Governor Udom Emmanuel: Failed promises or Deception? the case of Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.
Lucian Pye, an American political scientist, defined political culture as “the composite of basic values, feelings, and knowledge that underlie the political process. Hence, the building blocks of political culture are the beliefs, opinions, and emotions of the citizens toward their form of government” Which means, it is a set of attitudes, beliefs and sentiments, which give order and meaning to a political process, as well as provide the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behaviour in the political system.
In recent times, the political atmosphere in Akwa Ibom State is indicative of a palpable hunger for good governance.
The search and desire for a leadership that will not confine promises to dust bin or worst still, the dump site at Uyo Village Road, after Elections.
That reminds me, one can’t imagine a high ranking member of Executive government, in the position of Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State (SSG), leading top government functionaries, together with the Press to Uyo Village Road dump site.
And at the site, condemned the waste management approach, which has blocked that road. SSG gave 48 hours order, or promise that the road would be cleared of refuse. But weeks after, and as this paper is going to bed, the situation of Waste Management, at that dump site, is worse than it were before the SSG’S order.
What is supposed to be the underlying assumptions of citizenry towards government’s order or promises? It would have been better for government to avoid such drama, or eye service, and appear docile, on the matter as it were for years.
The SSG’S order and outcome in that regard, does not reflect expectations of leadership that ought not dash invested hopes in the State Government’s promises towards the aspirations of its people.
Anyway, dear readers, pardon my digression. Back to the real issues.
Akwa Ibomites are wishing for a government that is competent, knowledgeable, to convert intentions to laudable programmes for the people.
This is empirical.
For instance, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State is the conscience of Akwa Ibom State and the entire citizens of Akwa Ibom State. Or he ought to be. Would His Excellency, sit back and watch his government functionaries, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, etc, blow the trust, which the citizens place on him to the winds by the political choices he makes since 2015?
By the Governor’s conscience, together with the State EXCO, have they run a strategic session to review campaign promises of 2015 and 2019? Especially, regarding Nsit Ibom Local Goverment Area, which none significant government’s presence has been initiated through succeeding governments, since the birth of current democracy in 1999.
Nsit Ibom lives matter most now than loyalty to an individual or any political party. Succeeding governments have serially ignored Nsit Ibom since 1999. Nsit Ibom citizens should use their voters card wisely, by voting individuals who would remember campaign promises, and have the political will to bring development, government’s presence in terms of significant industrial projects and/or infrastructure to Nsit Ibom.
There are some persons, supporting certain candidates, whenever they hear “vote wisely” “vote individuals” “vote competence” they immediately would think you are talking against their candidates. Nay, 2023 is the time to vote Nsit Ibom interest. Vote a government that would recognise the needs of Nsit Ibom.
Current administration in Akwa Ibom State had made campaign promises to Nsit Ibom in 2015 and 2019 Elections. However, in the twilight of this administration, one wonders if those were Promises or Deceptions to win Election in Nsit Ibom. Promises here is defined as “a declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen.” Whereas Deception is defined here as “an untrue falsehood, or is the act of lying to or tricking someone. An example of deception is when you tell someone you are 30 when really you are 40.” God forbid that His Excellency, deceived Nsit Ibom Local Goverment Area and its citizens. So where, or when are the campaign promises?
Can it be Failed Promises? Which is also defined here as “To renege is to go back on your word or fail to keep a promise. Not quite lying, reneging is more a sin of omission — failing to do what you said you would. The Latin negāre means “to deny,” so by reneging on your word, you are denying someone whatever you promised them.” If so, what is/are the reasons His Excellency would fail on his Promises? Nsit Ibom people, even Akwa Ibom people, deserve to know why our Leadership, would so widely keep Failed Promises.
His Excellency had promised to site a Cottage Hospital in Nsit Ibom before the end of his first term. Also, the reconstruction of Nung Udoe- Afaha Offiong Road, which he promised his late campaign DG, Late Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, to be built before the end of his second term in office. None of these have seen the light of day, till date.
