The greatness of any nation or state is not measured in terms of military might, vast expanse of land or population, but industrialization which would make life meaningful for the populace. With an abundance of yet untapped natural and human resources, Akwa Ibom has taken the path of industrialization. The current administration under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel has meticulously selected priorities in areas with comparative advantage and resources to implement the Sustainable Development Goals having initiated and completed various projects in the state with focus on improving access to health care delivery, consolidating on road infrastructure, industrialization, human capacity development, wealth and job creation especially for the youth and many more. For example, the completion of projects such as the provision of solar-powered potable water infrastructure in the state, renovation of several Health Care Facilities and the delivery of medical supplies and equipment to 14 Health Centres, initiation of partnership with Non-Governmental organizations, civil societies and private institutions for development on areas of environment, renewable energy and youth employment is a clear demonstration of the state commitment to the development goals. As the state embraces this ambitious and transformative agenda judging from the numerous achievements so far, what is of great relevance for successful implementation is localization and mainstreaming of SDGS into the development policies and strategies, while integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development, taking into consideration national/State realities and circumstances as no one size fits all in the mainstreaming process and finally reviewing existing strategies and plans and comparing against the global SDGS and targets to identify gaps and provide the basis for areas of change. The fulfillment of the pledge to leave no one behind, depends on the political will and commitment of the leader to take into account the ones furthest behind in the development agenda and that is exactly what Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration has done by ensuring inclusiveness in all facets of development in the state.
Here is a man who is an epitome of loyalty and simplicity. The thing about the Governor’s critics is that they just cannot accept that someone with his simplicity can be their Governor. This is the Saul complex. Saul could not accept the fact that somebody as simple as David could be favoured by God, and just like Saul threw the spear at David, out of uncontrollable jealousy, these critics are out to threw any kind of spear to see which hits the target, hence all their lies about the Governor.
Indeed Governor Udom Emmanuel is a simple man but simplicity is not naivety then the world would not be where it is today because it is simple men like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Kwame Nkrumah who have shaped the world that we live in by simplifying what others have complicated.
The Udom They Don’t Know
‘They’ in this piece refers to all the cynics, the pestle-wielding critics, the unrelenting self-appointed activities, the idle and idling, twittering, collective children of anger, the distracted, crowd of Facebook addicts, the BBM-pinging soap opera gossips of Akwa Ibom who seem to be in competition among themselves to blackmail Governor Udom Emmanuel. This writer is not in any way saying nobody should criticize the Governor,
I spent some time learning that legal maxim: “Volenti non fit injuria” meaning, public position comes with its own share of risks and exposure. But the twittering, pinging, facebook crowd of the new age must be guided by facts. What I can report for now is the governor is a grossly misunderstood Governor. Too many people are unfair to him. They criticize him out of ignorance. They abuse him out of mischief. And the opposition doesn’t make things easy at all.
Governor Udom Emmanuel is a clever, methodical and intelligent man, who is very adept at wrong footing all the persons who make in effort to second-guess or under-estimate him. He understands the complexity of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria. He is acutely conscious of the historicity of his emergence as Akwa Ibom No. 1.
The day May 29, 2015, a Sunny Friday, marked the entry into office of the Fourth Democratically elected out the 10th Governor of Akwa Ibom State. Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel coming on the saddle at the time of unfriendly economic climate, his intimidating credentials in the finance industry inspires hope that he would be able to manage the scarcity. Apparently, his preparation had included an evaluation of the environment to find, that the state was still steep in civil service economy, where the people remain over-dependent on government and private sector none existent. And so even when clouds hovered over his status due to the court case against his election, he took a bold step to give to the people of Akwa Ibom State the most potent tonic for the rebirth of its glory. The gift of the Dakkada philosophy to Akwa Ibom people, to rise above Etok (mediocrity) syndrome to their destined greatness.
Besides Udom’s right discernment of the need for industrialization in the state at this time demonstrates deep foresight as the right leader for this time. While his achievements are being documented as he progresses, the signs are glaring that Akwa Ibom has a leader with the mind set, the experience, the exposure and resolve to propel the state to the model it was conceived to be in Nigeria. Simply put, the pace of development of the Udom Administration is quite difficult to compress into time. The strides of development this past one year and ten months has no doubt been breath-taking. Armed with private sector credentials, Governor Udom Emmanuel has redefined governance in the perspective of corporate vista. From approach to style to reach, he has leveraged on his robust pedigree.
Governor Udom also knows that the key drivers of a robust economy must also be in place. Driven by his pledge to surpass superior performance, he has continued with the provision of public infrastructure while strengthening the security and public utilities. The area of Transportation viz: air, sea and land have also received the administration’s generous attention. For instance, the second run-way at Ibom International Airport is nearing completion while Ibaka Deep Sea Port remains a priority project of Governor Udom’s administration as a-6-lane road project leading to the Ibaka deep sea project is ongoing. The road infrastructure in Akwa Ibom State has become a reference point in the country as all access roads into the state are dualized. One of the Five- point agenda of the administration is wealth creation. This administration has given this a holistic approach, by adding capacity building and access to facilities to the mix. These have been witnessed in the training programmes facilitated by Udom’s government within and outside the country and the myriad of loans and grants it has also extended to the good people of the state. But the man behind these novel ideas is someone many do not know and those who ought to know him have refused to proclaim their knowledge of him for the simple reason that such action would give him political mileage.
For the two years running, the Governor has shown that he came, armed with insight and purpose. His vision for the state is robust and translatable. He has taken a keen look at the nation’s monolithic economy and kick-started a process of diversification into agriculture, industries and other sundry areas that fit into his 5-point agenda of wealth creation, economic and political inclusion, poverty alleviation, infrastructural consolidation and expansion and job creation.
Udom Emmanuel’s advent to the political firmament of Akwa Ibom State has been called an act of divination or put differently, ‘providential’. Some jerks and twists had interjected the polity and turned earlier stereotypes into anathema. The change that swept through was like a tsunami and it effectively altered entrenched positions. From there, the will God took over the state. Between July 30, 2013 when he was sworn in as Secretary to the State Government to November 20, 2014 when he resigned the office and December 8, 2014 when he was given the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to contest for governorship of the state, Udom showed that he was just a windmill in God’s hand. He christened his campaign motto as ‘Divine Mandate’ and conducted the said campaigns puritanically and within ethical ambits. And of course, he won the election straight and square and was sworn in accordingly on May 29, 2015. He has also shown that he understands the issues of good governance and is possessed with the requisite passion to prosecute programmes that would ensure service delivery. He has made great success in virtually all the critical spheres of life. Physically, he is a dashing debonair young man with electrifying personality.
Mentally, he is well equipped with learning, wisdom and experience. Emotionally, he is stable with a happy family. Spiritually, he has a good standing with his God. Economically, he had conquered when even before becoming a governor. He has also contributed immensely to humanity. Udom has given a good account of himself with the world still expectant for more.
Born on July 11, 1966, Udom is one of the sons of Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang while his mother was Deaconess (Mrs.) Emily Gabriel Nkanang. The man Udom Emmanuel is a scion of Nkanang family, Awa-Iman in ONNA Local Government Area.