May 29 in Nigeria’s Calendar has for 18 years now remained significant and its value in the governance and development of the country cannot be overruled with a wave of hand.
Many see it as 18 years of uninterrupted governance of the people, by the people and for the people. As the most expensive form of government, it is acclaimed by majority as the best form where the people have a pact in the polity of a place.
Nigeria’s experience is peculiar these 18 years as a multi-lingual nation with very diverse ethnic groups as they profess ‘strength in diversity’.
Media team, E E & A interacted with Legislators of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly as they bare their minds on the second year anniversary of the executive Governor of the State, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel; and what this democratic experience portends to the State, her people and the nation at large.
Hon David Lawrence Member Representing Eket State Constituency
My name is David Lawrence. I speak for Eket State Constituency which I tag, ‘The newest metropolitan city in Akwa Ibom state in the making’. Why I coined that acronym is because of the envisaged development that this present administration has focused in Eket State Constit
Coming from that background, I want to give a very high score mark to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of AIbom State, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel for what he has done in Akwa Ibom State within these two years.
You could yourself witness the road projects that has been commissioned and other life touching projects that has been kicked-off by His Excellency the Governor even some of the projects that are ongoing in Eket could not be inspected because of lack of time, ike the remodelling of strategic roundabouts and roads in Eket but two Wards were commissioned in Emmanuel General Hospital in Eket and Eket Ibeno road, a 19 kilometer road was also commissioned.
There was a flag- off of the super highway linking Eket and ending at Oya Oro traversing over six local government areas. They are Ibeno, Esit Eket, Oruefong, Mbo and Oron local government areas.
I think that road is going to be a major landmark in this State because it is a six lane road called Ibom Super Highway. With these and many more projectsxecuted in Eket State Constituency, we have the Mariot the hotel that is coming up where former Qua Riveotel used be and we are also trying to set up housing projects in Eket Local Area . Memorandum of Understanding MOU has been signed within couple of days that project will kick start before the governor will come and inspects it.
There are lots of projects lined up. So I want to rate this administration very high and I hope this tempo of development should be sustained but for now the governor has done soll for Akwa Ibom State and Eket State Constituency in particular even given the paucity of funds thathave in the State.
Rewarding 18 years of uninterrupted democratic government in our country, as it is always said, the worst democratic government is bette the best military government. So, so far, democracy is not built in a day even though wh to be ed f, e
Hon Otobong Ndem, Member Representing Mkpat Enin State Constituency.
For me , democracy is still under experiment in Nigeria. However , I appreciate the progress we have made so far. It has been God all the way.
Democracy any where is better itary dispensation because it gives people opportunity to express themselves well as make positive input to the system.
So democracy for me is the best form of government.
HON. Emmanuel Ekpenyong Bassey Member Representing Ini State Constituency
“My view about democracy is the government of the people by the people and for the people.
It is a government that is closer to the grassroot.
The effect of democracy in Akwa Ibom state has been a very wonderful one has it brings the people closer to the government .
Take for instance, Governor Udom Emmanuel within his two years in office has performed very well and this is what we call sustenance of uncommon transformation.
Democracy is about adding value to the people as well as providing the dividends to the people who elected us into office .
During the military rule in Nigeria, we had what was called authoritarian government. People were harassed and their rights were taken from them. It was absolute power but now, people are free to air their views in the different levels of government.
So, as far as I’m concerned, democracy is the best thing to have happened to any nation.
My advise is that any country that is not practicing democracy should look for a way to do so because it is only in democracy that the impact of government would be felt by the electorates” .
Rt. HON. Ime Okon, Member Representing Ibiono Ibomn State Constituency
“Like you’ve said, we are celebrating the second anniversary of the present administration in the state and by my estimation, the administration has done tremendously well especially when we appreciate the fact that the finances available to government are now dwindling by the day. But inspite of that, the government has been able to put whatever that is available to her to effective use.
For instance, many states are owing salaries but I do know that Akwa Ibom State has paid salaries up to date and to that extent, it has positively affected and impacted on the people.
