Governor Udom Emmanuel’s journey into Akwa Ibom State politics started when he was brought into the system as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) three years ago.
The former Governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio saw the Zenith Bank Director fit to succeed him with the confidence that he will liberate the people of Akwa Ibom State from poverty as well as take them to the next level.
Udom Emmanuel, since he took over the mantle of leadership from his successor, Senator Godswill Akpabio has been up and doing to ensure the fulfilment of his campaign promises.
One of the brilliants things he did on coming on broad as Governor of Akwa Ibom State was the adoption of the best brains in the State to work with him. Knowing the heaving task ahead of him, he carefully considered technocrats with wealth of experiences to help him pilot the affairs of the State.
It would be recalled that on his inauguration day as Governor, Udom Emmanuel stood before Akwa Ibom people at the Ibom International stadium to present himself not as a master but as a servant, neither as a boss but as a co-labourer. He had accepted the mandate given to him by the people with great humility and sense of responsibility.
Udom Emmanuel intended and has tried to keep his part by executing programmes that would be of benefit to the masses.
In the last two years, the Governor has fulfilled to a large extent, his promises of leveraging and building on the immediate past administration of Godswill Akpabio, transforming the economy of the State through industrialization and sustaining public-private sector initiative; opening up opportunities for growth and improved living standards as well as ensuring equity, justice and fair play in a bid to promote unity and oneness across the State.
He has also developed, mobilized and empowered Akwa Ibom women and youths using the AKEES platform which now produces the first made-in-Akwa Ibom Pencil and Toothpick.
Among other achievements, Governor Udom Emmanuel has been able to integrate the local rural market into the mainstream of the economy thus, benefits and dividends of democratic governance from the federal government has gotten a place in the local economy.
Still to his credit is the First Lady’s Family Empowerment and Youths Re-orientation Programme (FEYREP) which has provided scores of homes to the homeless and engaged idled hands with various skills and crafts.
In his bid to aid mobility and encourage commerce and investment relations from outsiders, Governor Udom has completed the construction of Ebekpo-Ikot Ebidang road, Ikot Udom road, Eket-Ibeno road, a 15m span bridge in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, to mention a few.
His administration has also revamped the moribund Peacock Paints in Etinan Local Government Area which now employs scores of Akwa Ibom youths. Adding to this aura brought by his administration is the almost uninterrupted power supply that has pervaded Uyo and its environs. This, the government has noted will continue unabated with the megawatts of electricity to be increased by 20 percent.
The benefits amassed by citizens of Akwa Ibom State by the Udom-led administration are innumerable. Within his first three weeks in office, Governor Udom in his avowed bid to focus more on industrialization set up a 10-man committee to oversee the realization of the Ibaka Deep Seaport- a project which holds the promise of the creation of over 100,000 jobs at completion.
It also holds the promise of a self-sustaining commercial city with oil and gas support service that would help Akwa Ibom finally tap into awesome and largely untapped maritime potentials. This, he government believes will create employment and greatly urbanize the area and also stimulate a multiplier effect.
The positive effects of the policies and programmes of the present administration are justified by the over 20 foreign investors who have indicated interests in coming to settle down and transact business in the state, courtesy of Governor Udom’s octopusal connection with the international world.
In ensuring the safe hygiene of Akwaibomites, Governor Udom declared war against indiscriminate disposal of wastes when he flagged-off the monthly environmental sanitation in the state and subsequently set up a task force to apprehend defaulters.
The Governor who did not just declare his dream went as far as participating in the exercise with his wife to show example to others. This particular stride of the governor is laudable as it is a foremost preventive measure in tackling diseases and health threats.
Sequel to his, the Governor has been quite supportive in delivering health benefits to the state. This was seen at the flag off ceremony of the first round Maternal, Newborn and Child Health organized by the State Ministry of health to deliver low cost child survival and maternal interventions where he advised citizens to embrace the free health care services provided by the government.
In the education sector, Governor Emmanuel has ensured the payment of 10 years arrears of pension and gratuities to primary school teachers as well as Local government employees. He had also embarked on a tour to one of Akwa Ibom’s early colleges, the CCC where he approved the construction of internal roads and renovation of dilapidated buildings.
This visit was not limited to the Cornelia Connelly College alone but others, pointing to the fact that upgrading school facilities holds invaluable importance to the promotion of academic activities by creating a conducive environment, especially in public schools noted for their state of disrepair nationwide. It also goes a long way to demonstrate the Governor’s dedication to a high standard of education in Akwa Ibom State.
It is evident from the foregoing that Governor Udom came into governance with a clear vision of how to deliver the dividends of democracy to his people. And in line with his promises during the thanksgiving service after the inauguration of his administration that he would serve and be ready to work for the good of the people of the state, Governor Emmanuel has taken concrete steps to move the state forward.
One thing one would note about Governor Udom Emmanuel is his prudence and constructive approach to spending money. Observations have revealed that the Governor is more interested in giving out money that will create more money, rather than money that will end up in frivolities.
This is what he calls empowerment, as opposed to what many think. Hence, when people clamour for money for food, the Governor looks out for those who will not only eat but lay in store food for tomorrow. This was why he inaugurated the Technical Committee on Agriculture and Food Sufficiency to ensure the availability of food ahead of the rainy days.
Despite the biting economic recession which seemed to crumble the state economy months back, the Governor was on hand to encourage Akwa Ibomites of a brighter future filled with abundance while putting things in place to ensure the speedy recovery of the state’s economy.
Governor Udom has scored very high in the last two years. Not minding the fact that humans are insatiable hence, will always find reasons to criticise every effort of the seating government, the long term benefits of the foundations laid by Udom’s administration will outlive his tenure as Governor of Akwa Ibom State. Bearing in mind also that no single individual can accomplish EVERYTHING even in a hundred tenure, Governor Udom deserves the applause of every AkwaIbomite for the innovation he has brought within his short stay.
While we expect more fulfilment of his campaign promises, we should equally give the necessary support and cooperation needed to deliver the promises.