Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

…fresh, factual & uncompromising


6 min read
The word turbulence will better describe events of the year 2019; from the political campaigns through the general elections and litigations tempers flared and uncertainties reigned with political bookmakers making the better of whichever side of the narrative that served their interests. Emerging from such a trying year, no sane person would be considering anything other than building a bridge where walls existed in a bid to advancing the development and better deal they dangled at the electorates when they came calling for votes.

Flashes of horror from the 2019 political episode may still hit hard, but it is nothing to compare with the fairytale wonderment created by the optimism of people who would rather have the year 2023 immediately after 2019, just for the fun of another round of electioneering. This sad reality betrays James Freeman Clarke as a fortuneteller in his attempt at distinguishing between a politician and a statesman in his positing that politicians think of the next election, while statesmen are concerned with the next generation.

Disturbing, may mildly describe the steam some 2023 political aspirations in the state have generated, but in the real sense, it is more idiotic that people could consider yet another round of elections while the society still groans from scars of the immediate past. This inanity poses the rhetoric if our land will ever heal; either from injuries of negligence or those inflicted from inordinate ambitions. How do we explain that a people can so terribly play God to the extent of probing into a future and not appreciate the present, when will our lives reflect the year 2020 when we are more concerned with 2023? In Victor AD’s lyrics “suffer no dey tire you”?

The distractions from these early calls have become a growing cause for concern that presents our clime as one whose major focus is on election; a cycle saner climes patronize after years with definitive focus on development and advancement. Little wonders the unending acrimony that prevails from electoral processes in this part of the globe; a reflection of the bad blood deployed into a process the people should ordinarily hold the ultimate say.

Government hardly work smoothly when there is no synergy, that Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2019 was able to score the significant positives in the face of crisis is a clear testimony to the administration’s devotion to getting things done with minimal excuses. Truthfully, not many state Governments had anything added to the development column of their state’s achievements in the passing year, because the 2019 election had taken the better part of conversation and endeavours during the year in review.

Of all the suspicious and gloomy colouration 2019 assumed, Governor Emmanuel magically pierced through clouds of animosity to keep delivering democratic dividend. For emphasis my birthplace, Ibong Otoro had groaned in severe abandonment until 2019, when goodwill smiled at us. The last time the Lutheran Primary School in my village felt a touch of government was before 2003(under the Victor Attah’s administration) and the better of the last fourteen years condemned pupils to the neglect of learning under the ruins. All that in 2019 changed with the current administration awarding a contract to fix a block in addition to provision of water and sanitation facilities to make life convenient for my people.

Still in 2019, my village for years depended on neighbouring villages for electricity took delivery of a distribution transformer to connect us to the national grid, while the near three decade desolation the Abak 10 miles-Manta road suffered sniffed a breath of fresh air with its being awarded for the ongoing construction. Such turnaround the Emmanuel administration has extended my village leaves me wondering the much we could have achieved as a state if the elections never posed such negative impact on the states’ pace of development.

Notwithstanding the political temperature that almost gave the state away as a theatre of absurdity, Akwa Ibom State in 2019 far beyond expectations voyaged-on and perfectly delivered on the Emmanuel’s 5-point agenda, which saw to the coming on stream of Ibom Air, which many have described as a landmark addition to Africa’s aviation muscle. The switching-on of the power transmission line in Ekim and inauguration of the King’s flour mill in ONNA amid several economic and infrastructural breakthroughs that have admitted the state to lead Nigeria’s economic recovery.

Every system according to the resistance theory has a breaking point, nobody can guarantee that the constant political pressure may in the end not distract Governor Emmanuel, despite his observed mien and focus at looking away from the ensuing political melee orchestrated by the 2023 dramatis personas. How the governor has for so long kept calm should make the 2023 merchants exhibit some restrain in the knowledge that some of the eight pillars of the administration’s completion agenda are time bound and require all the support and encouragement it can get.

The idiocy of attempting to arm twist the citizenry into thinking elections as the most important part of their citizen duties is in clear contrast with Governor Udom Emmanuel’s approach of enthroning responsive governance. It is time to call the house to order and those hitting the political drums instead of contributing their quota to the development of the state be reminded of the mileage the administration has to cover in the drive to accomplishing the completion agenda, which has been roundly appreciated as a plan that will positively change the entire narrative.

It is not wrong to aspire, but distracting a leadership trajectory that has been on course is everything absurd especially where some perceived 2023 dramatists are already displaying an uncharitable sense of entitlement as the Governor’s most preferred. This unfortunately has stretched to the level of pitching some unsuspecting citizens against each other in the argument of who enjoys the Governor’s succession nod.

Beyond the negative impact of making citizens perpetually look out for the next election, it must noted that this bizarre ploy to force an election conversation when we should be discussing performance and mandate delivery is undeniably the masterminds way of diverting the citizens consciousness from their inability to deliver on their current assignments. I am yet to know of a clime that thinks of another election soon after the former in such manner that has left us exhaustively abandoning every human value in chase of an unprepared ambition.

While praying to live long enough and see the year 2023 it is most disturbing that public officers who are beneficiaries of the peoples’ magnanimity hardly think of how to better the lives of the electorates, but are ready to part with anything to secure another term or an elevation. It is common to find people talk and plan to perpetuate in public offices; this misery has seen more than 75% of Local Government Council Chairmen in the state are currently gunning for a second term. In this light, the few who are not gunning for a return to the councils are queuing to join the State Assembly race, which the current occupants are already viewing as birthrights.

This paradise of folly has lost its wand, citizens no longer, hence the need to support Governor Udom Emmanuel in his bid to turnaround the state’s socioeconomic fortunes. Form the forgoing, when the time to discuss 2023 comes, would be ready to discus every idea geared towards sustaining the acclaim we have risen to. Just then, the people will do more to own the government, condemning in perpetuity merchants of darkness who see election and backwardness as what they owe the people.

There is absolutely no need of living 2023 in 2020, as it is a year to support leadership and help it bring to fruition its numerous programmes for the interest of the state. Better elections will always hold when we overcome greed, hunger, hatred and bitterness; rather than the temptation of supporting any front, it is time to show Akwa Ibom State the patriotism we owe her, conscious that when the passion is right, everything is possible.

Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro in Abak Local Government Area.

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