A Message Of Congratulations And A Word Of Advice

Your Excellency, may I start by congratulating you on being elected as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State for a second term.

My congratulations would be short of elaborate for two reasons:

1. You’ve been on the seat before so you wouldn’t be TOO excited about it.

2. You and I know what went down which should call more for sober reflections.

That said, may I most respectfully appeal that the understated pieces of advice be taken strictly as the concerns and deep pain of a strategic stakeholder.

1. General Attitude

The Governor is a servant of the people and as such must comport himself in a manner which depicts utmost respect for the people, and concern for their feelings.

Akwa Ibom is a vital part of the nation, Nigeria, which is now considered the poverty capital of the world. The rate at which the electorate struggled for N1000 to sell their votes (which is common knowledge), should move any governor (being the custodian of their common wealth), to become extremely sober, more so in victory celebration and in general lifestyle.

You may therefore wish to consider the propriety or otherwise of the private jet available to you, large convoys, excessive official travels, and general expenses of government.

2. I do not know to what extent you are aware of the dynamics of the second tenure of a governor in Akwa Ibom State. I have seen it play out, not once or twice, but thrice now with your emergence as a second-term governor.

There are some peculiarities about the second term which are important to note because the second term usually runs faster, and the people ‘fear’ you much less.

During the first tenure, the fear of your returning for a possible second term keeps them in check, but the second tenure is characterized with succession battles and antics. Investors and contractors would be less enthusiastic and more reserved. Also, deals may be much harder to strike for obvious reasons as any business which can’t be consummated within a two-year period may have to stall till your successor assumes office.

The civil servants are masters at “Managing The Boss” (MTB). You will be engaged in breath-taking activities. It only dawns on you after leaving office that the bulk of those activities were unproductive and were masterly-planned to distract.

Consequently, you may have to consider some projects like:

a) The Ibom Airline:

What would be the airline’s status in two years relative to what would be the uncertain disposition of your successor? A project well-conceived at a challenging time is as good as a bad project. You must therefore hit the ground running like yesterday so as to take the project to a cruise level soonest.

b) The 25-storey building:

Who are the envisaged occupants? How do you address their concerns with respect to the attitude of your successor if it is purpose-built?

As you can see, even before being sworn in, the succession battle has commenced. This is the sad reality of our politics. You may, therefore, wish to concentrate your energy on getting your current projects as earlier stated, to a cruise level where autopilot can be activated.

3. All-inclusiveness

There are specific stakeholders that are like Paramount Rulers. These strategic stakeholders can hold the fort to ensure important legacy projects are not abandoned long after you leave office. One of such ‘paramount rulers’ is Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah. I, therefore, kindly advise that you carefully sieve through and differentiate between ‘big’ politicians that do not enjoy the respect of the people, and elders for whom the people have great respect as voices of reason and wisdom.

Go across party lines and be more of an Akwa Ibom Governor operating on the principle of inclusiveness, than a PDP governor. Long gone are the days when your party and Akwa Ibom state were almost synonymous.

4. Appointments:

I will be glad to campaign and appeal that politicians (your party men) allow you the liberty of choosing your finishing team. Besides excellence as prime recruiting criteria, it will be wise and expedient to have a handshake across the party lines.

Placate your party by giving them due consideration in other rewards but let fit-for-purpose, rather than party reward, be your basis for appointments. With these, you will be guaranteed to finish strong.

4. Political/Governance Ideology:

There is nothing new under the sun. It takes a bold and confident leader to add to his knowledge a good idea from another. I, therefore, ask that you take a good look at the twin ideologies of Social Governance and Responsibility Transfer To The Youths that I have preached and be the leader that activated the implementation.

Many good ideas abound where the implementors, as against the originators, were hailed by the people. On a personal basis, I will withhold no information from you in this regard – especially if requested.

5. Unity And The Church.

I am really concerned about the negative effects that PARTY SPIRIT has come to wreak in our state. The bond of friendship and brotherhood that existed between us has been completely replaced with party affiliation. Unfortunately, this ugly trend has been brought into the CHURCH where you now have PDP and APC-supporting church Leaders.

Let me state emphatically and categorically that the good future and destiny of this state is tied to GOD, and that no governor will see an eventual good end who takes advantage of the church for personal gain, exploiting their vulnerability. We may have temporary success and seem to get away with it today, BUT, something awaits in the future. Please be guided and discerning for sustainable success. My humble opinion: beyond political expediency, let the FEAR OF GOD guide your actions, with LOVE and UNITY as your guiding principles.

My personal disposition is that your success would be for the better future of Akwa Ibom people, while any failure would be a capital loss to our people, for the simple reason that the resources you are managing are not personal, but belong to the people.

I, therefore, use this opportunity, not only to give you the above opinion with all good conscience, but to call on all our fellow CANDIDATES in the just concluded Guber race, to see the reality of the fact that elections have come and gone. If we were sincere that our prime intention for contesting was to see to a better future of our dear state, then the time has come for us to be true patriots by joining hands with you to build a prosperous state, awaiting the next elections cycle.

Once again, Congratulations and I wish you God’s speed.

Arc.(Otuekong) Nya-Etok Ezekiel.

Strategic Stakeholder of the Akwa Ibom Project, and

AKS2019 GovernorshipCandidate

YDP (Young Democratic Party).