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EKET FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY MEDIA PROFESSIONALS
Re: Deplorable State of Roads in Eket Under Gov. Udom Emmanuel: A very Sad Tale (Episode 1).
Stop the premature verdict ( Episode 1)
The attention of Eket Federal Constituency Media Professionals has been drawn to a Press Release by some acclaimed stakeholders of Eket extraction under the aegis of Eket Integrity Alliance, captioned “Deplorable State of Roads in Eket Under Gov. Udom Emmanuel: A very sad Tale”, published in the Ink Newspaper and circulated in some social media platforms, with intent to mislead the general public and further incite the people of Eket against His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
As informed members of the fourth estate of the realm, we are reacting to this misleading piece to disabuse the minds of the Eket people, who must have consumed this concealed outpour of personal vendetta in a perfectly spiced release, without understanding that the motive is not for the betterment of Eket people, but to get back to His Excellency for not heeding to their incessant political demands that would have bettered their lives and that of their family members, just as it has always been when they were in the corridors of government before the advent of the Udom Emmanuel administration.
In that release, it was stated inter alia, “Sadly, successive governments have deliberately refused to pay adequate attention to the developmental needs of Eket, especially roads and industries for inexplicable reasons. We heaved a sigh of relief when our son, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, with our overwhelming support received the mantle of leadership on May 29th 2015. Unfortunately, our high expectations have turned out to be a mirage.
“After about six years, news emerged months back that the Governor had approved the rehabilitation of about 36 roads in Eket LGA, Atabong road exclusive. Initial focus, we were told, was to be 13 roads. But as of today, work merely started on a negligible few with no attention to others. Eket is now littered with abandoned (roads) projects”
In as much as we are not holding brief for the Chief Executive of the state, it is glaring that since the advent of democratic governments in 1999, the only administration that has thought well of the oil rich region in terms of development and the wellbeing of her people, after facing consistent environmental degradation, air pollution as a result of oil exploration that has swelled the accounts of both the Federal and state government, is the Udom Emmanuel’s administration, hence the reason the administration ventured into projects seen by many to be viable and commendable.
It is therefore worrisome that rather than applaud a government that is determined to complete all initiated projects as consistently mentioned by the Governor in all events, including his new year message, those who once occupied sensitive positions in government when there was oil boom, and could not attract even roads to their own residency, could resort to playing politics in the media, claiming that Eket is now littered with abandoned projects, when they are ongoing, not considering the many bottlenecks this administration has faced since it came on board.
They also went ahead to ask “Is the present neglect and cruel marginalization of Eket, compounding the over 50years of the negative consequences of oil exploration, a payment for our hosting of the oil giant, Exxon Mobil?
Obviously, these writers have suddenly feigned ignorance of the downturn of things last year, in the wake of the global crises that came with the novel Corona Virus pandemic, which virtually halted economic activities for nearly one year, with all attention shifted to emergency health care delivery, an action that Governor Emmanuel spectacularly performed, receiving international commendations from various global organizations, and making Akwa Ibom a center for medical tourism.
Two of the writers of the said release, Pastor Ita Umoh Udoh and Usoro Usoro, have failed to tell us why they never asked the then Governor, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, whom they served in his administration in various mouth watering capacities as Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Senior Special Assistant on Education, Chief Press Secretary and Senior Special Assistant on Research respectively. Did the 50 years mentioned exclude the period of their windfall between 2007 and 2015, when monies in huge magnitude were shared to them to build mansions and acquire properties, a period they never for one day threatened to resign from the same government over marginalization of their people – they should also tell us why they are saying this now if there isn’t any ulterior motive.
We ask, if Pst. Ita Imo Udoh, one of the signatories to the release was appointed Chief of Staff to Governor Emmanuel, Hon. Commissioner or Chairman of SUBEB, as he is alleged to have clamoured for, would Eket roads be in a deplorable state? If Iniobong Idem, who assumed to be the ‘most qualified and the richest among the contenders’ to be Chairman of Eket Local Government, had emerged as Chairman, would Eket roads be in a deplorable state? If Emmanuel Ekott’s candidate was made Local Government Chairman or his Councillorship candidate allowed to be Leader of council, would Eket roads be in a deplorable state? We are certain that if these requests and bargains were met, Eket would have been better in their eyes..
There is no way trying to tell Usoro I. Usoro that Mr. Udom Emmanuel is his Governor, after all from inception, he saw him to be a neophyte that doesn’t understand the dynamics of politics, so that Lagos boy should be seen in bad light till the expiration of his tenure.
It is instructive to state that the grouse for the open note is obviously tied to the many unactualized demands of the signatories as presented to His Excellency, which in-turn has discoloured the rosy path of friendship, so they assume that scribbling a bad press release will blackmail the governor into doing their bidding, but can’t show one thing they did yesterday in government that should encourage or motivate Eket people to say “Aye” to their request to serve again.
We should be aware that the sensibilities of Eket people would not be toyed with even after acknowledging in the release that His Excellency made reference to all initiated projects, promising that none will be left uncompleted, so needless trying to robe the people into a war of words and disbelief when there is enough time to complete all that has been initiated in Eket.
Finally, we advise the writers that no one is their albatross in achieving their political desires, the fact that in previous governments, they were lying to their principal that all is well when it wasn’t, does not mean others do same. They should stop fueling hate and enmity, knowing that Governor Emmanuel is not a sucker to leave abandoned projects in his Federal constituency as that verdict is so premature.
As watchdogs of the society, we have followed the salient interventions, and believe that since we are in a dry season and with the recent promise of the Governor, people should be responsible enough to encourage the Governor to do more for their people.
Comr. Jerryz Edoho
Comr. Mfon Bassey
Comr.. Edet Edet
Publicity Secretary EFCMP