ON August 30, 1962, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Eric in a message to the youths of the nation at independence said: “To youth tender and loving hands the future of the nation is entrusted. In your innocent hearts, the pride of the nation is enshrined. On your scholastic development, the salvation of the nation is development.
When you return to your classes after independence, remember there fore, each and every one of you that you carry the future of Trinidad and Tobago in your school bags.”
Today, the same can be said of Akwa Ibom State, also located in the Gulf of Guinea, blessed like Trinidad and Tobago, with copious amounts of crude oil and other mineral deposits.
As the March and April elections draw near, we can see the horizon and attempt to see what the future holds for our state and our people.
Suffice it to say that our eyes have seen tangible achievements in infrastructure in the last seven and a half years, courtesy of the dynamic Godswill Akpabio administration.
Having delivered on the infrastructure front, it is only proper to crown the success within a worthy successor in the person of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, a man in whom the time and the season have clearly met, in order to sustain the uncommon transformation.
He wears a meek mien, an affable smile often playing around his face quiet, unassuming, humane, patient, compassionate, yet with a sturdy, determination to make a lasting impact in the lives of his people, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel hopes to mount the saddle as Governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2015 with a clear vision.
How will Udom Emmanuel bring about the change we also earnestly desire, especially in the face of dwindling oil revenues?
His vision, I dare say, is to harvest the rich human and natural resources we are blessed with through financial management that is secure to home. He knows the secret to create wealth is investment. In this time and age, it is necessary to invest in human capacity for the overall prosperity of all.
Hear the words of Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd): “Make no mistakes about it, the support Udom is enjoying today is not because he was the former Secretary to the State Government, SSG, it is because we searched for him and brought him out as the man who carries the promise to deliver this and feat prosperity.”
All through the campaigns, Udom Emmanuel has come across as a man who knows his onions. His body language suggests that he has learnt the fine art and science of governance, not only from corporate boardrooms across the world but from Godswill Akpabio.
Udom Emmanuel, indeed, has been able to connect with the people through the Door-to Door project embarked upon by the Transformation Initiative for the Empowerment of Ibom People, TIEIP.
Across the 31 local government areas in the state, TIEIP has on ground state, chapter, local government coordinators and unit canvassers, all dedicated to selling the candidature of Udom Emmanuel as the man God has given to us this moment.
Not only that, more than one thousand groups across the state are fully registered with TIEIP and they all are ready to take the Udom message to the grassroots.
Not to forget. Udom Emmanuel is married to a loving and beautiful woman, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel. Both of them are on the campaign trail, seeking for votes and support from a cross section of Akwa Ibom people. From Ikot Abasi to Oron to Nsit Ibom to Onna onto Etim Ekpo and Ikot Ekpene, the message has been the same: Udom Gabriel Emmanuel will transform Akwa Ibom State for the greater good of the people.
To add pep to the campaigns, a new group has been set up by Mrs. Ephraim Inyang. It is called Friends of Martha, a support group that has been working silently to mobilize the women across the state to support Udom Emmanuel. It is a formidable group of who is who in the state.
On Monday, February 16, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held the mother of all rallies in Onna, the home of the party candidate, Mr. Udom Emmanuel. It was carnival as the party rounded off the campaign rallies in the state.
It is hoped that the support base of the party increased after the rally and all contending issues have been trashed out. Politics is a game of give and take and it is expected that aggrieved persons within Eket Senatorial District have been assuaged by the party and have joined the bandwagon to work for Udom Emmanuel.
In the words of the chairman of the Board of Trustees of TIEIP, Mr. Ephraim Inyang, “I am not a supporter of Udom Emmanuel but a believer in Udom Emmanuel because I have closely related with him over the years and I know his capacity, competency and passion to make things happen.”
As Akwa Ibom people gather at the various polling station on April 11 to cast their votes, let us all remember that we carry in our choice, the future of our great state. A vote for Udom Emmanuel will mean singing in for the visible transformation that is about to take place in the state.
Mr. Emmanuel Johnson, a political analyst, wrote from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.