Without much ado, yesterday a very sweet news trended in Akwa Ibom State, the news of the approval granted the State by the Federal Government to go ahead with the full execution of Ibom Deep Seaport project.
And while the celebrations were ongoing, and the news freely shared by both Government officials and others, the state government through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong released a formal Press Release to the public concerning the approval by FEC.
That Press Release however has a phrase that is very uncomplimentary, anti-people and even insulting to past Akwa Ibom Governors, especially, Obong Victor Attah whose 1999 to 2007 administration initiated the project and is still passionate about it.
The obnoxious phrase which is very prominent in the third paragraph of the press release reads “…it will be recalled that previous regimes since 1999 have made several attempts at kickstarting the seaport without success”.
The writer, Ini Ememobong goofed seriously by such bias remark, as if the project was initiated in 1965 and not in 1999.
He also comfortably appreciated different members of the Federal Executive Council, and others who are of course working hard to ensure that the project pulls through, but refused to acknowledge the administration that even initiated that deep vision initiative.
This to me is antagonistic to the DAKKADA spirit, this, to me is very petty, anti Akwa Ibom and the phrase was avoidable. It seems the regime of Ini Ememobong as overall information officer or image manager of the state is becoming a one-week-one-trouble affair due to very avoidable emotional actions. I think he should revisit his Harvard School books to enable him shake off the Comradeship and unionism approach to leadership.
Petty remarks like this can cause Akwa Ibom people in privileged positions to sometimes deny a sitting government the support needed to actualize a project beneficial to the whole state and her people.
We should “…rise above biases” and pettiness.
In her 2021 new year message, the State government will likely call for all Akwa Ibom people to join hands and move the state forward, but when the successes are recorded we poke others in the face, in attempt for vain glory. To the best of my knowledge Obong Victor Attah is still passionately contributing superlative ideas and contacts to the success of that seaport, how will he feel assuming he reads this myopic phrase “that past administrations since 1999 attempted… without success “
Meanwhile, I can bet that Udom Emmanuel might not complete that project, so should we be expecting the Governor that will carry out the Commissioning to write that “past administrations, (including that of Udom Emmanuel) attempted to execute Ibom Deep Seaport without success?”
The Ibom Deep seaport project is a huge project that will go beyond the Udom Emmanuel administration and probably take the next decade to actualize. Many Governors will climb the stage, play their role and go, passing the baton to the next fellow.
There are sequence of approvals to the project, and this is not even the 5th approval.
Therefore it is instructive to celebrate with decorum as we may not know whose door we might need to knock for the next stage of the project. Every contribution is very valuable and when we cannot acknowledge all efforts we must not trivialise or disparage any contribution.
Truth is that all administrations from 1999 till date have contributed meaningfully to the progress of Ibom Deep Seaport project.
(Aniedi UKOENANG is a Journalist based in Uyo. 08065566247)