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By Joseph Okon

The process to elect the next Governor in Akwa Ibom State who would succeed Mr Udom Emmanuel had long begun with consultation to groups and individuals by aspirants informing them of their intentions to contest for the number one seat in the state.

The outcome of these ambitions will solely be determined by the political parties at the first stage who would file candidates for different political parties for electorates to choose on the election day.

While the process of consultation is ongoing, there are agitations on which federal constituency is most suitable to produce the next Governor since it has been agreed that 2023 is the turn of Uyo Senatorial District. Another is the clamour for what some call a “homegrown” governor.

Permit me to say that in the political configuration of zoning in Akwa Ibom State, offices are more often than not zoned to people than places. It is when a person assumes the office that it will be counted that that area took its turn.

On the ongoing debate on which Federal Constituency in Uyo Senatorial District is more suitable to produce the next governor, permit me to say that it should not be about the federal constituency as a right, but who has what it takes to govern the state, pay salaries and undertake development projects with or without allocation from the federation account.

Akwa Ibom people must not sacrifice good governance on the altar of popularity or homegrown syndrome, but should base their choice on who has the requisite credentials (not in academic terms only) to govern at a time like this.

Between Itu/Ibiono and Etinan federal constituencies, none is more qualified than the other. The quality of aspirants they parade would determine who is more qualified than the other when the chips are down. Again, leaders are made for their own time: a governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2023 to 2027 will be very peculiar, different from conventional politicians. That is why in a time like this when allocation from the center cannot guarantee meaningful projects, who is that man or woman who has the capability to salvage the state?

Hence the trajectory of conversation regarding Akwa Ibom 2023 gubernatorial elections should center on the economic policies that would transform the state and create wealth for the people. It should be based on what the people can see with their eyes and feel with their hands.

The state needs a leader who would be able to set up businesses and manage successfully. A person who wouldn’t mortgage the destiny of Akwa Ibom and its people on selfish aggrandisements is a sine qua non for the 2023 governorship position.

Political and opinion leaders should carefully dissect the managerial ingenuity, competence, economic blueprints of aspirants, and not the deep pockets of aspirants seeking to govern the state. This will give them a clear direction on who should be followed.

While searching for that man or woman for this time and season, Akwa Ibom people must take a queue from other developed climes when faced with similar situations. The so called homegrown mentality should completely be jettisoned for the avalanche of broader and sophisticated perspective vis -a- vis the succession politics.

There are no data globally that affirm that it’s only when somebody stays for a certain number of years in a particular area that he or she can govern the place well. All these are confusions fused into the discussion by politicians to brainwash the gullible for their selfish political interest. The people must be vigilant and should not fall for this cheap gambit.

That is why in 1986, when China needed someone to salvage the country’s economic accounting system, they appointed Dr. Fengbo Zhang to head Chinese Macroeconomic Research, and he was someone who obtained his PhD overseas. This was not because they didn’t have “homegrown” economists in China, they chose their very best who was not even known much at home.

The research project led to China publishing their first GDP which utilized the World Bank’s method as a reference, and made numerous appropriate adjustments based on China’s national condition. The GDP also has been converted to USD based data by utilizing the moving average exchange rate. The research systematically completed China’s GDP and GDP per capita from 1952 to 1986 and analyzed growth rate which formed the Chinese economic model today.

In times like this, the kind of governor Akwa Ibom needs is that governor who has the requisite experience to build something out of nothing and the needed connection to link the state to investment opportunities globally, and grow the economy astronomically like Governor Emmanuel is doing today. Popularity and self aggrandizement is antithetical to good governance. The people must put away sentiments and emotions to be able to see better.

Akwa Ibom needs that person for governor who will able to sustain the record breaking legacy of peace in Akwa Ibom state. And who is willing to key into the peace maintenance movement of the state without considering any personal ambition. It won’t be possible to sustain the industrialization legacy of Governor Udom Emmanuel led government without peace. Hence Peace Maintenance Movement (PMM) becomes a panacea for continuous growth and progress.

It is important to note here that the 2023 governorship will neither be about popularity- where a person worked before nor how long one has been in Akwa Ibom. It’s about who has managed what before outside politics? What has such an individual established and grown successfully in a private capacity?

After answering these questions sincerely, the person that will take over from Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2023 will emerge clearly. That is why in God’s power game, he doesn’t give power as a right but by Grace to whoever He qualifies.

