Resilient Administrator With Uncommon Approach To Leadership

A Tribute to Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem on His One Year of Reappointment

By Akaninyene Etuk

I remember glowingly how I followed your progress politically in the past few years when you aspired to represent Eket Senatorial District as a senator, but my support was limited as a result of my voting point in Uyo Senatorial District. As a professional colleague, I always talked to my friends and in-laws in the district to support you for them to have a dynamic representative at the Senate.


When you were first announced as the secretary to the state government in January 2018, I didn’t have any doubts in terms of your capability in office given your superlative contributions as a private sector boardroom driver. Even though I’m yet to have a personal encounter with you but I have closely followed your academic literature in my area of research which is instrumentation and control engineering. It is obvious that your sojourn in this strategic office is anchored on one primary objective of service delivery with uncommon approach.


In my paper entitled LEADERSHIP IN SERVICE, delivered at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Department of Computer Engineering, Post-graduate student dinner in 2017, I maintained that for a leader to make progress, they must possess two significant qualities: Transparency and Integrity. While transparency implies openness, communication and accountability, integrity refers to the quality of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values, like Joseph, in the Holy Scripture. you have once again proven to the world that Akwa Ibom State still has a leader who is in possession of these two qualities.


Perusing the assignment His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel handed over to you a year ago, which include sustaining effective utilization of funds for service delivery; pursuing a private sector-driven economy; integrating a technologically driven approach to governance as an engineer; improving on the welfare and security of lives and property; strengthening existing collaboration with international agencies and developing skills acquisition and entrepreneurship programme; coupled with your statutory responsibility of serving as the secretary to the State Executive Council, coordinating the activities of ministries and government agencies, especially the implementation of government policies and decisions, policy analysis and implementation, monitoring council decisions; servicing state council meetings and dealing with matters relating to conditions of service of political office-holders in the Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary. It was obvious your mission was clearly defined for positive impact.


Needless to say that just 12 months later, you have shown an unparalleled approach in the actualization of the aforementioned assignments. You have unraveled another face of public service not characterized by sentiment, fame or fortune which were the hallmark of some political office-holders in the state hitherto.  Yours is a solution-oriented and focused leadership that has brought immense contribution to the completion agenda through incorruptible lifestyle.


As a fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), you are now a shining example to the engineering profession, being the second engineer in a series to occupy the coordinating Office of the Secretary to the State Government. The entire state is proud of you and as a man of principles, you have proved your mettle in the task through regular motivation for staff and unrelenting support to His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.


As an engineer, your authentication process of documentation, your capacity to interpret your role and assignment are unquestionable at all times. These are attributes that are unrivalled by many public office-holders today.


As a fine gentleman with a legacy of integrity in public service administration, your reputation for fairness is uncommon. This has given us (engineers) a place in history, especially with your professional contribution to the successful implementation of the completion agenda as a resilient administrator with emotional intelligence.


Permit me to recall in the past two months, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that has reduced world powers to nothing, you have stood tall and exhibited uncommon approach to leadership as the chairman, State Management Committee on COVID-19. You have refused to prevert the course of justice and have always followed the rules without fear or favour. Your management approach has assisted the governor of Akwa Ibom in many ways possible in the fight against the virus.


From the distribution of palliatives and hand sanitizers to the 31 local government areas and groups, to security management and press releases to guide the citizenry on government policy direction regarding the management and to curbing the spread of the virus, you have performed excellently.


You have awakened in us the spirit of excellence, enterprise and patriotism through self-discipline. Never in the history of our state have we had such a selfless leadership where the response to the emergency was not politicized.


The whole world is now convinced that the launching of Dakkada creed was not mere rhetorics, nor politically arranged platform for siphoning public funds, but a viable medium through which an Akwa Ibomite can be self-reliant, self-employed and even employer of labour.


Under the unprecedented leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel and your useful support as the secretary to the state government, we have added another CRJ900 aircraft to Ibom Air fleet. All of these and many more have been achieved because the governor, our leader, has given you the enabling environment, needed support and motivation. What more? You have institutionalized transparency in governance, which is worthy of emulation.


As you mark one year of re-appointment with impressive performance built on dedication to duty and unflinching loyalty to His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, I wish you another year of sterling performance and grace to achieve more with scientific and engineering contribution to the success of the completion agenda.

I therefore congratulate you and wish you happy one year anniversary of your Re-appointment.

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