Authored by- Solomon Johnny
A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Solomon Johnny says Governor Udom Emmanuel’s appointment of two Commissioners from Uyo Local Government Area of the state is an adulterated version of APC manifestoes and campaign promises which has been with the state since 2011 when Sen John Udoedehe, now national Caretaker Secretary of APC campaigned to be elected governor of Akwa Ibom State under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria which metamorphosed into the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Solomon Johnny who is a member of APC Publicity Committee and a 2019 House of Assembly aspirants wants the governor to copy well the party’s Special Development Area Plan as what is the best way to satisfy the developmental need of Uyo as a Local government hosting the entire State in particular as contained in the party manifestoes is not appointing two underfunded Commissioners which can be changed at any time, but to create a separate Ministry in the similitude of FCT Ministry with a Commissioner and reasonable yearly budget to gather for the developmental needs of the State Capital in particular, Ibesikpo Asutan, Uruan and Nsit Attai which form Uyo Federal Constituency.
Recall that in a minor cabinet shakeup on Monday, Governor Udom Emmanuel had created a new ministry of Petroleum resources and appointed Hon John James Umoh as Commissioner in the new ministry. Hon James Umoh hails from Offot Clan in Uyo Local Government Area. His appointment makes Uyo Local Government area to occupy two seats in the State Executive Council. The appointment, contrary to expectations of the governor, has generated heat across the state as the governor has been unable to justify and rationalise giving Uyo two seats in the state exco when some local governments can’t boast of one. At the home front, the state capital sharply divided given that both Hon James and Charles Udoh, Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources are from the same clan in the Local Government Area. From all count, it seems the governor has missed the point.
In a Facebook post tagged: “Gov Udom Emmanuel vs APC Manifestoes of Special Development Area Plan”, Mr Johnny, a Journalist and publisher, wants the governor to convert Uyo Capital City Development Authority, UCCDA to a full fledge Ministry to cater for the developmental needs of the State Capital in particular and Uyo Federal Constituency in general as well as create an Oil Bearing Community Development Authority to address the devastation and rots in Oil bearing Communities of Oron Federal Constituency and Eket Senatorial District in general. He said both Sen John Udoedehe, Obong Umana Okon Umana, Obong Nsima Ekere, gubernatorial candidates of APC in 2011, 2015 and 2019 respectively have articulated this points such that should be easy to implement by the Governor.
Johnny said in the post: “It is an Uyo man that will know what to do for Uyo Local Government area and by extension, Uyo Federal Constituency which is the vote basket of Akwa Ibom State.
“Giving Uyo two slots in the state Executive Council cannot solve the infrastructural and developmental problems of Uyo, the State Capital as well as other areas in Akwa Ibom State like some neglected oil producing areas in Eket Senatorial District that needs special attention. But then, we should thank his Excellency, Gov Udom Emmanuel for recognising that Uyo needs that special attention. We have been saying so and that is why we have been saying that in 2023, Uyo shall be for Uyo.
“What plan do we in the APC have that is better than the political stunt threw by Governor Udom Emmanuel in appointing two Commissioners from Uyo Local Government Area yesterday? From our APC/John Udoedehe point of view, we hold that some areas in Akwa Ibom State (not only Uyo though that’s very peculiar) needs special attention by the State Government.
“For Uyo in particular, we believe that the best way to develop the state capital is to turn Uyo Capital City Development Commission into a full fledge ministry with a reasonable yearly budget and a Commissioner is appointed to it with the mandate to open up and expand Uyo with development. This makes it permanent and problem solving because Uyo people may provoke the governor tomorrow and he decides to appoint somebody from anywhere to take over the newly created Ministry of Petroleum now being occupied by an Uyo commissioner.
“What then becomes of Uyo Capital City Development Authority when a Ministry is created to carry out her role? The authority, under our plan will be converted to “Oil Producing Area Development Authority” with with a special percentage of monthly allocation dedicated to it for the development of oil bearing communities in Oron Federal Constituency/ Eket Senatorial District. One needs to watch a documentary show decayed infrastructure in Oron Federal Constituency for instance sponsored by Robinson Uwak then member representing Oron Federal Constituency in the National Assembly to appreciate this point.
“Relying on our understanding of the landscape of Akwa Ibom State, Uyo and Oron Federal Constituencies need this special attention and we have earlier campaigned with this promise. Thus, what His Excellency, Gov Udom Emmanuel has done in giving Uyo two Commissioners in the state exco without considering the feelings of our brothers in the neglected oil bearing communities, is an adultrated version of APC Special Area Development Plan captured in Senator John Udoedehe-2011, Obong Umana Okon Umana- 2015 and Obong Nsima Ekere- 2019 gubernatorial manifestoes.
“The action is an acknowledgement of our earlier campaigns that there are areas that have need of special attention and if His Excellency needs to implement it, it should be to the fullest and accrording to specification. The governor so far, has betrayed himself as lacking the courage to once and for all, set the Justice and equity landmarks in terms of development because it was never his plan to so do.
“While waiting for 2023 to meet and negotiate a change of regime from the PDP to the APC to effectively implement the above plan, I sympathize with Gov Udom Emmanuel and his Senatorial District especially the deprived and neglected oil producing regions of that part of our state. The governor does not have any sense of justice and fairness in the way he allocates the resources of the state. Somebody somewhere wrote: “Uyo LG has 2 Commissioners while the 5 LGs of Oro Nation continues to retain 2 lack lustre commissioners overseeing nearly moribund Ministries of Culture and Transport. I am not an ethnic begot oh! I am just pondering over the rationale for such lopsidedness.”
If His Excellency needed to implement the 2011, 2015 and 2019 Special Area Development Plan of the APC differently, he needed to do it holistically so that no area with special development needs will feel neglected.
“In the final analysis, if it is not Panadol, it cannot act like Panadol. PDP is not about development and has lost every idea about how to develop Akwa Ibom State. Clearly, the party, in the last 22 years of running Akwa Ibom State, does not have any well thought out development road map that can satisfy the peculiar needs of each of the areas in the state. That’s why Governor Udom Emmanuel, the party’s 2015-2023 political blunder is acting impromptu in what should be schematic and strategic development plan and talking careless, reckless extempore that even mocks his intellect, the capacity and integrity of his State Executive Council. This is where APC in Akwa Ibom State is different! Everything development (for instance) has been properly captured and well articulated by successive gubernatorial candidates of the party in the way and manner the party would have followed her policy statements through in all successive governments. At the moment of our political discuss, an APC governor will only need a team to interpret and implement the party manifesto and in a stretch of eight years, the party would have dwarfed PDP 24 locust years in the state because there is a master plan that is guiding the government in every aspect.”