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Governor Emmanuel’s Administration Has Touched Every Facet Of Our Public Live – Uko Umoh



Mr Uko Umoh is the former Chairman league of Newspaper Publishers Akwa Ibom state and immediate Past Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on local media. He speaks on a wide range of issues including the activities surrounding Gov. Emmanuel’s completion Agenda in this interview with Editors of Crystal Express.


Take a swipe at Akwa Ibom as a state and give us your impression of her journey so far.

Akwa Ibom has done extremely well taking cognizance of when it was created and the length of time it has been in existence compared to that of other states. In a little over 30 years of her creation, it has become a cynosure of all eyes. Today we have signature projects spread across the state. The International Airport had already broken National record in terms of patronage especially with the arrival of Ibom Air with clean aircrafts. The Ibom E-library, the over 18 industries recorded in four years including Meter factory, syringe manufacturing industry, flour mills among others. The past and incumbent administration led by Governor Udom Emmanuel have been very impressive. They did and still doing a lot to put Akwa Ibom in not just Nigeria but world map. An American Ambassador once visited Akwa Ibom and said that he has seen the future of Nigeria in Akwa Ibom State.
Talking about Governance, how would you rate the performance of the incumbent administration in the state?
Governor Emmanuel has done very well and has achieved so much. At a time most states are still struggle to pay worker’s salaries, he has not just paid salaries up to date but attracting and executing very meaningful and life touching projects across the state. Such projects include the coconut plantation and refinery, flour mills, syringe factory, metering company, plywood factory, toothpick and pencil factories among others.

Even in dire times, Road constructions are been intensified with more 2000 kilometers of road and still counting. When the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo visited the state recently to commission one of the factories, he described the Governor as one who is very clever person. When you consider the personality of the Vice President, you then understand that he meant what he said.

The Governor has ensured equitable distribution of projects to every parts of the state. That is why he has been labeled Mr. Industrialization. The key feature of this, is that some of the projects are been financed by the contractors through Alternative funding Approach. He has been able to deploy his many years of experience in the banking sector to turn around the fortunes of the Akwa Ibom people.


Are you disturbed that some key projects of the past administration are yet to be completed?

There is no cause for worry. The important thing is the general welfare of the people and when a government has the people’s welfare at heart every other thing will align. When the compass of the ship is right, definitely it will arrive at his destination. In this instance, there are projects that needed urgent attention and ones that will follow suit; it is all at the prerogative of the Governor. Therefore, there is no project that will be abandoned. It is just that every government has its time lines and milestones. There is no cause to worry at all, as most of them are presently ongoing.

However, looking at now completion process of his five point’s agenda of industrialization, poverty eradication, creation of jobs, political inclusion and consolidation of infrastructures. Put it down Vis a Vis the list of his projects on ground and his style of governance, you will see that he has performed beyond expectation. He has done several projects including ones in the power sector. We have sub power stations courtesy of him to improve the power sector, enhance the standard of living and encourage more investors to come down here for investment. See the number of roads constructed which is to his credit, before now very few was in existence.


What areas we will like the governor to concentrate on in his remaining years of the second term?

He has marked out his path clearly, which is industrialization and he is working hard on it. Foreign investors who have seen the potentials of the state are coming in droves. The state is in the top two investor’s destination. Somehow, he has created enabling environment for foreign direct investment in our state. He should be encouraged. I have personally had calls from people who are interested in investing here, how much more the Governor of the State. Apart from that, the Governor Emmanuel’s administration has touched every facet of our public live. This state is one of the very few states that have been able to meet up their obligation to both civil and public servants. We have over 2,000 kilometer of roads with several bridges done already. Free education for primary and secondary school students; free medical care for children and aged including pregnant women, payment of WAEC and NECO fees for our children. Several interventions in many sectors. There are some many achievements on ground for all to see and so in my view, the governor has almost fulfilled his campaign promises to the people of the state. However since the society is dynamic and issues arise from time to time, I expect the governor to be ahead of the challenges.

