By Saviour Ekpe
The Executive Chairman of Uyo local government area, Hon. Dr. Uwemedimo Udo may appear jovial in disposition, simple in his outlook and unapologetic in character but these do not take away his focused tendency and positive approach to governance and his pursuant to providing the needed dividend of democracy to the people of Uyo local government area, bearing in mind, its strategic position of the area and challenging nature as the capital city of the state.
When he took over the mantle of leadership, critics were only looking at him from his background point of view not knowing that he carries an unknown magical key of development in his inner pocket. Upon assumption of office about three years ago, the Chairman carried out a feasibility study of the area, which he already known but in order to ascertain, divided the local government area into its natural four clans namely, “Etefia” of Ikono Clan, The “Afia Etoi” of Etoi Clan “Udu Oku” of Oku Clan and the “Ukana Offot” of Offot Clan for administrative convenience, chiefly for the purposes of siting development projects across the four clans.
Dr. Uwemedimo Udo’s approach to governance could be likened to that of Chief Godswill Akpabio who approached governance with anger but with a mild and courageous spirit of developing the place, adding value to the local government and empowering the people with silent but notable empowerment package. It was on this premise that the eagle eye of LOGMA (Nigerian Local Government Chairmen Award) spotted and awarded him as the 2021 best and outstanding local government chairman in the country with a car prize.
It is on record that upon assumption of office, Dr. Udo identified the poor working condition of the secretariat and staffers and stepped in, apart from linking the Council to the national grid through the provision of 300KVA electricity substation, he provided a new 100KVA Generating Plant at the Council as an alternative power supply with a renewable Energy Sources (Solar Power) to illuminate the council secretariat environment at night and give a bright ambiance to the council. He also provided a conducive working environment for staff in terms of furnishing all offices to enhance productivity; prompt payment of staff welfare packages and allowances; provision of mobility for council key staff such as the Vice Chairman, Secretary and Leader of the legislature, despite the lean and limited resources in Uyo LGA. Others included the rehabilitation of the Education Block of Uyo Local Government Council that was gutted by fire; the renovation of the Uyo Local Government Council Multi-Purpose Hall and the construction of a 24-room with three open registry office accommodations at Uyo Local Government Secretariat among others.
The Executive Chairman, an ardent believer and supporter of Pastor Umo Eno-led developmental administration, knowing the suffering, agony and pains of the people, aggressively embarked on Rural Roads Development at Ifa Ikot Okpon and Ifa Ikot Abia Ntuen all in Etoi as well as Nung Asang village in Ikono Uyo, which hitherto could be accessed through Etinan Local Government Area and these have created a memorial in the minds of the dwellers of these communities, this is one sensitive project that has created an impressive impact on the minds of the people.
In health, Dr. Udo has embarked on a series of interventions in health and health facilities across the LGA. This includes Medical Outreach in collaboration with Vision Africa Tract House where sucour came to many families who could not afford expensive health facilities heaved a sigh of strong relief and took advantage of the opportunity and receive free healthcare, courtesy of Hon. Dr. Uwemedimo Udo; the provision of potable water at the Primary Healthcare Center, Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo; remodeling of Primary Health Center, Ewet Offot, Uyo and the ongoing construction of a new Primary Health Center at Ikot Ebido Oku, Uyo to provide for the people of that axis access to health facility.
The education and student-friendly chairman also identified brilliant students of Uyo extraction studying in tertiary Institutions across Nigeria and provided education support through scholarships and they are currently enjoying the gesture of the Executive Chairman as well as bursary, which had long eluded the indigent students of Uyo were paid after many years.
The chairman further injected life into the Ikot Ebido Oku Community through the installation of 500KVA power substation and the provision of water supply at Uyo Shopping Complex, Ikot Ekpene Road.
Uyo local government area is thick and the most populated LGA in Akwa Ibom State, covering an area of about 214.31square kilometers of over 440,000 in population according to the 2006 Population census, bounded with Itu, Uruan, Ibesikpo Asutan, Etinan, Nsit Ibom, Abak and Ibiono Ibom local government areas.
The people of Uyo local government area who happened to be the direct beneficiaries of the gesture of Dr. Udo-led magic administration are now calling on the Executive Chairman, Dr. Uwemedimo Udo to ‘come back’ so as to continue in his ‘good work’ and according to them, ‘one good term deserves another in Uyo’. The call is left in the hands of Dr. Udo either to accept or reject and the political stakeholders to affirm the call.