Governor Udom Emmanuel is undoubtedly one of the few technocrats-turned politicians who does not know how to play the typical Nigerian brand of politics. Politics of saying one thing and doing the other thing afterwards. He is undoubtedly a man of his words, which had earned him the prefix of "Mr Integrity.
Politicalization of projects and promises are very alien to his person and he finds it morally difficult to promise a thing he knows he cannot fulfill. A cursory look at the governor's contractual interactions with the people of the state shows that the things he promised the people of the state can sometimes be delayed by circumstances of interwoven complexities but will definitely come to fruition. An example is the Ibom Air, a venture that has dazzled rigid economists and termitic critics.
Governor Emmanuel, on arrival in 2015, met a dwindling economy, which was caused by a global setback arising from oil fluctuation in the international market. He set to work, to put in place a shockproof mechanism of economic balancing which enabled him to manage to steer the ship of the state off the rocks, while keeping an eye on his covenant with the people of the state. A focus he has never failed to worry about.
When a leader, I mean a servant leader, in the mould of Deacon Udom Emmanuel sets out on a journey, he hardly does it alone. He carries with him a band of homogeneous men and women who he feels can blow up the fire and steady his gaze, especially when the road is bumpy and rough. Such a leader will always talk of "we while referring to himself. He will always think of how to reward the team players who boarded the flight with him. He will surely always think of how his leadership can change the society better than he met it. Udom Emmanuel is such leader.
Recent appointments done by His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, into various strata of government, from the State Executive Council to the Chief-of-Staff, Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants, Board members and all other classes of engagement, are all but a rewarding system aimed at encouraging loyalty and hard work.
In governance and indeed every other relationship, loyalty must on both sides be one hundred percent, if tranquillity and development must endure in such relationship. There is nothing like 99 per cent loyalty. Loyalty must be total.
A close look at the appointees, except a very few, for reasons best known to the governor, are those who have consistently remained loyal to the "system and have patiently waited for their turn. Governor Emmanuel's reward system is geared towards the spread of the dividends of democracy. A tree planted, must bring forth fruits to feed others. That is the philosophy of the governor concerning appointments.
An appointee is expected to touch the lives of his or her immediate constituents positively. Sometime last year, the governor was heard advising his personal assistants not to see their appointments as a personal thing but as an empowerment meant for empowerment.
One very important thing worth mentioning here is the fact that there were groups of followers who gave in their time and energy to ensure that the governor had a smooth sail from 2015 to 2019 general elections. Very few members of such groups have benefited in the ongoing reward system of His Excellency. Majority of members of such groups are wearing swollen faces around subdued from exploding because of loyalty to the governor they laboured for. Some groups do not even have a beneficiary in the reward umbrella.
To complete and make complete the good intentions of the governor for his teaming supporters, a mechanism must be developed to empower groups that participated in the fight against the 2019 war of Warsaw. Holding together a flock starved of the lush greeny life is not easy, especially when they realize that there was a promise for a reward.
Some of the groups that readily comes to mind are, "The Akwa Ibom Success Group, "Akwa Ibom Democrats, "Ibom Patriots, "PDP Fan Club'' and "Akwa Ibom Women for Udom, among numerous important ones ahead of countless mushroom ones. These groups should be seen as channels for mass mobilization towards economic growth. For instance, government can, under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal, engage members of these groups in ventures such as contract farming and business clusters.
Leaders of all the groups that worked for His Excellency during the campaigns and election proper should be brought under the protective umbrella of empowerment. By so doing, the state gradually evolves from the pedestal civil service unit of consumption populace to a production base of consumables.
Governor Emmanuel needs the support of every citizen of this state, especially members of the State Executive Council and the numerous aides whose duties include to remind the governor of what he may likely forget. His industrialization policy is on course. Roads and other infrastructure such as hospitals are giving him a thinking cap. To cap it all, peace, which was once an expensive commodity in this state can now be seen everywhere, free of charge.
Thank you, Your Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. Your reward system is rewarding and a springboard for hard work and loyalty. The onus is now on those you have empowered to also empower others for your dream to come full circle.