JOE EFFIONG, UYO
The choice of former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, by Gov Udom Emmanuel to inaugurate the 1 km flyover at Ikot Oku Ikon, Uyo, last Friday has continued to generate negative reactions among the people who feel Obasanjo alleged to have morbid hatred for Akwa Ibom, was not the right personality to have performed that function.
They have taken time to recall all the actions and inaction of the former president which they assume were all aimed at emasculating and its people economically, socially and politically.
Taking the lead is Imo Ben, an activist and former councilor in Uyo local government, who came on his Facebook account to ask; “Was Obasanjo the Wrong Choice for Commissioning?”
But even before waiting for answer, Ben, who is from the community that the flyover is sited, drilled in his reasons and said “As president he denied Akwa Ibom State increased revenue from federation account by stalling demand for more funds through derivation from oil and gas drilled from our soil. Oil dichotomy! This same man ceded Bakassi with some of our oil rich territories to Cameroun making the state suffer loses financially.
“Furthermore, he caused the state to spend billions to seek court judgment on contentious dichotomy. The former president never gave Obong Victor Attah chance to advance Ibaka Seaport beyond acquisition, design and technical approval level because he needed to protect Yoruba interest where he is from.
“He harassed our dearest governor to the point that it was a battle between them to rescue the state from his suppressive acts. And if not that God was with Obong Victor Attah to strongly challenge him and get fair share of the federal government allocation which Chief Akpabio enjoyed and Mr. Udom Emmanuel is enjoying, the state would still be operating on zero allocation.
“Of course, the flyover he came to commission would not have been done with zero allocation. He added no tangible value or impact on the state during his time.
“Therefore, it would have been better to shun party sentiments and bring the President or Vice President. At least, they would have made pronouncements to benefit the state since they are in power presently. It is a matter of diplomatic approach. Even President Goodluck Jonathan would have been a positive choice.”
As if on cue more than 60 people responded within an hour all expressing reservations about bringing Obasanjo to perform the inauguration based on their reasons that the former president has never treated the state fairly.
Anthony Umoh wrote; “I don’t know how the governor made such mistake. It was under Babangida that the onshore and offshore oil dichotomy was removed. Abacha refused to implement it. Obasanjo refused to implement it even with under democracy. Victor Attah fought for it. But he bluntly refused to implement it. What business has he in commissioning anything in Akwa Ibom State.”
One Bassey O. Bassey equally wrote; “God bless you my brother; Obasanjo is the last person to be given any type of honor in Akwa Abasi Ibom land. I totally agree with you. I don’t know why our politicians don’t think along with the masses. I had even suggested that that Olu Obasanjo Way and the Atiku Abubakar Way should be renamed. These two people have caused us so much pain and deserve no honor in our land”
Another commentator, Jumbo Usen went almost extreme in his comment; “People should have organised sachet bags of water and eggs to throw on them at the scene including his host, since his host lacked capacity to consult with his subjects before embarking on activity such as it. I learnt he doesn’t like to be challenged/debated on issues at Exco meeting.”
Etorobong Inyang, journalist had earlier written on his Facebook wall; “Ex- President Obasanjo should not be the personality of choice for any sort of PR stunt to the government of Akwa Ibom State, because of his infamous role in the onshore/offshore dichotomy that sought to emasculate the socio-economic fortunes of the land and people of Akwa Ibom State.
“f God didn’t give Akwa Ibom State the kind of governor in the mould of Obong Victor Attah who was able to withstand the fangs and pangs of Chief Obasanjo, what would have become of Akwa Ibom story today? “
But a businessman and former gubernatorial aspirant in the stare, Inibehe Otoho, while praising Imo Ben for providing the platform for people to voice out the opinions, said; “You are always on course. But e get reason; I mean the OBJ being the ‘commissioner’”.