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When competence matters in leadership recruitment

By DANGWA Danjuma

The tension that greeted Peter Obi’s walk out on the People’s Democratic Party included the concerns on availability of another competent partyman who will be worthy of the demand for the incorruptible leader to emerge vis a vis deputize when the chips are down. This also has been made easy by governor of Ebonyi, Engineer Dave Umahi’s exit from the party who would have stood out in the event that Obi falled shy of the Vice Presidential slot. 

This box around the party, underpinned by an outcry for national unity by nominating the  South Eastern  deputy in the second attempt of Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President, to dismiss the two term era of the incumbent All Progressive Congress on the premise that a good number of Nigerians will reconsider the PDP as a better alternative. 

However, viable options exist outside the South East for the PDP, particularly in the Niger Delta where state governors under the party have taken bold strides in bringing out their people out of the doldrums. Most have and are in the struggle of turning around a pity party situation for the better. Reports from these states are suggestive of  investments in energy, airways, agro allied,climate change, infrastructure including housing, and livelihoods improvement. 

In a recent interview a former Governor of Akwa Ibom under the party, Obong Victor, who is now a statesman opined proudly that the south have proven to have competent hands and minds that can lead Nigeria in the right direction if only merit, social equity and justice will prevail in the selection of the flag bearer. The high note in the interview was his strong position that Emmanuel Gabriel Udom, the incumbent governor of Akwa Ibom State who was at the a presidential aspirant was the most competent while he declined to comment on his successor Godswill Akpabio, also a former senator and cabinet member of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. 

Refocusing on Udom, who has been honoured by the elder statesman, reinvented Akwa Ibom to a fast growing state backed by vision and commitment. The Dakkada creed introduced by Udom has manifested in various sectors of public service delivery and growth stimulation. The man who seems to have evaded the klieg lights over sometime now did not attract significant votes as his counterpart in Rivers State. Udoms popularity amongst faith based organizations especially the evangelicals across the nation did not attract the votes of delegates neither did his works count in a duel that was strongly believed to be about money, loyalty and doggedness.

Despite the interesting story of good governance that has trailed the quality of public service delivery in his and marked Governor Emmanuel a performer, it will seem as though the political space he plays like the ruling APC may not be mindful of achievers as assets. He trudges along convincingly displaying selflessness in transforming the ‘Land of Promise’ from a civil service state to an industrialized one by a commonly shared creed and the recognition of the people in the land of promise. If all is lost, Udom will not lose this one.

What comes first, is Ibom Air – which currently has a fleet of seven bombardier’s CRJ 900 aircrafts, and now covers 7 destinations of Uyo, Lagos, Abuja, Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu, Yenagoa makes 22 flights daily.

In his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015, Governor Udom Emmanuel declared: “I stand before you today not as a master but as a servant and not as a boss but as a co-labourer. I accept, with great humility and sense of responsibility, the mandate you have freely given to me to hold power in trust for you are your Governor. You have kept your part of the covenant and I intend to keep my part by executing the programmes I enunciated to you during my official declaration to run for the office of Governor” sequel to his masterstrokes.

What comes first, is Ibom Air – which currently has a fleet of seven bombardier’s CRJ 900 aircrafts, and now covers 7 destinations of Uyo, Lagos, Abuja, Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu, Yenagoa makes 22 flights daily. 

In the area of industrialization’s drive, some of the ongoing and already completed projects includes: Coconut Plantation and Refinery, Ibom Industrial Park/Jetty, Quality Ceramics, Eket International Market, Eket, Phase 1, Ibom Airlines, Uyo International Market, Oron International Market, Ibom Deep Sea Port, Plywood Manufacturing Factory, Power plant, Jetty, Tropicana Shoprite Mall, Refinery, Gas processing plant, Waste to Wealth Plant.

Through a legal and policy based approach the administration has curtailed child abuse, human trafficking, child abandonment and amnesty programs. The land of promise  has been ranked by Nigeria’s Police Force as the lowest in crime index in Nigeria in 2017. This accolades have only emboldened the state to do more in providing more equipment to aid effective policing and service delivery. 

In the area of infrastructure the state has been deliberate to sync human capital development in their approach. The silent revolution in the education sector, which is best described as war in the education sector, has brought about increased quality  of infrastructure, retraining of teachers, and recruitment. In the health sector, the state government has established new hospitals, and given the existing ones a facelift. 

Through a legal and policy based approach the administration has curtailed child abuse, human trafficking, child abandonment and amnesty programs. The land of promise  has been ranked by Nigeria’s Police Force as the lowest in crime index in Nigeria in 2017. This accolades have only emboldened the state to do more in providing more equipment to aid effective policing and service delivery. 

The sports development program of the state targets  the grassroots to complement the quality sports infrastructure in the state. Even at that, the loud victory of Akwa United in the FA Cup in 2015 and reiterated in 2017 have proven the purposefulness of sport development in the state.

In stimulating diversification in the non oil sector the administration has seen to the establishment of demonstration plots on various agricultural technologies for the transfer of improved technologies to farmers through the Akwa Ibom Agricultural Development Programme (AKADEP); planting of citrus seedlings, hybrid plantain suckers, and pineapple suckers at the Horticulture Garden in Uyo. 

Whether or not he makes it to the nomination of the party, Akwa Ibom has consolidated the gains of successive administrations under Emmanuel Udom to rewrite the story of the Akwa Ibom people. The touch of this technocrat would have been useful to the manifesto Atiku Abubakar promises to implement in the four year mandate he has indicated interest and readiness. 

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