A Memo To Governor Udom Emmanuel: You Owe Akwa Ibomites An Apology, By Eneh John

by Eneh John,

“One of the hardest things you may ever have to do in life is deliver an apology. Many people say “I’m sorry” thoughtlessly and heedlessly because they want to move on or have their own way.
Sadly this waters down the value of apologies everywhere, which means that when it’s time to apologize to someone you care about, you may struggle to make that person trust your sincerity.

Nonetheless, there is nothing quite like a sincere, heartfelt apology to mend a broken relationship and pave the way to a brighter future. Not apologizing because it is hard or because you have received empty apologies in the past is no excuse for not following through and doing it now. And even if you have no idea if your apology will be accepted or forgiveness will be offered, saying you are sorry can help to cleanse your soul”. – Anonymous

The lies and deceits that have characterized your administration, since its advent, have been appalling.

In a well televised interaction with Journalists, you had tagged Akwa Ibomites as illiterates, and also said you went to a Business school.

It is unbecoming of you as a Governor, to make utterances, which do not conform to the office you presently occupy. Till date, you have failed to retract your comments and tender an apology to us as citizens of the state.

Agreed, you attended a business school, which others have never gone, but how has that added or improved on the economy of the state? How has your Business school knowledge paid gratuities of retired teachers and other civil servants? The Governors performing creditably well in Nigeria, none attended a business school. Yet, their performances have been sterling.

In 2013, the Akwa Ibom state government had taken over schools in the state, and absorbed teachers into the employ of the state teaching service. Months after, their salaries have not been paid. It was an embarrassing scene to your administration that the teachers went ahead, to barricade the state secretariat, and protested against the nonpayment of salaries.

May I also draw your attention Mr.Governor, to the entitlements of next of kin of late primary school teachers in the state, which is yet to be paid.

In Uyo, a protest was held in front of the Governor’s office at Barracks road, where these persons were arrested, for demanding the entitlements of their late parents.

I don’t know if people have not told you, your government is shrouded in secrecy. The state budget which is supposed to be a public document is being hidden. The 14.5 billion Naira Paris debt refund, is what you and the house of Assembly in Akwa Ibom State is yet to give an account of.

The internally generated revenue in the state seems to be a private thing. You have only used your knowledge of the banking sector, to do our state more harm than good.

The allocations from the Federation account have not been accounted for by your administration.

In your democracy speeches, between 2015 and 2017, you have not given a state of address about the finances of the state, which ought to be your responsibility to the citizens and their tax payments.

The much talked about accountability in your government is a far cry from what is currently obtainable.

I have interacted with citizens of the state, even on the streets of Akwa Ibom, your government only exist on papers, and in the minds of your political appointees and their surrogates.

Some weeks ago, there were kidnappings in the state, which as the Chief Security Officer in the state, you ought to condemn, but keen watchers and Critics of your administration like us, never saw it happen.

The recent killings of two entrepreneurs in Uyo, has further exposed your inability to tackle the insecurity in the state.

I have had direct dealings with some state governments in Nigeria. One of the things your Rivers State counterpart did was to hit the ground running. In Wike’s one month in office, he had commissioned roads in Rivers state. Delta state Governor, has not been left out of the road executions.

What has so far been obtainable in your Government, is struggling of roads with the NDDC, either by claiming it to tour administration, or carrying out an on the spot assessment to discredit it.

Roads are not meant to be celebrated, because, it is Government’s responsibility to construct roads, provide basic amenities, etc. any administration, who cannot provide this, is already a failed one.

Months after your administration set up a commission of inquiry on Reigners Bible Church collapse, its findings remain as the proverbial excreta of a cat.

You had also said, there was no money to conduct Local Government elections in Akwa Ibom state, of which you cannot lend money from the bank to conduct election, yet allocations for local government areas keep coming, and you have been the sole decider of what happens, with your political surrogates as heads of the local government areas.

I am an Ambassador of Akwa Ibom state. I represent my state with pride, any where I find myself. I expect that you will desist from painting the state black with some of your speeches.

You have actually not demonstrated statesmanship in your conduct as a Governor. I had last week, raised a query, that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) be empowered by law, to take over the conduct of local government elections from states, where political Rulers like you, will have no say, on whether elections will hold or not.

I had also queried, that if INEC never conducted Governorship elections for you to emerge, how would you have felt? Why did INEC not complain of their refusal to borrow money from the bank, and postpone your elections?

This much talked about Local Government elections will serve as your albatross, as we gear towards the 2019 elections.

Two years after you have been Governor, we have heard of your “made in China” pencil manufacturing factory, the non functional Ibom specialist hospital, the Ibaka deep seaport, the 31 industries in Akwa Ibom, the abandoned projects, etc.

I propose, for the establishment of Akwa Ibom State Traffic Management Agency, to tackle traffic situations in the state, which will tackle wrong parkings,flouting of traffic rules and also create employment for unemployed youths in the state, with the appointment of a Director General, who is a listening and rational person to head the organization.

I am also proposing, for the establishment of Akwa Ibom State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, where all oil producing areas will make up the commission, and serve as an interface between host community, the companies and the state government. Through this, employment will be created, the commission will interface in some road projects in the area, and see to the development of the oil producing areas, with Representatives of the areas, constituting the board of the commission.

The question you should ask yourself today is, if I leave as Governor today, what will Akwa Ibom people remember me for?

The people, who sold your candidature to Akwa Ibomites in 2015, do not have anything to market about you anymore.

Have you also queried the cry of the people that complain of the under payment and peanuts they get on their demolished buildings for road construction?

I am not asking that, you squander the state’s resources, but I just want you to know, that majority of people in the state, are not happy about your administration.

Forget the retinue of aides that tell you that all is well. When you get to the streets of Akwa Ibom, feel the impulse of the people, and there the answers lie for you.

Whatever or however you may receive this memo, understand that it is for the love of the greater Akwa Ibom.

They will not tell you the truth, but I will.

Do not always see sincere critics of your administration as “oppositions.”

Akwa Ibom must be better in our time, for the next generation to enjoy the labours of their heroes.


Eneh John is an Investigative Journalist and Editor-in-Chief,

Trail Reporters News.

Email: [email protected]