On March 9, 2019 Akwa Ibom people defiled all odds to reelect Governor Udom Emmanuel for a second term in office. The victory which the governor described as the “supremacy of God in the affairs of our lives” will see to the completion agenda of his administration tagged “surpassing superior performance”.
The mandate to superintend over the state for another four years has many implications for the development of the state.
From May 29, 2019, focus will be on creating micro, small and medium scale enterprise to facilitate easy access to capital for start up business in order to develop entrepreneurial skill of Akwa Ibom indigenes creating massive employment opportunity. The import is that before 2023, up to 30,000 micro small and medium scale businesses would have been established in Akwa Ibom state empowering the citizens abundantly.
Another implication of Governor Udom second term mandate is the development of aviation. The governor has already kick-started the improvement of infrastructure and facilities at the Victor Attach International Airport to prepare the state for the influx of investors on daily basis. The parameter fencing of the facility is at top gear. The completion of the MRO, construction of power station to supply electricity to the airport and the establishment of search and rescue centre as well as flight training schools are to be actualized before 2023. Top on the list in the mandate for aviation development is the kickoff of Ibom Airline operation and the building of a main terminal at the airport. By 2023, the Victor Atttah International Airport would become a model airport in Nigeria and the African continent.
The rural and riverine development is another entailment of Governor Udom second term mandate. Governor Udom will encourage fish production in riverine area from June 2019 to assist both local fish farmers and large scale investors grow, develop aquaculture, marine fisheries and fish farm projects, procure and establish seafood processing facilities targeting domestic and export market. Abundant jobs would be created by this venture as well as money in the pockets of Akwa Ibom people.
A very essential feature of Governor Udom second term mandate is that Akwa Ibom state will be safe and secure. Currently, the state has attained the status of the most peaceful state in the country, however Governor Udom is not relenting to ensure that pockets of thefts and criminality are totally checked. The proposed installation of CCTV cameras in the state capital will check unforseen criminal intentions and ensure that miscreants who specializes in vandalizing public property are minimized or brought to book. The import is that Akwa Ibom will be home for investors who have complete faith and are guaranteed of security of their investment and lives.
Human capacity development is not left out in the goodies attached to Governor Udom second term mandate. Governor Udom will continue to prioritize education repositioning the sector to deliver quality, affordable, inclusive and functional education to all citizens of the state. The governor will continue to provide conducive environment through the continual rehabilitation of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to sustain the ongoing free, compulsory and qualitative education in the state with great emphasis on science, technical and vocational education so as to produce graduates that would be useful in the industries being established by government. The Udom administration will also provide instruction materials, textbooks, laboratory equipments and fittings, chemicals and regents to ensure quality education, and would award scholarships to deserving and exceptional students of Akwa Ibom origin in tertiary institutions across the state.
The significance of Governor Udom second term mandate would also be felt in the area of sports as governor Udom would complete the construction of the remaining nine sport centres in the other nine federal constituencies, he would inaugurate Akwa Ibom state football league to discover more talents, renovate and remodel the Uyo township stadium, construct modern day standard indoor sport hall in Uyo and expand the Akwa Ibom youth sports festival to accommodate more sporting events.
Furthermore, governor Udom second term mandate will have great significance in the area of youth development viz a viz the continual erection of new factories, cottage industries, deep seaport, jetty, and mechanized farming so as to create employment opportunities for thousands of Akwa Ibom youths. Other significance of the mandate will see to youth development for leadership and political inclusion, enrollment of youths in entrepreneurship schools for skill acquisition and empowerment among others.
The significance of Governor Udom second term mandate will tell of information management, economic and social inclusion of the people as activities would be consciously targeted at women, children, elderly, physical challenged and other socially disadvantaged persons through the enrollment of young school leavers in entrepreneurship schools for skill acquisition, empowerment and SME training, full implementation of the violence against person prohibition (VAPO) establishment of rehabilitation centre for victims of women/child abuse and the provision of grants to women cooperatives and organization, widows, destitute as well people living with HIV/AIDS.
The significance of Governor Udom second term mandate from 2019 to 2023 as listed above is that Akwa Ibom people would enjoy democratic leadership and purposeful governance resulting to insurmountable wealth and good life. One can therefore arrive at an irreversible conclusion that Akwa Ibom people made the right choice on March 9, 2019 when they freely gave Governor Udom Emmanuel another four years mandate.
_Dr. Tom FredFish is a public affairs analyst_