The need for a Cottage Hospital in Nsit Ibom, cannot be overemphasised, given that there is no secondary health care service in the entire Nsit Ibom Local Goverment Area. Hence, if the life of Nsit Ibom people matters to this State Administration, then provision of, at least one, cottage hospital would have been the minimum health facility to build for vast Nsit Ibom area, given the population of people living in Nsit Ibom. Not to talk of a situation whereby none exists against the Executive Governor’s promise.
Currently, Nsit Ibom residents are in dire need for the construction of Ikot Akpan Abia, Ikot Iko, Obo Ntong, Obo Etok road that terminates at Oboyo Ikot Ita which appears as an abandoned project of this administration. The contractors had since moved their equipments and personnel out of site; leaving the road not motorable, causing transportation difficulties, with so much pains to the road users.
This has affected commercial activities in the area with untold hardship on the people; considering the number of markets, farmlands, schools, etc, that are located along that road with significant traffic, as well as joining feeder roads in the area.
Also, considering that the number of people living there and going to work at Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat, and other places of work, are increasing everyday.
To think that this stretch of road links 35 communities, and is the shortest route from Nsit Ibom Local Goverment headquarters to Uyo, and houses facilities such as Primary Schools in Oboyo Ikot Ita, Obo Atai, Ikot Obok/ Obo Etok, as well as Secondary Schools in Oboyo Ikot Ita, Obo Atai and Obontong.
Even Niger Delta Housing Estate in Oboyo Ikot Ita, as well as markets in Oboyo Ikot Ita, Mbiakot, Ikot Obok/ Obo Etok are all linked by this deplorable road, with the attendant traffic of goods and services, especially, farm produce, such as palm oil and kernel, cassava, vegetables and fruits, plantains, yams and cocoyam, coconut, etc, which are the main economic stir of the people can not be so ignored.
Apart from easy access for residents and visitors to the area, the economic and social benefits of that road construction would have improved commercial activities of the area and beyond, in several ways.
Government is already aware of these facts, especially, relevant bodies of government that could have used that economic decision to improve on their service delivery to Akwa Ibom State. However, government seem to have deliberately neglected Nsit Ibom.
Hence, the road construction only started and stopped at the stage of PROMISE or “start and abandon”, as it appears in the case of construction of just a 12km – Ikot Akpan Abia, Ikot Iko, Obo Ntong, Obo Etok Road in Nsit Ibom.
His Excellency, together with his EXCO team, owe Akwa Ibom people explanations regarding the gap between current government’s campaign promises and fulfilling the Promises. We shouldn’t hear that the explanation is that Akwa Ibom State is Land of Promise. The Promised Land was meant to be filled with milk and honey. Nsit Ibom is asking for the milk and honey, not Promise.
The ‘promises’ gap appears to be making the government uneasy, and perhaps, it seems the government is now adopting a fire service approach in responding to questions on Failed Promises.
A thorough needs assessment should be done in the light of available resources, such that government can channel available resources to areas of highest needs of most relevant infrastructure.
If done, government may realise the need to construct Ikot Akpan Abia, Ikot Iko, Obo Ntong, Obo Etok Road, urgently. Government should not appear to be reactionary, hasty, or impulsive in making infrastructure decisions.
For instance, when news spread that a certain road in His Excellency’s Local Government Area, infact that road passes through his local government council headquarters, has been allegedly abandoned. Equipments and workers moved to the road, immediately, then the zeal died. Work slowed to a stop again.
That road is yet to be completed. It appears abandoned. Also, Ikot Okoro Road, in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, Her Excellency’s Local Government, etc. Again, the recent ground breaking ceremony for a General Hospital at Ibiono, appears reactionary, and raises questions from citizens, if that Hospital building would even be raised, not to talk of completion within the tenure of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Many pundits on social media insinuate that it was only done as a political jamboree. Government should not act in ways to raise such perception.
Government should rise to the occasion, and make citizens feel the presence of government, such that citizens would not completely become disillusioned about His Excellency’s Promises.
As is the case of Nsit Ibom people and residents of Nsit Ibom, who are wondering if construction of Ikot Akpan Abia, Ikot Iko, Obo Ntong, Obo Etok, Oboyo Ikot Ita Road and, at least, a Cottage Hospital are Failed Promises or Deceptions?