Date Published: 12/09/09
Governor Akpabio’s wrongdoings By Usoro I. Usoro
Since a young man named Godswill Akpabio became the governor of Akwa Ibom State, he’s been doing everything “wrong”! At times, I try to understand why but I’ve since come to believe, like everyone else, that it’s predestined. Otherwise, how can a man without means turn out at 47 to throw our state into “confusion”?!
Yes, I agree with Akpabio’s critics that he has caused confusion in Akwa Ibom. Whether in the classrooms or on the roads, there’s confusion. People are no longer contented with their old ways. Take my 90-something year-old grandma for instance. The other day, she seized my mother’s handbag and headed to a school. The 23 year-old teacher was shocked when grandma requested to be registered in Standard 3!
Be warned: In Akwa Ibom, if you leave your home for weeks, you may hardly trace your way home because Akpabio doesn’t even give notice before transforming roads from death traps into ones hitherto imagined.
In fact, those who say Akpabio has done many wrongs are on target! The most annoying part is that he doesn’t even answer his critics. In stead, he keeps commissioning projects as if that was why he was voted massively into office. When he’s not inaugurating projects, he’s awarding contracts or inspecting on-going works. Restless soul; instead of sleeping, he’s busy working himself to the bone. That’s a wrongdoing, I swear!
Imagine, how can a governor, in this democratic dispensation force people to go to school? And he makes it completely free; paying N100 per pupil, per term and N300 per student; per term for logistics. Unthinkable! Isn’t that wrong?
Today, the classes are overpopulated; yet resulting in an awakening of sort! Buddha called it enlightenment! But, how do we now get maids, cooks, drivers, gardeners and gatemen for export? Now, a majority of Akwa Ibom people are no longer docile; they no longer wallow in self pity. Self worth has returned and if that isn’t a wrong on Akpabio’s part, then my mother isn’t 16!
Governor Akpabio’s wrongdoings are too many to mention. Ask the pregnant women, children and the aged who enjoy his free medi-care programmes. For even transforming the health institutions; for equipping them with modern facilities, he deserves our criticisms. Still, I fail to see why the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) should honour him with only an award of “Goodwill Ambassador”. They should’ve called him “The Miracle Worker”, like the Catholic Church. Or “Nehemiah, for rebuilding the broken walls of Akwa Ibom” – like the African Church did. Or “Joshua, the Courageous”, like the Methodist Church did!
This is a man who has caused so much confusion that my mum, who used to work at Immanuel Hospital, for instance, went there the other day but could not locate any section. The whole place was looking like one hi-tech hospital in Germany or Saudi Arabia! Then, imagine Ibeno, Eastern Obolo and Ukanafun enjoying their first General Hospitals by the end of this month. Unpardonable wrongdoing!
Akwa Ibom people used to trek long distances or break necks and legs from Okada fall. Now, they insist on riding on air-conditioned taxis and buses. My mum has even threatened she wants to go to Lagos next week through Akwa Ibom International Airport. When the inaugural flight touched down, her 65 year-old friend left home by 6am to witness the history but never returned till the next day. After the confusion that followed the excitement, the woman missed her way and headed to Oron, instead of Eket. A search party found her the next day “gisting” away her experience to another elderly fellow. Who else is there to blame for this but Akpabio? That woman had never seen an airplane; she never knew what an airport looked like. Yet, those were not her concerns. She was forced to witness the landing herself because many of us said it was wrong for Akpabio to build an airport. At another point, we even said it can never come to reality; that Akpabio was a joker; a liar! Well, now that she’s been exposed to the other side of experience, Akpabio must be held responsible for this wrong.
That’s how he also demystified governance by constructing a brand new ultramodern Governor’s Lodge in one year and four-months. Now, what was wrong in living in a leaking 20year-old Lodge with two functional rooms? Did it matter if the defective walls caved in on the first family? It’s completely wrong of the governor to boost the image of the state by building such a state-of-the-art edifice, as if he’s going to live there forever.
Why must Akpabio always project Akwa Ibom into achieving first in most things? We don’t need light, so it’s wrong for Akpabio to spend additional N4bn to complete the Ibom Power Plant. Now, he’s completed the phase I, with a capacity of 191 mw. The transmission line to evacuate the power from Ikot Abasi to Eket is ready and it could be switched on any moment, once there’s gas supply. But isn’t it wrong?
With his peace and unity project, Akpabio has brought too many people into Akwa Ibom. That’s another wrongdoing! Clubs, bars and other social outfits are springing up everywhere. Today, we can’t find space in hotels; even private buildings have all been rented by tourists and investors seeking opportunities in Akwa Ibom. ‘Onyinbo’ people have taken over our land; jogging and strolling in the evenings for fresh air as if they are in Southern London or the Bahamas!
In deed, there’s anger in the land. Akwa Ibom people, irrespective of ethnic divide, have declared Akpabio wanted – for 2011! Eket people are looking for him to offer a “Torch of Leadership”. It’s believed that would encourage Akpabio to continue his wrongdoings in the area. At the moment, the people are angry that he could do 49 urban roads there, something they never experienced under any other government. In the past, the forgotten people were merely consoled with a few roads built by Mobil. Oron people are equally aggrieved that the area has been ‘spoilt’ with 34 roads. Ikot Abasi people are not happy that 18 roads have been scattered for them in the most modern fashion. And Ikot Ekpene people can’t imagine what they are expected to do with 27 roads!
Well, Akpabio’s policies may be interpreted by some unbelievers as wrongdoings, but to the teeming Akwa Ibom masses who are enjoying the positive fruits, Akpabio is God-sent! That’s why they pray for him to live many more 47 years!
.Usoro is the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Godswill Akpabio