Inoyo’s New Renaissance Message and the Scramblers
As the 2023 general elections draw closer, PDP gubernatorial aspirants in Akwa Ibom have started intensive mobilization by consulting widely to facilitate their chances of clenching victory at the primaries and eventually emerging as the flag bearer of the party in the State. Various groups and structures are being set up daily across the State that hold allegiance to some aspirants. There is even a pro-government House group known as Maintain Peace Movement (MPM) widely believed to be governor Udom’s structure specifically designed to drive a swarm invasion and ultimate pollical capture of the entire Akwa Ibom at the appropriate time. Some aspirants presently are even rumoured to have started enrolling some prospective delegates on their monthly payroll after securing sworn commitments from them to remain in their camps to vote for them during the primaries.
While the desperate scrambling for delegates and construction of structures by other aspirants continue, Udom Inoyo seems to be doing things differently. He is simply talking to people and flying a new renaissance flag conveying a message of mental rebirth at various events in the state. The new renaissance message which focuses on producing a new movement in Akwa Ibom that emphasizes the importance of creating citizens who can excel in their various fields of endeavor and return to give back to their communities seems to be enjoying a huge buy- in by the public. Many elites, youth groups, professionals and citizens within the vibrant generational age bracket are getting persuaded by the message. Some political pundits are shocked by the favourable public opinion surge Inoyo is enjoying despite his somewhat unorthodox self-marketing technique.
A friend of mine called me last week from Uyo and sought to know why Udom Inoyo was busy going about giving keynote addresses and public lectures to students, youth bodies and professionals when his fellow governorship aspirants were busy gathering prospective delegates and even paying monthly stipends to some of them. I laughed, and went on to tell him that what Inoyo is doing is all about the new renaissance and the mental rebirth movement he is building which can only be achieved by educating the core middle class elites in our society. The elites are probably the target of his message for now, because he believes that every elite owns a street he can take the message and broadcast across to soak into the minds of his followers. I went further to tell my friend that the way I perceive Mr Inoyo is that he seems to be preoccupied with how to design and build a future devoid of fears or false hope for the current and future generations of Akwa Ibom people. At this point we ended the phone conversation and my friend was persuaded also.
I have listened to Inoyo speak lately on a host of issues and witnessed the passion he evokes in his message of mental rebirth in Akwa Ibom. The message resonates with my perspective of the true path to the ultimate greatness of our State. I have also discovered that Inoyo is one man who is a consistent practitioner of whatever he preaches.
As an individual, I have openly stated severally that the type of leader Akwa Ibom needs in 2023 is “a man with a consistent past, coherent present and clear vision of the future as governor, not someone with an ignoble past, confused present and a blurred vision of the future”. The other day, I also expressed my thought further in a well-publicized postcard message by stating that for our state to prosper, “come 2023, we need a proven administrator, policy wonk and innovative minded person as governor not another insatiable money grabbing kleptomaniac or power drunk megalomaniac”. I have been applauded by many for taking this position and pelted with insults by a few for daring to call a spade a spade.
For Akwa Ibom to fulfill its full potentials, I believe that what it needs is a governor in the mould and mind set of the Asian tigers like Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore or Park Chung-hee of South Korea who transformed their respective countries from struggling third world nations to first world economies.
Singapore shares a lot of similarities with Akwa Ibom. It has a population of 5.7 million people with a land area of 728 kilometers square, while Akwa Ibom population is estimated at 5.4 million people with a total land area of 7,081-kilometer square. While Singapore is located in south east Asia with boundary with the Indian Ocean, Akwa Ibom shares its maritime boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. But the unique thing about Singapore is that Lee Kuan Yew through his new renaissance mind set in the 1960s saw great potentials in country that was cynically described as a mere mud land by frigid thinkers and transformed it into one of the leading cosmopolitan manufacturing economies of today with high GDP and a vibrant middle class.
The Asian Tigers new renaissance vision that transformed Singapore and other Asian nations seems to be the empire of the future Inoyo is trying to create in the minds of Akwa Ibom people. He talks less about his desire to be governor or the next election, but focuses more on building a secured future generation. This strategy though strange to believers in conventional political playbook, seems to resonates better with the youths, elites and professionals who have listened to him and embraced the big picture of the future with him.
During the SUG dinner night of the university of Uyo held recently, Inoyo talked to the students in a keynote address that sounded more like a passionate fatherly conversation with his children. The students were made to understand that life is an occasion everyone must rise to and fulfill his full potentials. He gave them a more fitting final parting word that night when he said “yours is a generation like no other, audacious, and blessed with technological advancement. But while the authorities must play their part in providing the enabling environment for you to excel, the actualization of your dreams is squarely in your hands. Going forward, you must end any romance with those who have over time mortgaged your future. And you know them. You must eschew any affiliation with groups that do not advance the common good and you must flee from illicit drugs. While in school, you must take out from school the basic ingredients you would require to survive, succeed and excel in the workplaces which the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century provide”
Inoyo by his training and background understand that the 18th century industrial revolution that ushered in the modern era in the world marked by several inventions in Europe was preceded by the renaissance era that prepared the stage for it. Through mental rebirth occasioned by the 17th century renaissance era, the 18th century European man emerged to gain better understanding of what the ancient Greek philosopher, Protagoras really meant when he said that “man is the measure of all things”.
The renaissance man in Europe came to understand that humans were created to uphold what comes to them, recreate a better society and be responsible for the stability and order of the world. That mental rebirth of that era opened the channels of the informed minds to discover their limitless potentials and great possibilities embedded in them. The result was the birth of the age of great inventions which occurred during the industrial revolution and thereafter.
Speaking to members of the Nigerian society of Engineers (NSE) recently and thereafter at the Nigerian Union of Journalists Congress, Inoyo centralized his message on how they can use their professional skills to recreate a new, peaceful and prosperous Akwa Ibom of our dream.
As an accomplished technocrat and skillful administrators to seek the office of governor come 2023, Inoyo has truck loads of experience and international connections to bring to the table. His past is not only consistent and his present coherent, he stands out also as someone with a clear vision of the future.
But as time keeps ticking and Inoyo continues to drive his new renaissance gospel of mental rebirth, while the other aspirants keep scrambling for delegates, pundits are watching to see who will emerge as winner in the unfolding epic battle between the New Renaissance and the Scramblers.
But as it stands presently, Inoyo looks like the marquee player in the market that Akwa Ibom may sign up in 2023 given the current psychology and mood of the State. The people want a governor in his mould that will promote industrialization, maintain peace, create wealth and avoid policy somersault not a person that will return the state to the gory days of cultism, violence, human butchery, treasure looting and wasteful spending.