Nature and man seem to be working unison in favour of the Udom-Moses ticket. How else do you explain away the serial blunders by the the main opposition?
In my home state of Akwa Ibom, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has an eight-over-ten edge in the 2019 governorship election. The party, which has governed the South-South state since 1999, has acquitted itself creditably. Everywhere in the little-vast state, tangible proofs exist that the party has shown class in running the heterogenous jurisdiction. There are a thousand and one evergreen signatures on the landscape and in the memory of the people; legacies from the Victor Attah years (1999-2007) as well as those of his successor, Godswill Akpabio (to 2015) and incumbent Udom Emmanuel (to 2023?) that speak to the bankability of the PDP going forward.
Because of space or the lack of it, just three examples should suffice per tenure. In eight years, the visionary Victor Attah initiated an international airport (recently named after him), built a five-star hotel complete with an international golf course and delivered resource control to his own political detriment, as it were. During own eight-year reign (yes, that’s what it was) showboy Godswill Akpabio dazzled us with an international stadium (now named after him), a couple of flyovers and went to uncanny lengths to sell the state globally. For Gov. Udom Emmanuel who is rounding off his first term, even the blind (to borrow the words of 16 year-old Blossom who was on radio with me over the weekend) can see the industries (syringe, metering, paint, etc) all of which offer employment and, therefore, daily bread to thousands of families, his monumental investment in health (go to hospitals in Ituk Mbang, Etinan, Ikono, Ikot Okoro, etc, in their new glory) and, above all, the priceless peace, coexistence and political inclusiveness he has engendered and sustained.
There’s a school of thought (attended in the main by victims and witnesses of those days of violent and deadly crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery and thuggery in the state) who insist that although the current occupant of Hilltop Mansion, Uyo, has exhibited economic, infrastructure and social statecraft, posterity might perpetuate his governorship heyday more for his humanity, peaceability and godliness. The Onna-born finance whizkid plays politics with nothing; not with the people, not with governance, not with development. In fact, but for descending into the ring once or twice probably to prove that two can play that game, the Akwa Ibom State chief executive generally never plays politics with politics nor with opponents. That’s so surreal considering the recent past of the state when the governor at the time carried a sledge hammer about and applied it plus including on a fly!
Yes, Gov. Emmanuel tolerates dissent, accommodates opponents and suffers fools gladly; one reason, which, coupled with his noiseless excellence (check his five-point agenda report card), makes his reelection a fait accompli. Plus, he is deliberately consistent and reasonable as can be seen in how he has stuck with almost everyone introduced to him by his estranged predecessor who now wants nothing good for him beyond 2019. You cannot find one so-called ‘Owo Akpabio’ sacrificed by this governor except such a one opted for the left openly. One of my favourite five in the administration – Deputy Governor Moses Ekpo, MFR – state executive council and sundry functionaries said to have been nominated by Sen. Godswill Akpabio, during those halcyon days when come had yet grown into become, are still sitting pretty and set to cross over (the first term, that is) with the governor.
That sends a strong message to the electoate who, seeing the all-round smoothness and effectiveness of the Udom-Moses combination since 2015 shall go all out to prolong the duo’s stay in office well beyond 2019. What’s more, nature and man seem to be working overtime in unison in favour of the Udom-Moses ticket. Or, how else do you explain away the serial silly blunders by the the main opposition? And, how can you contextualise the A+ work being done by the governor’s wife?
First Lady Martha is a perfect model of the wife everyone dreaming of public office should marry: delectable upbringing, true godliness, full education, wonderfully made, astoundingly humble (don’t try taking her for granted though). She has kindness in her DNA: gives to both the rich and the poor and as far away from the cameras as possible, unlike a majority of Nigerian public officers who want to show off or brag about crumbs, which they should be ashamed of. A fantastic mother and hostess: the Akwa Ibom state governor’s wife quietly takes care of and intervenes in the welfare of her husband’s aides and guests, not minding class. And, she doesn’t joke with age, protocol and etiquette: hence the restraint she evinced at the airport last Friday when a Nollywood scene flashed during the visit of the President’s wife, Aisha.
Beyond her incredible persona and style, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel also adds untold value day by day to the Udom-Moses ticket through the underreported mind-blowing activities of her pet project, Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-initiative (FEYReP), which celebrated its third anniversary last September 21. Beneficiaries always thank God for more than 26 bungalows (so far) built and furnished by Her Excellency for widows, widowers and other homeless and poor families across the 10 federal constituencies of the state. They also recount how industrious, loving and supportive the prayer warrior is to the women, children, the elderly, the sick and the poor. They regale audiences with the way her various free medical outreaches, which draw personnel from the diaspora and here at home have saved the lives of and provided eyeglasses, drugs, food and money to thousands.
(To be continued next Monday)