Beyond that, as we are speaking, a lot of projects are being commissioned and that shows that the Governor is working and he should be encouraged to do a lot of work. But I am satisfied that he has done well this two years.
Democracy is the best form of government as opposed the dictatorship of the military. Before now, if the experience we had was unbroken, I am very sure we would have gone pass where we are now. But I think we are developing and we will soon get there” .
Hon. Samuel Ufuo, Member Representing Mbo State Constituency.
“Thank you very much. Development is relative because it has to do with resources. It is not automatic. In the previous administration as compared to what we have now, there was enough funds more than what we have due to recession. With that we can not compare that this administration should do what the last administration did. But at the same time, we thank God because God has a plan for everything.
“I really want to appreciate Governor Udom Emmanuel for being prudent in management of resources. Now, there are some states unable to pay even salaries because of recession and this is a big development. If you doubt, ask people in other states who are owed 6-8 months salaries how they are coping. So, we thank him for that at least Akwa Ibom State workers are not suffering. This is one of the things we have yo appreciate the Governor.
“And at the same time we have seen that there is no Local Government he has not touched with one of two projects, either the project is ongoing, commissioned, flag-off or groundbreaking for certain projects. You see, he is trying to be holistic in his approach for development to touch all Local Government and there are some projects he placed on senatorial district. He has a good intention for this state and I pray God should give him the enablement, resources to continue with these laudable projects, especially in the area of industrialization. Every year, students are churning out of university without employment. In time past, it wasn’t so but now the value of education is dwindling because of lack of jobs for r graduates.
“So, with this industrialization idea, which is the main policy thrt of the present administration, this will be tackled.
“Recently, he was in Mbo Local Government Area to commission a road leading to town-farm and the reason of that road was that investors demanded access road to the place. To fulfil his part as a leader of the state, he decided to construct an access road to the place. This is investment which will create employment and other positive externalities. You know when an industry is located in a place, other positive externalities will be attracted to the place.
“In that same vein, the Governor awarded a contract for the construction of Enwang-Ibaka road which was immotorable. We thank him especially for that road which the contractor promised to deliver in January 2018 (six months time).
“Democracy, even though is the most expensive type of government though not our’s but of the western world, but this is good because it brings development faster than any form of government. So, we welcome it.
“In America, because it started there, it took them 100 years to stabilize. So, using 18years to rate us is hasty and we are still learning. But the problem with the blacks is that they continue with the same mistake of the past and it has become a problem in our development spate.
“Now, we have a change in government when the centre was changed from PDP to APC and you see, the good policies formulated by the previous government may not be implemented because it is not part of their party manifesto.
“Like the implementation of National Confab which would have been a document that would have helped us to move forward and solved the problems we have, has not been implemented.
“If President Goodluck Jonathan succeeded in the 2nd term race, most of the problems would have been solved but it is not so as the document has been abandoned.
“Even the Petroleum Industrial Bill, many things have been altered. These are some of the pain in development in this country. Whenever you have change in governayou have change of policies. Infact, policy inconsistency is one of the major probf development in this country.
“Also, ethnicity affect development in Nigeria. There is no country that is mono-ethnic. We have many ethnic groups in some countries but Nigeria is a case. What I mean is, if an Hausa man is here, it becomes an Hausa affair. When a Yoruba man is here, it becomes a Yoruba affair, so on and so forth and this has affected development.
“For instance, in the last DSS recruitment, the whole south-south had 30 something; while Kastina state had 51 slots. So, some of these things generated a lot of problems.
” While militants in the Niger Delta destroyed oil facilities was when the President decided to reduce budget for N/D and discontinued with most of the programmes initiated by Goodluck Jonathan to take care of militants from the N/D. He went further to increase the budget to the north to the tune of N38billion for oil exploration. So, some of these things brought about agitation from other areaso, we are still learning as far as democracy is concerned and we are growing. The basicng we need to have is a stable democracy to respect the rule of law. Any day Nigera will have respect for the rule of law, then the country will develop fast “.