….. Says Nigeria Democracy is at the Verge of Collapse Because of Poor Governance .
By Emmanuel Sampson
The former governor of Akwa Ibom state, the Apostle of True Federalism and Resource control in Nigeria, Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah have challenged governors in the country that any one who says he cannot develop his state with the resources available to him, is merely confessing that he is unfit to be a governor, as the are many other ways they could explore to liberate their citizens from poverty.
Obong Attah disclose this at the 21st Obong Sampson Udo Etuk Biennial lecture and Award of Excellence to celebrate the 32nd Anniversary of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, held at Mboho Mkparawa international secretariat /community centre Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo with the topic : FEDERALISM AND RESTRUCTURING RHETORIC IN NIGERIA : PERSPECTIVES, PERCEPTIONS AND PRESCRIPTIONS FOR NATIONAL REBIRTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
The elder stateman explained that during his days as a governor of Akwa Ibom, under his watch he was able to spread development across the nook and crannies of the State with a mere(600,000,000) six hundred million naira monthly allocation from the federation account even when the salary bill alone was (800,000,000) eight hundred million naira). “these was possible because the state divisify to other area by investing in the novel global system of mobile telephone company, ECONET now Airtel which they reaped bountifully”
Obong Attah who is regarded by many as the father of modern Akwa Ibom, maintain that the agitation for the country break up is as a results of poor governance from pasts and present leaders who rather consider ethnicity beyond service delivery to the people, charger the National Assembly to expedite action towards the country National rebirth which according to him will bring a new Nigerian for sustainable development to thrive. He added that Nigeria should embrace true federalism where the federating unit will exercise full control over the resources .
The Ibesikpo born, politician explained that those seeking for equal sharing formula from National allocation do not understand the real meaning of federalism, in his words ” here we want everything to be the same. Patrol must cost the same in Port Harcourt where the oil is mined and refined as in Sokoto to where it is transported over a great distance, why do we insist that house rents must be the same, school fees must be the same, bride price too must be the same. That is not federalism ” he stressed that resource must not be located in the state for them to benefit but the state executives should find alternative of generating income to run their states.
Speaking on the failure of leaders to perform creditably in office, the former governor said that people become governors today not because they are competent for the office they occupy or have manifesto to present but because they are somebody boys who want to install them as successors. Adding that the boy boy syndrome has robbed the various House of Assembly the ability to provide any checks and balance for the proper running of government.
Addressing the participants, the international president of Mboho Union, Akparawa (Obong) Patrick Udofia said the desire to form the association was not for any personal aggrandizement but to engineer and build the Ibibio Nation and Akwa Ibom State and her people for the good of all, based on love, unity and strength.
The 10th president of Mboho, said the lecture is timely, coming at the time the country is face with so many set back on national issues addiding that from the dialogue will proffer solutions to the Nation teething problems and attempt answers to the unanswered National Question. He further stressed that resolutions and recommendations will be forwarded to the president ,National Assembly and other strategic institutions in the country for sustained advocacy towards National Rebirth.
In his remarks , the chairman on the Occasion, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, president -General, Ohaneze Ndigbo, said that by inviting him to chair the occasion have rekindle the relationship between the Igbos and the Ibibio Call for improve in governance from leaders at all levels of government having seen the gap in the technological trends between Nigeria and the wasted world.
The event which attracted crème de la crème of the society feature, health talks, induction of new members into the Mboho, giving of scholarships to students and Award of Excellence to the deserving personalities.