Owing to your contribution in organizing, coordinating and ensuring the welfare of the local media in the governor’s first term, people thought you would continue in that capacity.

Well I have been in the media for more than a decade and when the opportunity came to serve the state and my governor in that capacity, I did it wholeheartedly coming from the background of the Chairman of league of newspaper publishers and one who knows their challenges. I did my best to bring my colleagues to understand the policy, programme and direction of the government, and to support the Governor’s sincere efforts at industrializing the state. In the same era, we put an end to unnecessary media attack, wild and unsubstantiated publications against government and rather encourage my colleagues to do more of objective and developmental journalism. I ensured proper coordination of the local media and offered necessary support in form of working tools and other forms of empowerment whenever need arises and with that, the era of blackmail and hit and run publications ended. I believe that I still have much to offer the government and the state through my knowledge and experience in any capacity but as we all know, the bulk stops at the table of the governor.


It was also observable that you showed so much interest in the activities of the office of wife of the governor by publicizing her activities outside your brief then.

In Martha udom Emmanuel, I saw a compassionate mother and pillar of support for the less privileged. The wife of the governor hardly sleeps well because of the problem of women, children and the aged. She set up FEYRep an NGO to address the issues confronting this set of people in the society, and the organization is building houses for the poorest of poor especially widows to enhance their living standard, lending support to the pregnant women, and nursing mothers to ease their burden. They are also in the forefront of war against rape, domestic violence and any form of molestation against women and children. The governor’s wife is battling age long vices and needed all the support and publicity to change what appears to be the status quo in some people’s way of life. Today things are getting better because Martha is bearing the cross for many women and children without voice.

Using security as a yardstick to measure Gov. Emmanuel’s performance is the state better secured now than before.
I am sure that you know the answer because anybody who have lived in this state in the last ten years will know that there is a big difference. There was also a time, you have to devise all manner of wisdom in the way and manner you conduct you movement around the state for your safety. If you recall at campaign grounds of PDP during the build up to 2019 elections, there were testimonies from Akwa ibom people on how they are living now in peace without fear showing that the era of insecurity has fizzled out, how it happened remains between God and Governor Udom Emmanuel. Security to me is everything both in your business, private or social life, once security is intact things move normally. Today people can stay in their businesses premises until midnight but before now by 6pm everybody shuts down for the fear of unknown. Moreover, it affected productivity.

How you would rate the impact of this government on the youths, which formed the most active population and tomorrow leaders?

You are aware that in any society that youths are not meaningfully engaged, then you will understand better the adage that an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. The several opportunities created by the administration in various sectors have positively engaged the youths. The Governor had also taken the state and the youths to God. Today we have youths who believe so much in the powers and provisions of God, which is why we have monthly youth prayer conference in the state. It have helped to re-orient our youths. In 2015 when the governor took over, he brought the “Dakadaa” philosophy meaning “Arise and Shine” which have re-awaken the consciousness of our people that they have the capacity to be whatever they wish to be and the person God created them to be. If youths are properly mentored, their mindset will be positive and they will achieve his full potentials. Today in Akwa Ibom, we have a set of youths that did not only want to stand out but believe totally in themselves. The industries the governor facilitated are employing youths; agriculture and production of Rice a stable food that is now available in the state are mainly dominated by youths. A staple food like Garri is everywhere because his government has encouraged and empowered youths to go into commercial agriculture. These are the things the governor promised Akwa Ibom people, he has done it for them. Several youths have gotten employment via these government initiatives. It cannot go round at once but will gradually affect a greater majority. Our governor’s efforts in Agriculture is legendary and many government don’t like going into Agriculture because it is not something flashy and glamorous, you have to go into the forests or bushes to see for yourself which many would not want. So many government shy away from it because it is laborious, it is also difficult to get massive lands for commercial Agriculture. This investment on youth’s empowerment is one of the reason we have witnessed this level of peace in the state. Above all, the bible said that when the righteous are on the throne the people rejoice. The Governor is a child of God and God is with him. All he has achieved is by His grace.

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