Thursday, October 5, 2017

Why Akpabio’s shoes are too big for Udom Emmanuel

By Aniekan Inyang
Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

From his first term in office Godswill Akpabio, former governor of Akwa Ibom State, built up a solid legacy of achievements. He completed the airport project started by Attah and put it to use; completed the Uyo Le Meridien Hotel started by Attah and put it to use; completed the airport dualised road project and put it to use; started and completed the E-Library, a brand new Governor’s Lodge and Guest houses; started and completed the Ekim Itam dualised road project; the Etim Ekpo-Ika road project; the Enen Nsit road project; the Use-Ikot Amama road project, over 250 urban roads in Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Eket, Oron, Ikot Abasi, etc. O my God! Akwa Ibom was the envy of all states.  

You could drive through the major roads in Uyo and not find a single pot hole—a fall out of Akpabio’s zero pot hole program. All the major roads in Uyo were lit at night and without a doubt Uyo became the cleanest and most beautiful city in Nigeria. Staff salaries were paid as and when due and work tools such as cars were promptly provided for deserving officials. 

Akpabio’s achievements in his second term were even more intimidating and too numerous to mention: Key examples include the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo; the Tropicana Project Uyo with the Hotel component, Theme Park; Shopping Mall, fully completed and commissioned before Akpabio left office; the Uyo Specialist Hospital with State of the art facilities fully completed and commissioned, the Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene fully completed and commissioned; the Uyo Abak dualised road project fully completed and commissioned with a state of the art bridge; Uyo-Ikot Ekpene dualised road project (90 per cent completed), etc, etc.

Sadly, Udom Emmanuel’s record so far has been appalling and below average. In almost 3 years he has not started and completed one notable project of his own. It is so tragic that he lacks the competence and capacity to build on the good works of the Akpabio era. Udom Emmanuel is so incompetent and clueless that he cannot even put to use the key projects completed and commissioned by Akpabio. Today Uyo remains in darkness as the street lights no longer function. Udom Emmanuel’s failure in governance is exemplified by the fact that thieves have had a field day under his watch by stealing over 50 percent of the street light poles along the Uyo airport road. Uyo is now one of the dirtiest cities in Nigeria. 

Udom Emmanuel lacks the capacity even to maintain the Le Meridien Hotel and Golf course built by Akpabio and Attah. The Le Meridian Hotel is in such bad shape that guests routinely deal with leaking roofs and reptiles in rooms! Golfers in Nigeria continue to bemoan the current dilapidated state of the golf course which was rated the best in Africa under Akpabio.

Udom Emmanuel is so clueless that he has not been able to continue the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Scheme that was so effectively managed by Akpabio and former Finance Commissioner Bassey Albert Akpan. Using the Direct Labour Scheme Akpabio provided electricity for 90 percent of rural communities, renovated schools and health centres, etc, and empowered the small contractors in the State. The scheme has failed woefully and has recorded zero impact under Udom Emmanuel. 
Governor Udom Emmanuel has shown incompetence even when he is lying to the people of Akwa Ibom State. He falsely claims he is constructing a second runway for Uyo Airport whereas everybody knows that what Akpabio started was a taxiway. He falsely claims he has constructed 750km of roads. We challenge him to publish the list of the roads. When Akpabio constructed roads we saw the roads and drove through them. We are still driving on the roads built by Akpabio and Attah. Where are Emmanuel’s roads?

Some apologists of Udom Emmanuel have tried to explain away his disgraceful performance on the lack of funds. This is a lame excuse based on complete falsehood. Akpabio received N540 billion during his first term whereas Emmanuel has received over N600 billion so far. In actual fact, Emmanuel has received more revenues in his first term than Akpabio but has nothing to show for it. Udom Emmanuel should explain to the people of the State where the money has gone. The money couldn’t have gone into cottage industries like pencils and toothpicks that would not cost up to N100 million. 

All the fuss about bringing the Vice President to commission private syringe and meter factories in which the State Government’s investment is only N100 million is purely diversionary and is meant to cover up Emmanuel’s failure. Hundreds of privately owned cottage industries producing all manner of products are established every day in other states and yet the governors in those states have not asked the Vice President to come every day for commissioning. Udom Emmanuel’s men should stop blaming Akpabio for Emmanuel’s incompetence, cluelessness and pettiness.

Governor Emmanuel brought the Vice President of Nigeria to "commission" a refurbished General Hospital in Etinan! Sen. Godswill Akpabio in his first term built and completed five brand new General Hospitals! Compare and contrast. 

Udom Emmanuel has shown without a shadow of doubt that Akpabio’s shoes are too large for him. He seems lost and overwhelmed and covers up his lack of capacity and inferiority complex with arrogance and pettiness. You can take a horse to the stream but you cannot force it to drink water. O Akwa Ibom! When shall we have another Akpabio?

By Aniekan Inyang
Uyo, Akwa Ibom State




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