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Date Published: 07/15/10

The Mathematics of Jonathan's visit to Akwa Ibom... By Essien Ndueso

 Mathematics is interesting. Many love it, others hate it. They feel they can’t live with it. Yet, they can’t live without it. To them, anything goes, provided it is listed in the options. Mere listing! But good mathematicians show working. Good Leaders are like good mathematicians; they show working.
 Thursday 15th – Friday 16th July, 2010, will provide the government of Akwa Ibom State, under the leadership of Dr Godswill Akpabio to show working to President Goodluck Jonathan as he comes visiting. Call it home coming!
 Yes, from the facilities and realities at the Ibom International Airport to the flyovers, the e-library complex, road projects, ultra modern governor’s lodge, hospitals to Ibom Power Plant and other projects, Nigeria will believe Akwa Ibom.
 Perhaps, the visitors’ first joy shall be that rather than their aircraft touching down at Calabar, Cross River State, to start shuttling down to Uyo, as it was hitherto the case, the president and his entourage will ‘land’ in Uyo direct because today, courtesy of a government that approaches development with enthusiasm, Akwa Ibom now has one of the best airport in Nigeria.
 Another ‘shock’ shall be that President Jonathan, so far, has shown Nigerians that he cannot compromise the energy sector. When he swore-in his Special Adviser on Energy, Prof. Barth Nnaji, recently, he (Jonathan) wondered why Nigeria had enough water and gas yet, cannot generate enough power for its citizenry.
  Thus, coming to see and formally switch on Ibom Power Plant, what else would we expect of him rather than seeing Governor Akpabio as a partner in progress. Hence, if the Akwa Ibom approach to energy or power is replicated across Nigeria, the President’s wish for the people would have been achieved, with joy. Be that as it may, Akpabio shares Jonathan’s sentiment in the power sector.
 The President will also note one thing - equity in the distribution of the projects on ground. Politically, Akwa Ibom, like every other State in Nigeria, is divided into three Senatorial Districts. It is made up of Uyo, Ikot Ekpene and Eket Senatorial Districts. And government’s presence, as Jonathan would come to see, is felt with that consciousness. Is it the hospitals or roads? All parts of the State are well carried along. Itu, Ibiono, Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Essien Udim, Etim Ekpo, Ika, Eket, Ibeno or Ikot Abasi are living testimonies, cutting across the three senatorial districts. Same goes to the international airport, e-library, industrial city and imposing flyovers, with Uyo, the State capital taking its deserved chunk.
 President Jonathan would also commission textbooks for the state’s free and compulsory education programme, as well as the e-library. Granted that all other projects are as equally good and impactful, the Akpabio administration’s disposition toward educational development in the State could perfectly be likened to the foresight of the late Awolowo to the then Western Nigeria, of which they are still reaping the fruits till date.
 Evidently, there is virtually nothing Akpabio has not done to put education on the front burner of his administration. He did not just proclaim free and compulsory education. New teachers were recruited, subventions given to schools, renovation of schools also came up, and everything that could enhance that programme was taken seriously, and it has been worth it.
 This section of mathematics of governance is show working. Let those who doubted see, and those who may learn a thing or two get the opportunity. The charismatic mien and experiential candour in Akpabio’s leadership is unprecedented. Even the health sector has never had it this good since the creation of Akwa Ibom.
 Today, pregnant women the aged and children not more than five years of age, receive medical attention free. Yet, they don’t have to converge and queue for this. Why? Because medical institutions are ubiquitous in Akwa Ibom, at least, each local government area can boast of one. Those without general hospitals have now been given cottage hospitals, some of which President Jonathan may be commissioning.
 A healthy government with healthy programmes! So many things point to the fact that the Governor and the President think alike. How? In the quest to better the condition of Civil Servants in the State, Governor Akpabio has introduced and maintained the payment of a 13th month salary to workers in the state at the end of every year. To Akpabio, there is no justification whatsoever why those who are the hub of government administration in his State should not be made to smile. And they have been smiling with thanks. That is how Akwa Ibom is working. And it is the best to show good working. Seeing and touching are believing.
 Akpabio means development. All communities in present Akwa Ibom are motorable with standard roads. Even areas where roads where last constructed during the colonial era, now have two-lane roads even to their farms. There is no need to mention electrification and water projects since it is everywhere in the state. Otherwise, where would one start or end? 
 Whatever angle one looks at it, Governor Akpabio’s ascension to power in Akwa Ibom in 2007 was God’s life line to the State. And life is bubbling today because a determined, detribalized, digitalized Nigerian was given a mandate. Little wonder the people of the State have already renewed that mandate come 2011.
 The people say they are giving back the mandate to Akpabio for all the good things he has done in the State. They say to show gratitude is to honour God for giving them such a timely leader whose development and approach is phenomenal. Since he came on board, it has been commissioning upon commissioning, and a happier Akwa Ibom has emerged.
 As the president visits Akwa Ibom, he will have reasons to believe that the state has already deservedly become a delightful destination for investors and tourists because of the vibrancy of the economic potentials in the state through the state government’s life-changing projects and programmes.
 It is therefore, safe to say that for a government that has spent time to invest both human and material resources, there is much hope for the next generation. So for taking care of the next generation, the next election is guaranteed. A look at the “show working” fits this conclusion like a second skin.  

Essien Ndueso a journalist writes from Uyo,
Akwa Ibom State


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