LETTER TO GOV. UDOM EMMANUEL: CAN YOUR WEDNESDAY LUCK REFLECT IN GOVERNANCE?
Dear Gov Udom Emmanuel, Wednesday greetings to you, Your Excellency? You may wonder why I choose to send you Wednesday greetings on a Tuesday morning, in a full-fledged Christmas season? I will tell you as the foregoing progresses.
Let me first congratulate you on your recent victory at the apex court. For the second time, you have been a Supreme Court affirmed governor. That, Your Excellency is no mean feat, especially at a time some-ONE is wishing he could be governor for one day.
Your Excellency, with the supreme court ruling, all contending issues concerning the March 2, 2019 guber election have been laid to rest. It is now time for governance to be paid a punctilious focus. In the remaining three and a half years left of your administration’s life girth, I hope you will not feel mistaken for Jesus Christ if we expect governance that will yield achievements and developments in reality and shift the paradigm away from the many audio achievements that characterized your first term administration.
Talking about your first term. Let me use this medium to commend the potently genuine efforts, positive spirit and vigor you deployed in pushing the Akwa Ibom train and dream. Aside the several achievements that clanged louder on audio than their visibility in reality, there are a few ones very laudable. For instance, I could, sometime ago on Twitter, proudly boast to a group of Kenyans on Twitter that in Nigeria, states own airlines and some will soon be competing with their Kenyan Airlines… thanks to your resilience and commitment despite pessimistic expressions from opposition and likes.
On roads, you sure would have had a good score, but for the unruliness of your works commissioner and his cheap costing contractors whose laxity in job execution and delivery has been exposed by the failing roads. Thus, scoring you on roads will remain inconclusive until we are sure the mass prognosis of failed roads towards the end of your governorship story refuses to come to manifestation.
One would expect to see a mention of at least the industries that your administration’s information channels have now numbered up to 15 or thereabout. While I commend your good intentions in seeing Akwa Ibom off to an entrepreneurial hub, I, Your Excellency, refuse to mark this intention a success because the present reality exposes the mendaciousness in your administration. So you either take responsibility or you blame your execution channels. If you do the former, well, it may stir a little surprise, but the latter won’t be anything new. The choice is well yours.
I did not expect your ONE election opponent and tribunal petitioner to congratulate you, despite beating him home and away to grab maximum points. The him I know will hurriedly take the option of going on exile against bruising his ego to congratulate you, and his concession statement had nothing disappointing for me, after all. However, Your Excellency, in those “meaningless” words, your contender raised genuine issues that should deter you and your administration into showing concern and proffering solutions. The only problem is that, the ONE man does not have the moral standing to raise such issues because if he could not use his own share of the political prominence and opportunities at different levels to make any difference, his case would not have been unalike as governor. My bible tells me in Luke 16:10 that he who is faithful in little, will be faithful in much.
Your Excellency, having seen the 2020 budget and the percentages of funds appropriated to respective MDAs, it is clear your administration is yet to find a vestige of empathy for the children of commoners bearing the consequences of the rotting educational system. We may assume your administration was distracted by the legal distractions that trailed your election, hence, the heavy blunders and misplaced priorities. Now that litigations are over, you should be fixed to course and rigorous enough to meet our expectations that when the next budget will be drafted, premium will be placed on enhancing the standard of education and boosting facilities to ensure better healthcare delivery for the common Akwa Ibom man.
We hope, Sir, that henceforth, an end will be put to the practice of gathering school children on May 27 to tell them how much value your administration places on their education, but at the end of the year, your budget proposal will appropriate 0.83% (terribly far below UN’s recommended 26% minimum) of funds to education and almost 10% for government house expenditure. As well, we hope to see an end to your mouth-limited commitment to qualitative healthcare services that will be free for children and pregnant women, as well as affordable for the common man, but contrastingly, your budget proposals will appropriate just 7% of funds to the entire social sector. We also hope that the image laundering agents of your administration will be saved the ignominy/embarrassment of publicizing milled-in-Akwa Ibom rice, but as the year ends, we will see photos of foreign labeled rice purchased by government and its agents to share out as Christmas bonus.
Your Excellency, we also hope that your second term which logically began after last Wednesday, will put an end to that millennial scam called AKEES (Akwa Ibom Enterprise and Employment Scheme) that purports to breed entrepreneurs/startups, but at the end, only Ufot Ebong will be harvesting tomatoes on social media. I can tell you without charge that it is the wish of Akwa Ibom people to see an end to political industries, but that your industries which existence I can attest to, will be fully privatised to create employment opportunities that will evidently decongest the political crowd and government dependent youth.
Your Excellency, I know you are at the centre of a system that contrary views are intolerable and treated with distaste and repudiation. Nonetheless, this doesn’t make me an “enemy of the state”. I have been your supporter since the other ONE man emerged as your lead opponent. My volunteered support for you was never motivated by a hope for post reward, but majorly out of conviction that even when they see you as evil, you are definitely a lesser evil when compared to ONE man. As a matter of fact, I have been consciously and unconsciously thundering “Amen” to that Friday night prayer by the RCCG man, because I am of the belief that for you to offer sincere deliveries to Akwa Ibom people, a lot of enemies giving your administration a bad image need to die.
About my Wednesday greetings, lest I forget, you will recall that your first Supreme Court victory was on a Wednesday (night), and the recent one came just last Wednesday. Shouldn’t one think you have a special lucky date with Wednesdays. As a suggestion, maybe you should start drafting budgets on Wednesdays, present on Wednesdays and when approved by the legislature, you pen your accent still on a Wednesday. I think governance in Akwa Ibom needs your Wednesday kind of luck for an evident progress. You will also recall that after your first Supreme Court affirmation on February 3rd, 2016, you held a thanksgiving service a week after which I nearly lost a job for asking questions. Having also observed and witnessed the 2019 guber election and your clean victory, unlike the 2015 case, you now have the free conscience to hold a week long thanksgiving if you so wish.
Finally, Your Excellency, while wishing you, on behalf of my wife and 4 kids, a merry 2019 Christmas celebration, I hope you kindly accept from me, the assurances of regards at the highest level.
Ubong Sampson (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes from Ekpuk Abiannang of Ata Idung Minya, Ukpum Minya Clan in Mkpat Enin LGA.