectors of endeavours and economy, be it the power sector, roads, infrastructure, sports or what have you.


Without chewing more than he can bite, his administration is firing on all fronts with a promise to deliver on his promises. Therefore, at the start of his second term, his focus has been on what he calls Completion Agenda.


Roads infrastructure has a pride of place in his administration. Given the wide labyrinth of thousands of kilometres of roads his administration has completed, Akwa Ibom has become like a one-city state where all parts of the state could be accessed with ease and mostly on dual carriage ways.


The governor has a taste for symbolic elegance that speaks of the growing economic prosperity of Akwa Ibom. One of such is the imposing 21-storey Smart Complex which is the tallest edifice east of the Niger. It is hoped that with more of such skyscrapers, he may gradually be laying a foundation for the future relocation of oil giant ExxonMobil’s headquarters to Akwa Ibom.


Perhaps Governor Emmanuel is always one step ahead of his generation in terms of vision for a better prosperity for his people, or how else could it be explained how he conceived the idea of floating an airline that has become almost the biggest revenue earner for the state? Soon the success of Ibom Air will become a national pride. He has shown Nigeria how an economy could be diversified and that he can successfully run a business where even the Federal Government had tried but failed.


With the successes recorded within five years, the governor is clearly driving the state on the path of progress and economic acceleration. Already, citizens are saying with growing optimism that if the Ibom Deep Seaport and the Ibom Blue Sea Industrial Science Park projects he is enthusiastically pursuing come on stream, Akwa Ibom will favourably give Lagos economy a fight. Some even make bold to say that Akwa Ibom will overtake Lagos as the leading economy in Nigeria.


The five years of Governor Emmanuel have no doubt raised a cautious optimism that the economic horizon for Akwa Ibom is more promising than ever.

Related Articles

Back to top button