Wed. Apr 24th, 2019


After all the noise, the election between Udom and Nsima will come down to one simple word: scorecards.

In the last three and half years Gov Udom Emmanuel and Nsima Ekere have both occupied executive positions in two different entities. While Udom has been governor of AKS, Nsima has been MD of NDDC, an intervention agency. Both men managed budgets that run into hundreds of billions with solid four years tenure each.

Nsima is challenging Udom who is seeking reelection to AK Government House. Much has been done from both ends. But in these last days, beyond the rhetorics, beyond the mudslinging associated with third world politics there comes a time campaign must come to records comparison and this is the time.

While campaigning for office in 2015, Udom had told Akwa Ibom people that INDUSTRIALIZATION was top on his agenda because industrialization is at the apex of all policy options for development in any third world country. He promised to industrialize the state. Here lies Nsima’s burden or opportunity in this campaign. Nsima on his part cannot presents an alternative to industrialization because as far as development policy options are concerned the movement from agrarian, civil service orientation etc to manufacturing remains the best policy option of any government. That was why Nsima was wise enough not to try to present any alternatives to industrialization in his manifesto because that would have made his understanding as well as mastery of the economic issues at stake within the state and country in general to be open to speculations.

But Nsima being the challenger enjoyed tremendous liberty of assessing Udom’s records of deliverability and to tear it down as part of his campaign. But this again is self limiting because of the clear and present burden on Nsima’s neck. The burden of being the MD of NDDC an agency which has not only the resources but the leeway to perform better than any state government in any of the development indices they share. Nsima must therefore, and this is a must, challenge Udom with his own records at NDDC. This seems an uphill task apparently because Nsima may not have thought it will come to that.

For instance, on INDUSTRIALIZATION, Nsima he has a great opportunity to challenge Udom on his core policy thrust but the problem for Nsima here is that he will be expected to
showcase the one, even one which he Nsima has delivered in any of the nine states under his purview under his leadership NDDC if he must win the argument that Udom hasn’t done well in his industrialization agenda.

Nsima insisted through his social media aides that the rice mill established under Udom’s industrialization program is producing plastic rice without NAFDAC numbers. That is another great opportunity for Nsima to showcase the one he established in any of the nine states under him which is producing real rice with NAFDAC numbers.

This should be the case for all other industries Nsima is challenging through his media people.

He claimed the syringe industry which no less a personality as the VP, Professor Yemi Osinbajo commissioned is a scam, another wonderful opportunity to show the “authentic” one established by NDDC under his leadership even if it is not syringe manufacturing but any industry at all.

By the way is industrialization part of NDDC core mandate? Emphatic yes it is a key item in the core mandate.

Ibom Airline? That is one of Nsima’s greatest nightmare. But he need not worry. I have not seen anything aviation development in NDDC’s mandate which is a good excuse. But there’s water transportation. If Nsima has any records on that let him present it for self defense against the almighty Ibom Air.

On the area of HEALTH:
If Nsima the challenger believed Udom hasn’t done well in his policy of upgrading the hospitals in the state, he Nsima can use that as a glorious opportunity to show the ones he did under NDDC and let the people compare.

In job creation, Udom introduced AKEES which has helped a lot of Start-Ups to find their footing. He didn’t stop there but moved into the next phase by establishing a Special Purpose Vehicle AKMEDA which will support vast array of enterprise ecosystem in the state in a very professional manner. If Nsima believes not much has been done he can as well present his record of employment creation in NDDC.
For Tertiary Education for instance, Nsima claimed Udom didn’t pay Bursery of 5,000naira. This is a glorious opportunity for him to remind the students about the one he paid during the period under review through NDDC if any. Otherwise his promise of 25,000 will remain without foundations.

Both men have presented their manifesto. Udom used the manifesto to present his scorecards as at date of presentation, he then presented his future vision before forging a marriage between his scorecards as at date of presentation and the future vision. A marriage that has both realistic and objective fundamentals. But Nsima’s manifesto aborted his scorecards at NDDC. Akwa Ibom people wish to assume that was an oversight. Ak people expect Nsima to make that correction. Akwa Ibom people will be more interested in records than a piece of material with beautiful economic rhetorics, fine English and promises – the type you listen to at concerts in the olden days.
The people want to judge those who sought to lead them by their records.

Nsima who is the challenger, must follow Udom’s example by presenting his scorecard at NDDC to Akwa Ibom people. It is called “show working”. This will enable the state compare with that of Udom.

I think Akwa Ibom people at this stage are tired of mudslingings, abuses, negative politicking and all. They will like to see more of records comparison since both candidates are coming from top responsibilities positions. Let the records speak.

If not Nsima may find himself face to face with what happened to Mitt Romney in his quest to unseat Barracks Obama. That was a classical example of the limitations of campaign of calumny, vituperative acrimony and dirts. The message is simple : When challenging an incumbent speak more with your records if you have any. So far Nsima is yet to challenge Udom with his records at NDDC. Time is running out.

James Abang R828
Atte-Okiusu Village
Urueoffong/Oruko LGA

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