It is common in social parlance to warn people against being the figure that makes everyone happy, since they are not jollof rice. This may describe the general feelings of the moment, as the state have been widely polarized along the feeling of joy, fear and apprehension at the release of the much anticipated list of members of the State Executive Council.
The list is out, and true to human’s insatiable nature, in agreement with Harry Song’s “even your boo has a boo” track, there has been widespread speculation as to how the Governor may have come by some names. Expectedly, even the most qualified of men amongst our ranks would never scale through a nomination as sensitive as this, without some form of suspicion.
Truth be told; Governor Udom Emmanuel in his ingenious disposition has put forth the best men to be assigned roles in the next beat of fulfilling the all too-known-5-points agenda mandate of government, which has been on a steady course since he assumed in May 29, 2015. A true testimony to his promise of ensuring the protection of all shades of opinion and in affirmation with his economic and political inclusion agenda.
It behooves on these men to live to the bidding of the trust and confidence reposed in them by the governor who has defied every political permutation in his choice of men, to bring some very fresh and not- so regular names, to assist in driving the divine mandate wheels of his administration to its expected harbour.
While a few names were touted to possibly return, Governor Udom Emmanuel has put forth himself as a man of his own mind, by the number of surprises that have greeted the list of the new men on the block. This is enough to proof that indices of political correctness may not have been the main consideration, but capacity, track record and the need to bring all hands on deck.
There have been some very consummate professionals in the list, and understandably, no government will totally abdicate executive council role to non-professionals, since government cannot afford the cost of outsourcing consultants for every programme and policy, hence the need for professionals who can better interpret her agenda. There are also some not-too-known names on the list, a testimony that the governor in his choice of men have bridged social and status gap to allow every segment of the society a place in his administration.
Thanks to the men who have given their best in the service of our state, it would have been more embarrassing had they turned down the role of serving when the call to serve came knocking their doors. More respectful is the fact they have served their engagements at the various ministries as Commissioners and Special Advisers; achieving tremendous and commendable feats that will receive them into the hall of fame as true heroes of the rise our state has assumed.
As past members of the state executive council bows out, it is instructive that the society remembers their passionate roles in the making of the Akwa Ibom we can today be proud of, by building a sustainable, progressive and peace driven society, where their endeavours as heroes past would be acquitted of mediocrity, even as some of them prepare for higher roles and assignments.
As true leaders in the thinking of John Maxwell who averred that “a leader in one who knows the way, shows the way, goes the way and leads the way” it is expected that the past executive council members in the state as leaders in their respective rights, would not hesitate to lead, show and go the way with their successors in the making of a virile Akwa Ibom.
Apart from returnees who made the list, it may be hasty to conclude on the strengths and weaknesses of the new names in the block, as it may amount to judging a book by its cover, but it would be needful to remind them of the task that lie ahead of them, trusting that a failure on this assignment may make a fluke of their previous breakthroughs.
It is no yet time for party, but a moment to sit back, breath deep and keep their heads above the water in the consciousness of the daunting task of delivering the governor’s mandate and the peoples’ expectations. It is no time to fail, as a failure would not only rubbish their reputation, but would be seen as a fatal setback for the state.
The new comers need not only succeed where others failed but they have to evolve ways of succeeding where their predecessors succeeded, as at last count so much was achieved to keep the state on the heights of acclaim; politically, socially, economically and otherwise, but a lot more need to be done, if they must be seen as a people deserving to share their predecessor’s hall of fame, or the higher responsibilities which brilliant performance may blow their way.
Some returnees may be touted to have made the list by dint of hardwork, while for others, their return could be viewed as sheer luck, to the former, it may be needful to double their efforts to proof their past breakthroughs were never stage managed. For the later, it is time to up the ante of their games, get more involved with delivering on their mandates and make their second chance count as an outing the people can be grateful for, they cannot afford to give excuses anymore.
So much has been done to strengthen the foundation upon which this administration hopes to build with, advancing the course of progress in the delivery of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s much anticipated industrialization, citizen’s empowerment, wealth creation and infrastructural consolidation. Going forward will require a holistic and total commitment, so much that this new team be reminded that sleep for them is over.
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly may be viewed from the same glasses others were adjudged with, because they are still twenty-six in number and politicians from different parts of the state, with diverse interests and caste, who were not taken more serious than the end of a plenary. All that is long gone with the ages of unaccountable leadership, as the current state assembly have re-invented a new order in citizens-based legislation.
Undoubtedly, the process of screening the new appointees will be thorough, such that they must be ready to give a good and convincing account of themselves, especially with the vigor with which the Onofiok Luke’s led sixth assembly is determined to enshrine credibility and totally dislodge mediocrity from governance; a move that is widely viewed from a system cleansing perspective, aimed at returning power to the people and strengthening of institutions.
It will be business unusual, at the House of Assembly, the take a bow and leave practice would have lost its place to a new modus, where both Governor Emmanuel, the appointees, the Assembly and the people would be assured, we have not been plunged into test running a flight with passengers on board.
When all these is achieved, proudly, Akwa Ibomites would beam with smiles and satisfaction that the labours of our heroes past has not been in vain, while the future will in ways than few be assured to be glorious and inviting.
I pray them a smooth sail hoping the ingredients on the list, would make for Akwa Ibom a delicious broth.
Samuel Ayara write from Ibong Otoro in Abak Local Government Area.