Home Opinion Why Governor Udom Emmanuel Deserves A Second Term, By Chinwe Ugwu

Why Governor Udom Emmanuel Deserves A Second Term, By Chinwe Ugwu

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, there have been alignments and realignment of forces. A gale of defection has enveloped almost all the parties as politicians keep jumping from one party to the other; and some godfathers are set against their godsons.
In Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel has become a thorn in the flesh of some godfathers and chieftains of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), who have drawn a battle line and are all out to scuttle his second term bid. The onslaught against Governor Udom is surprisingly led by his predecessor and erstwhile minority leader in the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who recently defected to the APC from the PDP.

There is no doubt that Senator Akpabio is a force to reckon with in Akwa Ibom, having served as governor of the state for eight years. In addition, he has served as a commissioner under the administration of Architect Victor Attah. But if Akpabio had good intentions for the people of Akwa Ibom State, he would not have abandoned the ship half way to join forces with agents of destruction and underdevelopment to fight a man, who apart from sustaining his legacies, has restored digital governance in Akwa Ibom.

With barely three years and four months into his tenure, His Excellency Udom Emmanuel has exhibited uncanny understanding of the physical and psychological needs of Akwa Ibomites. It is axiomatic that Udom’s achievements have dwarfed all the previous administrations in spite of the fact that the economic situation in the country is not as favourable as it was during the reign of Attah and Akpabio. But today, these are the arrow heads of the campaign to run down a performing and pragmatic governor who is obsessed with seeing Akwa Ibom maintain its pole position as the reference point of good governance in the country.

It is shocking to read that a former member of the House of Representatives from the state, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, advising Governor Udom not to seek re-election. But these are the kind of ideas being propagated by those who believe in godfathers rather than the people of the state. The time has, therefore, come for the peace-loving and ever conscientious people of Akwa Ibom State to stand their ground and resist any attempt to forcefully eject the ebullient and cerebral executive governor of the state. Akpabio and his cohorts should be called to order to allow peace to reign in Akwa Ibom State.

It is, however, gladdening that in the midst of the conspiracy against the governor, church leaders in Akwa Ibom State have unanimously reaffirmed their support for the re-election bid of Governor Udom Emmanuel. The ychristian leaders have acknowledged  that the governor deserve a second term because “he had performed creditably well in delivering dividends of democracy to the people”. The church leaders under the platform of ‘Akwa Ibom Spiritual Fathers of Faith Forum,’ had maintained that they would support the governor to lead the state for another four years. It is, therefore, instructive for Christians in the state to work for the re-election of the governor who is a deacon in the Qua Iboe Church.

But should Udom just be voted for a second term because he us a Christian? Or should he be re-elected simply because he has been endorsed by the Christian leaders? The answer is NO. Governor Emmanuel Udom deserve a second term because of his sterling leadership qualities and the sustainable projects he has executed in the last three years and three months. For example, Governor Udom has constructed over 1,700 kilometers of roads, which have been completed. Similarly,  the state Secretariat Annex has been completed. Other projects include the 21-storey office complex which will house the international oil companies and change the skyline of Uyo metropolis, the ongoing construction of the second airport runway and the upgrade of the airport’s main runway.

Other projects Udom has successfully and efficiently executed include the emergency intervention on gully erosion ravaging the school of Nursing, Anua, Uyo by direct labour, construction of 3.5km Ikot Udom road with 15m span bridges in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, construction of 5km Ikot Usop-Ikot Edeghe-Ikot Ekpuk Road with 30m span bridges in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area and onstruction of the 5km-Mkpok-OkaT Road in Onna Local Area.

Others include the emergency works in the completion of outfall and urban roads in Oron, reconstruction of knocked down 33kv:Inter-Town connection (ITC) to Oron at Ifa Atai, maintenance and operation of street lights in Uyo, Abak, Ikot Ekpene and Oron metropolis, the Dualization of Uyo-Etinan Road, the construction/Remodelling of selected Roads, strategic Round-about/Junctions in Eket metropolis (Phases I & II), construction of Internal Roads in Cornelia Connelly College (CCC)- Afaha Oku-Uyo, construction of Etinan-Ekpene Obom (QIC Leprosy Hospital Road), construction/Dualization of Etinan-Onna Road with 2 Nos Bridges, construction of Ikot Ebekpo -Ikot Ebidang Road in Onna LGA with spur to East-West Road and contract for dualization of Oron/Nung Atai Eta Road.

Also executed by the government is the dualisation of Uyo-Ndon Eyo Road with two bridges and spur to Nkana, Etinan, construction of Uyo Outfall Drain Phase II to deflood Ewet Housing Estate, part of Osongama, Edet Akpan up to Tropicana, construction of Awa Iman-Asong-Ikot Edim-Ikot Emem Road with spur to Onna LGA, construction of 3Nos Bridges along Mbiasor-Nto Edino-Ekereazu Road in Obot Akara LGA., contract for the construction of Uruting Junction-Offioro Utine-Eyekung Road in Okobo LGA, contract for the construction of Nung Atai Eta-Atabong Jethy Road, contract for the construction of Ikot Inyang Itung-Ekpene Ibia-Nung Oku-Adadia Beach Road and construction of school of Art & Science Road-Nung Ukim Ikono LGA.

This is just a tip of the iceberg of the numerous achievements recorded by the  governor whom a few individuals want to throw away and instal a puppet. Will the Akwa Ibom people allow this heist to be visited on them? For a man who has placed the welfare of the people above personal aggrandisement and selfish interest. No wonder, while declaring his intention to recontest for a second term he said:

“It is noteworthy, my dear compatriots, that we are the only state to own and maintain an international airport. Additionally, our flood control project at Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo, has checkmated the flood menace which led to occasional traffic gridlocks in Uyo”.

Again, as a peace loving man, he added: “As the political season dawns, let us remember that we were brothers and sisters before the coming of partisan politics and we will remain brothers and sisters long after we had finished our careers in public service.”

This man of character, vision and ingenuity must not be sent packing just to satisfy a few greedy individuals. His Excellency Emmanuel Udom is the man to take Akwa Ibom State to the expected level and every indigene of this state must go for him. Say no to enemies of Akwa Ibom.

•Hon. Ugwu is the executive director, CREI and writes from Enugu.

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