Put succinctly, Akwa Ibom needs someone with the Grace of God, just like Governor Udom Emmanuel who was neither the most popular nor a “homegrown” politician. He had answers to the economic problems and has successfully navigated the state out of a turbulent successive economic and health crises. Let the best hand have the job, and Akwa Ibom will be better for it.

God bless Akwa Ibom!

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NPFL BREAKING NEWS: LMC Order Dakkada to play Their Next Three Home Games In Benin, Club fined N3.5m



– Expels Etefia from NPFL for assault on Match official..

– Recommends Review of Match Officials performance.

After conclusion of preliminary investigation on the assault on an Assistant Referee, the League Management Company (LMC) has announced the immediate expulsion of Sunday Etefia, the Dakkada FC Assistant Coach.

The LMC also fined Dakkada FC a total sum of N3.5m and ordered to play their next three home matches at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin for breach of Rules B13.52 and C9 following the incidents of the MatchDay 4 fixture.

Also,Dakkada were ordered to pay the sum of N250,000 each to the Assistant Referee and General Manager of Remo Stars for medical expenses and may include any additional verifiable and authenticated medical costs.

While ordering Dakkada to play a minimum of three home matches at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, the LMC ruled that the club would only be permitted to return to its home stadium upon receipt of a satisfactory report or update on the formal report to the Police and prosecution of the official involved in the alleged assault. The prosecution must be authenticated by the LMC legal team and compliance unit.
[Via Adepoju Tobi Samuel]

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By Edet Ikotidem

A former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Arc ( Obong) Victor Attah has canvassed support for Governor Udom Emmanuel’s succession plan.

Obong Attah made the call in Uyo during an audience with members of the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum .

The ‘Eduek Ekpe’ who expressed interest in the Governor’s succession plan, expressed his concern about who becomes the next governor of Akwa Ibom State

“As a Governor, I could not have left the state the way i met it and the development of Akwa Ibom has been dear to my heart”, he said.

“Any person who wants to govern Akwa Ibom must tell the people what he wants to do and how he intends to go about it, he added”.

The former Governor called on Governor Emmanuel to dialogue with the people to guide against avoidable mistakes in the choice of a successor.

Obong Attah also noted that naming anyone now without the acceptance of the people may frustrate the process from being actualized.

He further stressed that the idea of a University of Technology in Akwa Ibom was to meet the technology needs of the state and nation at large for wealth creation and accelerated economic development.

“Any Science Park in the world is a centre for foreign exchange where millions of dollars are made through incubation of ideas and software production. So, the idea of a Science Park and the University of Technology should not be jettisoned “, he said.

In his remarks, , the former governor commended the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum for her initiatives and support for the government of Mr Udom Emmanuel and his succession plan

Reacting to the former Governor’s remarks, Chairman of the Forum, Elder Ofonimeh Isong appealed to Obong Attah not to relent in his support and assistance to Governor Emmanuel, especially in the choice of a successor.

He informed the former governor that the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum is in strategic partnership with relevant agencies to ensure the success of the completion agenda of His Excellency, the governor.

Those in the audience with Obong Attah were the Vice Chairman of the Forum and Publisher, Dailynews Newspaper, Prince. Emmanuel Ndon, Director, Contact and Mobilization, Mr. Victor Ukpong, Chairman Board of Trustees, Comrade Joseph Okon, Special Assistant to the State Governor on Project Monitoring, Comrade Ernest Akpan, Reverend Osendu Ahirika, Secretary Board of Trustees, Reverend Richard Peters.

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She stated further that the little girl was begging for alms under the pretence that the small boy is her younger brother and that their parents died in an accident in December 2020.

Out of compassion, the woman took both of them to her house in Sagamu in order to take care of the little boy’s deteriorating health condition.

But immediately the boy fully recovered, the suspect wanted to single-handedly take the boy to Imo state. This aroused the woman’s suspicion, hence her report.

Upon the report, the Dpo Sagamu division, CSP okiki Agunbiade detailed his detectives to go and bring the girl and the little boy.

On interrogation, the girl confessed that she was a maid to the mother of the little boy, and that she left with the boy since on the 19th of December 2021, with the intention of taking the boy to Amraku Umorsu in Isiala/Mberna local government area of Imo state.

She stated further that, she took the baby from the church during Sunday school period, and since the Sunday school teacher knows her with the baby’s mother, she had no problem releasing the baby to her.

She explained further that she decided to beg for alms in order to raise transport fare to Imo state. ” Oyeyemi said.

The police spokesperson added that the Commissioner of police CP Lanre Bankole ordered that the baby’s parents be contacted, while the case be forwarded to Lagos state command whose jurisdiction the crime was committed.

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