By Edidiong Udobia
In the build up to the 2015 elections, I wrote an article wherein I asked, “what will President Goodluck Jonathan tell Akwa Ibom people?”. The article was premise on the fact that after over 4 years, Akwa Ibom had nothing tangible to show for the overwhelming support she gave to the Goodluck Jonathan administration. So, in looking into a very near future, I wondered what exactly the then president will tell the people of Akwa Ibom when he comes to seek our support for his reelection. True to my fears, when he visited the state to campaign, Goodluck Jonathan admitted that he did not do anything for Akwa Ibom and pleaded for forgiveness.
History always has a way of repeating itself. I recalled that it was at the Nest of Champions that the former president was hosted during his reelection campaign in the state. Tomorrow, Friday, 28 December, 2018, President Buhari will be visiting the state to flag-off is reelection campaigns. Just like his predecessor, he will be hosted at the Nest of Champions. Again, I am curious to know what the president will tell the people of Akwa Ibom. He can’t tell us that he appointed an Akwa Ibom son as the chairman of NDDC, because under Goodluck Jonathan, an Akwa Ibom son also served as the NDDC chairman. Moreover, by arrangements, the current NDDC chairmanship is an exclusive right of Akwa Ibom; even though the whole state had to practically protest. The president can’t tell us that Akwa Ibom people are benefiting from N-Power because under Goodluck Jonathan, Akwa Ibom people benefited from Sure-P. Akwa Ibom people are already tired of hearing “federal appointment” that will end up benefiting only one family, so the president will be sensitive enough not to tell us about that either.
Tomorrow, Akwa Ibom people will love to hear the president mention some real imprints of his administration in the state. We will love to hear firsthand from the president how much his administration has done for the state in terms of infrastructure, agriculture, education, employment, poverty alleviation, rural development, etc. What physical landmark project in Akwa Ibom will the president lay claim of tomorrow? It will be rude for the president to solicit the support of Akwa Ibom people for his reelection without giving the people a valid reason to support him. At least, Goodluck Jonathan was brave enough to admit that he failed the state. Will President Buhari be that brave or will continue to toe the infamous path of churning out lies and nonexistent projects?
What exactly will President Buhari tell Akwa Ibom people, tomorrow?
Edidiong Udobia is a journalist and writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom state