Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Why A’Ibom people should vote for change - Umana

Why A’Ibom people should vote for change - Umana
“Don’t you find it fascinating that APC stands for change? You see, the question I would like to ask the good people of Akwa Ibom State is this: Are we happy with the way things have gone? Certainly we are not happy. As somebody who is from this state, I am not happy. I believe that things can be better. If we are not happy, then the only way we can ensure that things don’t remain the same way is for us to have change.”  A full text of Mr. Umana Okon Umana’s live interview on January 7, 2015 on Planet FM Radio
Welcome to Planet Radio, Sir! How prepared are you for the election? This is  going to be a daunting task—very heavy.
Yes! Running for the office of Governor is not a one day’s business. I have been on it and I believe that I have been prepared for it. If you check where God has positioned me in the last 20 years, you will agree with me that indeed God has prepared me for the high office of Governor and for service at that level. It’s not something that I just woke up one morning and felt that I could run for office of Governor. It’s taken a while; I’ve given it deep and serious thought. I believe I am ready to go in terms of ideas, in terms of commitment at the emotional level and at the spiritual level. I am totally prepared.

Let’s see how prepared you are emotionally because I really wonder do you sleep well at night? Because I know it’s really a hard task for you to be mentally ready for all the intrigues of politics. You know now the air is charged. Everyone is saying Umana, Umana. A lot of people are saying that you are the reason there is a flip in the script concerning what’s happening. We had heard that at one point in time that you were anointed to replace the Executive Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, and then something happened, you fell out with him and then we started seeing a change in plans. Would you say this is true or maybe something else? You know you are going to be very revealing today.

Well let’s go back to one question you raise because that will also put things in perspective. You asked why I had to leave the PDP with thousands of Akwa Ibom people, and you know this movement is ongoing. If you were at the stadium yesterday when we had the Presidential Campaign Rally, and welcomed the Presidential Candidate of our party, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retired), you would have seen the spontaneity and the way our people came out on their own. They were not induced, and all these happened within 24 hours. We had just 48 hours notice from the Director General of the Campaign that he would be visiting us. So effectively we had only 24 hours and you could see the large turnout, which was spontaneous, and how the good people of Akwa Ibom State received the Presidential Candidate and it was also during that occasion that I was given the flag of our Party as the official flag bearer and Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). 

You know the Peoples’ Democratic Party. I am not the one to tell the story about what is going on there. I have a group of friends called “G-22”. They are the ones who are telling the story about how undemocratic the Peoples’ Democratic Party is. The name is a misnomer; a party that is so undemocratic will go by the name, People Democratic Party! It is for the good people of Akwa Ibom State to judge. I thank God that I saw the vision, and I made my move early enough. 

According to my friends, the G-22 members, what passed for the primaries were all stage managed. They have documented everything that happened. In the first place, the ward congresses for the elections of the ad-hoc delegates did not take place. Everybody is aware that the list was compiled in Government House and then even with that list, you could ask, Why are they so much afraid of the people of Akwa Ibom State? Why are they afraid? Even with the list that they had personally drawn up in government house, the people were still not allowed to go out and vote. 

The ballot papers already had the names of the preferred candidate, Udom Emmanuel, written in government house and then those papers were distributed and then they were teleguided, driven in buses and searched to ensure that they had no pens in their pockets and then you had that show which was televised to Nigerians and then you find people who then went there to cast their votes. And incidentally, they were not even from Akwa Ibom; they were imported from somewhere else. The people of Akwa Ibom State who should have been the delegates were camped somewhere and these other people went to the venue with a mix 
of a few recognizable faces for the cameras to say, “Oh everything went well.”
In other states, you could see there were tables. People would go out there in front of the cameras and you could see them writing down the name of the person they were voting for. It did not happen in Akwa Ibom. It was all stage managed. For a process that would produce someone who wants to govern Akwa Ibom? That kind of flawed, undemocratic process can certainly not be the best for us. Because it means that somebody is determined at all cost to impose his will on the good people of Akwa Ibom State. And I don’t think our people are ready to surrender their will to anybody, no matter how powerful that person thinks he is. They are not ready. 

Now, look at my own party. I joined the party about a week to the primaries; I was given full rights as any other member of the party. I bought my forms, I was screened and I was cleared to contest. I contested; I had no godfather, and I emerged as the candidate of the party because the delegates voted for me. I believe that is the foundation. And these delegates are people from Akwa Ibom State who are members of the APC. They voted for me because they know my antecedents, my capacity, my character, and they believe that I will do well for Akwa Ibom if I am given the opportunity to serve as Governor.

This is where we are going to find it interesting because the people are actually saying that the reason why you moved from PDP to APC was because you wanted to actualize your ambition of being a Governor.
 I don’t think so; I had to move from a party that would not even provide space for participation! I mean that is not democracy! A party that would come out to say that because you come from a certain section of the state, or you come from a certain tribe that you cannot participate in the process. That certainly is unconstitutional. And there was no way I could continue with that kind of party. If you look at the extant sections of the Nigeria Constitution, the requirements for every office have been clearly stated. You must be of certain age, you must have certain educational qualifications. There is nothing about where you come from. So for a party to exclude me on the basis of where I come from is unacceptable. 
It is a way of telling the people of Akwa Ibom, “Go to hell. We are bigger than the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We have taken over your will, including your rights to choose who can be your governor. We are the ones who will decide for you who your governor will be.” You know when I was a member of the PDP, and there was all the debate about zoning, my position was clear. I said yes, those who want to vote for anybody on the basis of zoning, it is their right. Those who also think that they would vote for another person on the basis of other considerations, maybe competence, maybe capacity, experience or for whatsoever reasons, they are also entitled to that position. It is also their right. So then what do you do? Everybody should go to the field and exercise their rights. If the only reason you want to vote for a particular person is because he comes from Eket or Nsit Ubium or Uyo, so be it. You vote accordingly. If another person is voting for Umana because of other considerations he will do the same. When everything is concluded, then we count the votes. Anybody who wins, then that person represents the collective will of the people. It was just a simple request. The Elders, Stakeholders of Akwa Ibom stated the same position and said let the people decide. There should be no exclusion because exclusion is unconstitutional.

Now let’s also look at this issue concerning your integration into APC. What is your relationship with the Executive Committee of that Party? I hear there is quite a storm you are stirring out there.
Don’t believe what you read in the papers. The State Working Committee of our party is solidly behind me. Of course, at the stadium, you know they were all there when the flag was presented to me. So, we are one united strong party. No cracks at all.

Are you conversant with the rules, and of course philosophy of APC? I mean you just joined and in one week you were already the flag bearer of that Party. Did you have enough time to totally assimilate the ways of the Party? What did you find so fascinating about the APC that you decided to join? There must have been something that appealed to you.
I am fully integrated. Even you, don’t you find it fascinating that APC stands for change? Don’t you find that fascinating? You see, the question I would like to ask the good people of Akwa Ibom State is this: Are we happy with the way things have gone? Certainly we are not happy. As somebody who is from this state, I am not happy. I believe that things can be better. If we are not happy, then the only way we can ensure that things don’t remain the same way is for us to have change.

So what exactly are the people not happy about in Akwa Ibom?
The PDP are saying to us that you should have more of the same. If our people are poor, if our people are totally demoralized, just look at the last Christmas! No salaries! It was so gloomy. And then you are talking of uncommon transformation. Yet, we are talking of a state that receives so much from the Federation Account.So, are we happy with the way things are? Are we happy that one man alone can decide for the entire state, the entire 5 million people of Akwa Ibom State who should be their Governor? He just writes a name and then goes to all churches, and everywhere he has an opportunity will say “whether you like it or not, this man will be your Governor”. And then, he also will sit down and write down the names of all those who should be Senators, who should go to the House of Representatives, Members of the House of Assembly. That is not democracy! Even when you look at the quality of lives and you discover the paradox of widespread poverty in the midst of plenty; and then you come to the political process, and you find that there is total exclusion, total disregard for the leaders of the State, those who suffered to ensure the creation of this State, past leaders who suffered to take this State to its present level, they have been totally disrespected, totally disregarded. There is something wrong!And then at the economic level, you also find that there is total exclusion; our people cannot participate in what is going on in the state. When you go outside, you realize that you have lost respect as somebody from Akwa Ibom, because they think you don’t have respect for money. That is the way people perceive us today. They think that if you are from Akwa Ibom, you don’t have respect for money.We must go back to that era of prudence; that era when an Akwa Ibom person was looked at as somebody who had integrity. As somebody whose word will be his bond. That was the Akwa Ibom person of old; and I believe we must have change.

You keep talking about change. What exactly is this change? What we experience right now is quite different from what APC is professing. What change are we looking at here?
Change will come in many facets. For example, our wards leave school today, and they cannot find jobs, and that is not acceptable. So, we talk about change coming in that direction. We will create jobs. How will we create jobs? We will industrialize the state. We will develop agriculture. We will support Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME) in various ways so that they too will create jobs. We will deliberately and consciously ensure that we build the entrepreneurial capacity of our people because that is the only way that we can drive growth, and drive development in this state. We have to shift the emphasis away from a situation where people think that outside government, you cannot survive. That cannot be ideal; so we must change all of that.

Do you think Akwa Ibom people are ready for that change? You just said something fundamental there—that transition from a civil service state to a state where almost everybody is an entrepreneur.

That is why we thank God that our people now have an alternative, which is the All Progressives Congress (APC). They must vote for me not just as Governor, but for all the other candidates who are going to the Senate, House of Representatives, and the House of Assembly. Note that Nigerians are watching us. It is the only way we can earn back our respect. I mean, Nigerians cannot understand a situation where one man can take an entire state for granted. And then the citizens of Akwa Ibom are treated as slaves. It is unacceptable.

When you say “one man” everyone is wondering about who you are talking about.
Of course we are talking about the Governor, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio!

But he used to be your friend
He is still my friend, but we are talking about the future of our state; and I think this goes beyond friendship. This is serious, the fate of the generations to come. What foundation are we going to lay? Are we going to say that because you become Governor, then you must carry on with a sense of entitlement, you talk down on our people and you tell them “go to hell, whether you like it or not, I will tell you who your governor will be.” He was voted into office based on the promises he made. We supported him; I supported him. He ran and won and became Governor. We didn’t support him so that he would come and play God. We didn’t support him so that he would tell us to “go to hell,” and decide exclusively who should be our next Governor.

Did he ever say that “Go to Hell”? Did he really use those words?

Yes of course he has. Yes, he has; when he says that it is Udom Emmanuel or nothing that is not democracy. He is telling the people of Akwa Ibom State that “you don’t have a say.” And we are saying that is not correct. It is the people who should decide; and in any case, it is in the hands of God. I have been persecuted, I don’t mind. I’m ready to carry that burden because I said, If I am running for the office of Governor, then I leave my fate in the hands of God and in the hands of the people of Akwa Ibom State. And then, I have been told, “How dare you say that you leave your fate in the hands of God and the people? I am everything! I am Chairman of the Governors Forum, I am a member of the Board of Trustees of the Party, I am a member of the Caucus, so where will they decide the Governorship of Akwa Ibom State that I will not be there? I have the name of the person who will be the next Governor in my pocket! And that’s it. I will announce it.” 

That is not democracy and that is my point of departure. I want to present myself to the people of Akwa Ibom State. If I am made Governor by the special Grace of God and the people, let me be the People’s Governor. I don’t want to be a Governor who is exclusively produced by one person or by one family. That is the point! It would be ungodly; it would be an insult to the good people of Akwa Ibom State. And if we allow that to stand, we are laying a foundation that will destroy everything that we stand for in this state.

Some people really like you, while some others really detest you. I’m going to be really honest here. Some civil servants are not happy that you are coming as Governor. They say that when you were the Secretary to the State Government, you were really strict. As a matter of fact, you didn’t give them their entitlements. 

Thank you very much. You see, if everybody is happy with me, then there is something wrong. And you know in politics, there is perception and there is reality. The reality is that is not true. That is false. When I was in the service, I did my job professionally. From my days as Director of Budget, Permanent Secretary, I did my job professionally. Anybody who knows me, who has interacted with me, knows that I would never sit on the rights of anybody because I am God-fearing. I won’t because I will not expect other people to sit on my rights. So that is not possible. As Secretary to State Government (SSG), I heard all kinds of stories; stories like, “Oh! Civil Servants have not been paid their entitlements because Umana would not allow it;” “Umana will not allow the Government to pay the new minimum wage;” and so on and so forth. I only smiled because there were a number of persons who were aware of my ambition and who also started working to try and run me down.

Were they blackmailing you?

Of course those stories were all false. Let me give you an example: you see, issues of minimum wage do not fall under the mandate of the office of SSG. Those issues fall under the office of the Commissioner for Finance, Head of Service,

the Accountant General, the Permanent Secretary Budget, the Bureau of Establishment. Those are the statutory offices that will constitute the committee that will engage labour in arriving at what the minimum wage should be or what government should do about the welfare of workers. When they are done with the process of dialogue and engagement, of course the recommendations go directly to the Governor of the State. How could I decide in a matter that my office is not involved in, in any way? I am not personally involved, I am not officially involved, and I then I would say that workers should not be paid? Those were all stories and absolutely false. Further, let me tell you something and you can verify this: When I was Commissioner for Finance, within the first three months that I took over, I came up with a circular that salaries have to be paid not later than the 25thof every month. You  can check from those who worked with me. It was executed; I got feedback from the agencies. In fact, those who thought that it could not be done and flouted the directives of the circular, I ensured that they were queried. In the second month, I got feedback, and by the third month, everything had smoothened out. From that time on, salaries were promptly paid. It was achieved as a matter of routine. It had nothing to do with the office of the Governor. I didn’t have to seek permission from the Governor in order to do that. I did that because if you expect workers to do their work well, you should care about their welfare, and prompt payment of salaries is at the core. So when a man has done his work, he should get his pay and promptly too. I was Commissioner for Finance when that was accomplished and throughout my tenure as Commissioner for finance, it became a routine. Civil servants were paid not later than 25th of every month.
So you could not imagine a situation where Civil Servants will go for Christmas which comes once a year and knowing how much we cherish Christmas in this part, then government will be absolutely insensitive such that Civil Servants will go without salaries. That is why I have said that there is a difference between perception and reality.

Let’s look at the reality on ground here. Right now, you seem to be the only person from Ibibio extraction that is vying for Governor.
That is not true. Udom Emmanuel, is he not Ibibio? I think that those parochial considerations will not help us. I have nothing against my brother, Udom Emmanuel. He is an accomplished professional and I respect him. However, If I were not running for office of Governor, I would not vote for him on the basis of principle, because of where he is coming from and how he has been presented, and how he has presented himself. I would not! Now, that takes me back to my first point: he is coming as somebody who will depend on a godfather to become Governor.

People say that he is a man of his own, and that he has a lot to offer the people of Akwa Ibom State. That he is here to bring the change you say that you also want to bring to actualization.
That is the story. I heard one of his songs—very interesting. It talks about his great teacher, Godswill Akpabio and so on. So, if we you extol your great teacher, then you can only give us more of the same. You see why I said earlier that I would not vote for him because if he is depending on his great teacher Godswill Obot Akpabio, he will only give us more of the same. More of the same in Akwa Ibom is more impunity, more of the same is recklessness, more of the same is total disregard for all of our leaders, total disrespect for the people of Akwa Ibom State, telling our people to “go to hell.” That is where we differ. Even the body promoting his aspiration, “ACA”, translates into more of the same; it promises continuity—of impunity, recklessness. Some of my friends continue to joke about it, they say that when you add “I”, it becomes “ACAI”. You know”ACAI” means forest in Ibibio language. When you look at the composition of that body, you will realize that: Chairman of the Board of Trustees is of Akpabio’s family, the key Trustees and members are all Akpabio’s family members. Watch him, anywhere he is making his presentation, watch the people around him and so on. That means that he has been seized by a cabal. We want a Governor who will be his own man. It is not a question of coming here to talk about continuity, to say I’m free. We have eyes, how free can you be? When we have eyes? We have seen the manner of your emergence, the way you have been presented, the way the people of Akwa Ibom State have been humiliated, the way they have been told to “go to hell,” that whether they like it or not, that you are the only one who is right. Only God knows who is right. I won’t come here to say that I am the best. That I am right; whether you like it or not, that I am right. I am appealing to the good people of Akwa Ibom State. I am saying please check my records, see where I am coming from and believe in your hearts that I can add value to the lives of our people.

So you think you are right as well. If Udom is right, then you are also right. Politically, let’s get down to the bottom of it. Do you think you are right for the people of Akwa Ibom State? Speak honestly. Are you right for Akwa Ibom State? Do you have something that Udom doesn’t have?
Right? That is Udom’s word. I don’t like that word.

Okay. Let me see if I change it. Do you think that you are the man for the job?
I said it already. I had said that if you check me out, you will realize that I had been prepared for this job. It is about preparation. That’s why you cannot become the Chief Executive Officer of any serious company if you have not been prepared for the office. I am prepared for the office, but the decision as to whether I am right is for the people of Akwa Ibom State to make. That is why I am saying that the people of Akwa Ibom State should check my background, check my records, check how I have been prepared by God, where I have come from, where I am today, my experience, my capacity, check me out and then on that basis, decide that this is the person you are going to support. Incidentally, my website is on. The official website for the campaign is I think that the summary of my blueprint should be on. I implore the good people of Akwa Ibom State to take a good look at what we have for the state. So it would not be on the basis of sentiments or on the basis of emotions. I am saying that, check my records, check my antecedents, check my background, and then come to the conclusion that I have been adequately prepared for this job by God. I will make a difference, if and when God gives me the opportunity, of course through the will of the good people of Akwa Ibom State.

So, Mr Umana Okon Umana, you have come here to Ibiaku Uruan. I keep saying this to everyone who sits right there in front of me in my hot seat- what do you think about the road?
It’s another evidence of the uncommon transformation.
Sir, we are not taking shots here, we are sticking to the issues.
Well, what I am saying in effect is that coming here was not a pleasant experience.

Will you be the Governor of the People or the Governor of the Party? Definitely I will be the Governor of the People. That is why I said that I have no godfather.  God is my godfather and of course the people, because God will not come down; God will make me Governor using the people of Akwa Ibom State. It is the only way that I can be accountable to the people of Akwa Ibom State because I have no godfather. The person who has a godfather or who has been seized by a cabal cannot be accountable to the people.  Those who control him have already shared positions among themselves; they have determined who will be commissioner, who will be this or that and so on. That is not coming from him, he has no inputs. He is just a victim; he is a victim of circumstance. They are holding my brother hostage. I am free because my relationship is with the good people of Akwa Ibom State and I depend only on God and the good people of Akwa Ibom State.

Are you ready for this? This is a very tough race that you are going into.
It is not only about me, it is also about our people. Everywhere I go to, the people tell me, look we are all out for you, but how will you protect our victory?

I want to ask you that. How are you going to protect the victory of APC in a PDP state? How are you going to pull it off?
In fact, the question really is, How are we going to secure, protect and defend, our victory? It is not only about Umana.

You are making it sound like you have already won. I am asking how you even intend to win before you talk about sustaining it?
I just told you that I have gone round the state and I have engaged my people. When they put this question to me, “How are we going to secure, protect and defend our victory,” they say that because of the feedback they are getting from the other camp which is saying well, no matter how you vote, we are going to manipulate the results.

You are making it look like they are going to rig it
Of course, the other camp is saying, “We will manipulate the results, we have this, we have that, we have that…” I am saying to the people, there is a season for everything. We must prove a point and earn back our respect. You know, there is some part of Nigeria where you cannot rig. And nobody will take anybody for granted. The PDP has taken our people for granted; and that is why they are saying that “no matter what you do, you don’t have a choice;” you can go to hell.” That is why I am telling the good people of Akwa Ibom State that you have a choice. You have the APC as an alternative. So, nobody should humiliate you and think that he will go scot-free. Since, you have this choice today, we will earn back our respect and prove that power indeed belongs to the people. So when our people vote, they will do all that is necessary within the law to ensure that they protect and defend our votes in every unit.

It’s okay for you to actually reveal that. We want to know. You have to because everyone keeps saying I’ve done something, I’ve given scholarships, open up and tell us who have benefitted from this wonderful generosity of your heart. We need to know these things; they are important.
Umana: Well, it is against my policy. I leave that out because if I engaged people personally then it should not be public knowledge.

You know people are going to think that these things don’t exist
Umana: Well, that’s why I said that you should judge me by my records, not necessarily on the basis of what I say. It would be better if those who are beneficiaries are the ones giving testimonies and so on. That’s it. But let me also say something. You know, sometimes, people want to run for office and because they want to run for office, they come out and engage in what someone aptly described as “emergency philanthropy.”  It is not really from the heart. They are doing it for selfish reasons to create an impression. It’s all part of the preparation for running for office. That has never been my approach. If you engage in humanitarian know I was a member of the Lions Club, rose to become Region Chairman and so on. I joined the Lions Club because of the principles that they stand for. It had nothing to do with politics. It’s been a part of life; those who know me well know that if God blesses me and I bless a fellow human being, I don’t talk about it. I am not going to change because of politics; I’m sorry. So those who come out and buy cars for people just because they want to run for office and they do all that…well my advice to the people of Akwa Ibom State is that that has nothing to do with their ability to run the State as governor. That’s a fact. The fact that somebody is coming out when he wants to be Governor or going to the Senate and he buys cars everywhere and then he is setting up emergency restaurants for people to eat in his house everyday and so on; that has nothing to do with his ability to run the state as Governor. We must make a distinction. If he is doing it just for selfish reasons, by the time he becomes Governor, since it was not part of his life, he goes back to who he was. So, our people should shine their eyes. I have had a relationship with some of the younger people around the state who have become successful; I can point to some of them and say when God put me in a particular position, I was able to help their career, to help them get jobs and so on. I don’t need to mention their names and so on. That’s why I am saying and I believe that all the glory should go to God. And if such people on their own give testimonies, let them glorify the name of God. I don’t have to boast about it, and if I did any of such things, it wasn’t because of politics; it wasn’t because I was running for the office of Governor. I don’t consider that as something that should be part of my resume for my ambition to become Governor.

Do you believe in stomach infrastructure?
Of course I do; that is why I talk about empowering our people, creating jobs, and putting an end to poverty.

Is that going to be the corner stone of your administration? Are you going to really support the idea of people feeling the dividends of democracy? They should really feel they have a government that is catering for them
Certainly! That is exactly what we stand for; and that is why when I talk about the empowerment of our people, and putting an end to this culture of capital flight, a situation where our money is consciously being spent outside while our people wallow in poverty. We are not saying that we are going to share money when talking about putting money in the pockets of our people. We are coming up with deliberate policies to empower our people and all our people will have to do will be to take advantage of the opportunities we are going to provide so that they can develop their entrepreneurial capacity.

Mention just one opportunity; one of those grand plans that you have for the people of Akwa Ibom State.
We are going to support micro, small and medium scale enterprises; we will support them with finance, technical support, arrange partnerships with foreign concerns, place them on the right pedestal and get them to provide jobs for our people. Our strategy will be mixed; we are not only looking at the big industrial concerns under the PPP arrangement where government will provide incentives for those who will be coming to set up shops in Akwa Ibom, we are also looking at the micro, medium and small enterprises. That will be our main focus, because we believe that by the time we give the right level of support, not something that is politicized; we mean something that is handled professionally and dispassionately in the best interest of the state. You will not have to be a member of the APC before you can benefit from such initiatives. If you have the right talent, the capacity and you are from Akwa Ibom, we will support you. We will provide seed capital, we will restructure a place like AKIPOC (Akwa Ibom Investment Promotion Council) so that we can have the required impact. I also said something about agriculture. We can create a lot of jobs if we develop agriculture. Other countries in Africa because of what they have in horticulture, they export perishable agricultural products and they make a lot of money. I don’t see why we cannot do the same in Akwa Ibom. So it will also be a question of going to look at areas that we have a comparative advantage and taking the right steps to support such ventures under PPP arrangement so that we can create jobs for our people.
Of course the big ones which will provide the right foundation for our industrial take-off like the Seaport and then going back to revisit the science park, once I do that, because that is also another platform that will create jobs for our people and of ocurse the airport. We have to shift the focus of the airport not just as a service facility but also as an income generating facility. We must complete the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility and put it to use. We must build the cargo terminals, we must complete the definitive terminal building. It was a shame yesterday (6 January) when we received the former Head of State, the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. The VIP lounge that we have at the airport could not sit more than four people, and you know we had an entourage of distinguished guests. Those things impact negatively on our image as a state. Yet you watch AIT, NTA, Channels everyday and we continue to recycle photographs of projects completed since 2007 and this is 2015. Which other Governor in Nigeria is doing that? Which other government? And then we are spending billions! For me, that’s misapplication of funds; wrong priorities. The money we are spending to show roads that we completed in 2007/2008 could have been put to better use. And we will continue to recycle and show those photographs, I mean, I don’t know—to prove what?
You could save that money to improve on the facility at the airport. Guests who come—like yesterday and they were embarrassed would have had where to sit down in the VIP lounge. So, we will pay attention to special groups, youths. If we create jobs, the impact will be clearly on youths and other vulnerable groups. And of course I said that you could look at my comprehensive blueprint, one thing we are also going to do is to make sure that we institute a culture of merit. Without quality, we won’t go anywhere. We will pay attention to quality. That is why we are saying that we are going to give automatic scholarships to our bright ones, the brightest of our children in our midst. Those who make 1st class honours will be sponsored to the best universities in the world. It will be automatic. And then we will also come down to also look at those who made 2:1 and so on. Moving round and engaging people of Akwa Ibom State, I am been shocked at some of the things I have come to learn. I engaged students the other day and I was shocked at the bursary we pay to our students—N5,000. And then somebody is taking a commission or service charge of N500, so that if they pay transport from who knows where to come and collect money, they eventually end up with N2,000 or N3,000 in a state of uncommon transformation. We can’t even pay our students bursaries up to the level of N50,000? So, these are things we would look at. We will look at these details, things that will impact on the lives of our people. Look at it, how many students do we have in all the tertiary institutions? How many? So if we were to pay N50,000 or N60,000 and we spent let’s say N2billion or N3billion, which is money that is wasted in two or three days in Abuja on political battles, it would be better. It would help the parents in this state. So when we are talking about change, we are talking about real change that will focus on details; change that is outside what you find on television.
You see, what you find on television is only the bright side, the roads that have been finished since 2007, or the stadium that has been partly finished—it is not a complete complex. If you look at what was built in Port Harcourt, 40,000 seating capacity, with a games village, with all the indoor facilities that can host international games, a complete set and at what cost? Just N32 billion! I noted something—the day our stadium was commissioned, our dear Governor spoke for about one hour but did not mention the cost of the stadium, which should have been the most critical item of information. We were all waiting to hear the cost. So what do we have to hide that we cannot even tell our people the cost of a particular project? Transparency should be at the core of governance. When we talk about good governance, we are talking about transparency. You can Google every other stadium in the world and get the cost, clearly stated. And if we did such a big commissioning ceremony, and spent billions just to commission the facility, and we cannot even state the cost, our people are denied that most critical piece of information about how much the project did cost, then there is something wrong. There is something definitely wrong. That is also the kind of change we will bring to bear. Our people have the right to know. We want to run a government that is open, transparent such that every month we can publish how much came into the state, by the end of the year, we publish the total that we have received, not about what we budget alone, our people have a right to know. How much did we receive at the end of the year? How much did we spend?
As Commissioner for Finance, I published what was called Finance News. It was in the public domain; every quarter we publish and say look, this is what we received from statutory allocation, this is what we received from derivation, this what we got from other sources, this is how we spent what we received—on salaries, on this, on that, all that was in the public domain. So we have had a situation where our elders and leaders have made enquiries and said: “How much have we received?” From 2007 to date, how much do we owe the banks and so on? And then there has been no response from government. No response! Absolute silence! And then some other patriotic citizens who are not that well known write to ask questions about our revenue and expenditure. The government will recycle projects on AIT, Channels. That is not how to give account; that is not how to render accounts! You don’t render accounts by recycling projects. You go to Channels, AIT everyday and you recycle the same old projects completed in 2007 every now and then. To prove what? You can’t come out openly to tell us how much you owe? How much you have received? Something that should be in the public domain? What are you trying to hide? So there is something wrong. Apart from the stadium, what else? All the contractors have moved out. They left all the projects at the airport. The ones that were working at the Tropicana, they all left. And yet the budget for this year is over N400 billion while no work is going on. Or is it only about politics? Where is the money going? People have a right to know. So when some people, patriotic citizens ask questions, I am also speaking on their behalf, when they ask these questions about what is going on, these are legitimate questions, the response is that their addresses are not known or the names are not recognizable. But the point is, is it not our right to know how much we have earned over time as a state? And how this money has been spent and deployed? It is our right and that’s transparency.
So, if somebody is presenting himself and is saying that I want to give you more of the same, we of the All Progressive Congress, we are saying No! We are saying that is not good governance. When you conceal basic information that the people should know, that is not good governance. Like in the case of the stadium, there are afraid. They know that other people have the sources to know the true cost of the stadium; and if the cost is outrageous, they are afraid that if they state it and then somebody might come up with other documents to show that this is actually what you spent. So they think that the only way to solve the problem is to keep quiet—not to say anything about the cost. And this is unacceptable. I speak on behalf of the millions of Akwa Ibom people who are saying that they have a right to know. If you bill a project that should cost N40 billion and maybe you finish it at let’s say N150billion or N130billion or N120billion, no matter how beautiful that project is, the people have been ripped off, and that is the problem.

How much do you think Akwa Ibom receives from the Federal Government as allocation?
I can email the statistics to you. (interjection)

No! No! don’t email me the statistics, say it here.
Wait let me finish. To support it with evidence, I will email you the statistics. Between 1999 and 2007, I was Commissioner of Finance from 2003-2007, that is four years. But for those eight years, when Governor Attah left office, he published the total revenues received, remember that it was published quarterly which was the practice, but before he left office, he published the total revenues received in the his eight years which was N452 billion. Now, we budget, N463 billion in one year. So, in other words, this administration is managing revenues in one year that Attah managed in eight years. That is the context, and that is why the people of Akwa Ibom State have a right to ask. If you are showing everyday on AIT that this is uncommon, uncommon series, uncommon projects, and these are the same recycled old projects, they have the right to ask you how much you have received, so that they can then objectively assess for themselves your achievements. In view of the fact that in one year, you are earning what Attah earned in eight years, would we then say that you have done ten times as much or eight times as much as Attah did? The only way that people can objectively and rationally judge what government has done so that they can also be fair to government is for government itself to come out sand say “this is the total of what we received, in year one this is how it was spent, in year two this is how it went and so on.” That is routine practice. We have repeatedly asked these questions but those in authority, those who should deal with these questions have totally ignored the people. That is why I talk about disregard and disrespect for our people. And that is why we need change.

I’m also happy when you said that change is around the corner. There are so many questions I want to ask you and this is the best opportunity I have to get the answers to them. Since you can’t give me a figure of what we currently receive as allocation, I won’t push it. I want your own personal assessment or what you think because you worked as the Director of Budget, Commissioner of Finance, you were a man in the centre of things.
 I have been asked that question very many times.  Oh why now, you were part of it. I want to make it very clear that there is only one Governor, there is only one captain. And the person who is captain is the one in charge. That is why we talk about Akpabio administration, Attah’s administration, Obasanjo’s administration, Isemin’s administration. Nobody talks about Obasanjo’s SGF, or Buhari’s SGF and so on and so forth. The man who is elected Governor must take responsibility. I want to be a Governor that will take responsibility totally. I won’t talk about or blame my SSG, or my Commissioner or anybody; and the day I hear that people are asking about how much my government has received, I mean, it is my government as Governor. It is not about my Commissioner for Finance; I will give an instruction, that’s it! I won’t blame my Commissioner for Finance nor my SSG. If he fails to carry out my instructions, I have the right to fire him. It is about the Governor; it is unfortunate because I keep on hearing these stories-”Oh! You were part of it; maybe you were the one who made the recommendation and so on.” Look, it is one man that is in charge; and that is why as I present myself, I am saying that when I am in charge, I will take full responsibility for my actions. That will be the Umana administration.

The reason why we are asking these questions is because people have a lot of misconceptions and we need to clear them out as much as possible. What about the Ibaka Deep Sea Port in Oron? It was said that as Chairman of the Committee you had a way of manipulating it all to Ikot Abasi. Is it true?
That’s a legitimate question. Let me put things in the correct perspective. One, I was never a Chairman of any committee to implement Seaport. I was chairman of implementation of what they called “Ibom Industrial City.” The seaport was just a component of that programme, and my main task at that time was to ensure that we had a master plan prepared for the Ibom Industrial City; and to also ensure that the site was acquired, which was done for the Ibom industrial city. Then the Federal Government came up and said we would like to partner with State Government for the development of the seaport. Immediately the Federal Government took over, my task was done. The Federal Government took over totally and was now in charge. They hired consultants, and of course the consultants submitted a report to the Minister, not to me. It wasn’t a decision taken while I was in office, I only read about that in the papers. So, if it is true that decision had been taken it must have been based on the recommendations of the consultants to the Minister for Transport, it had absolutely nothing to do with me.

Let’s see what you would do if you were Governor. The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) saying that if he is being voted in as President of this country, he is going to have a strong dichotomy, he will set the bars or set the standard in terms of governance, and of course be very hard on corruption. He said that he will bring those responsible for the state of the country as bedevilled by corruption to book. Do you believe that is the policy of APC?
Of course!

And would you do the same? Let’s just say you were now Governor, would you probe the Executive Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio?
I don’t think that is the way to put it. If you go and look at my blueprint, there is no chapter that says that you are going to probe anybody. I have stated what I am going to do for the good people of Akwa Ibom State. That’s it. But that is not to say that if questions arise, we cannot deal with specific questions. You can’t say that I am going with a mindset to probe anybody.

You know people are wondering that since you had a good relationship with the Governor and of course then you fell out with him and you are not exactly on the same page, people expect you to be vindictive.
You see, I have told you—don’t personalize these issues. That is why you know I have not spoken about the issue of maybe someone anointing me and so on. Maybe when I was in office, the Governor, yes, he said look “I’ve watched you, you have the capacity, the experience, you can run this state well as Governor, I have no doubt, I’ll be happy to see you succeed me.” Yes he said that. Then I started my work; I started engaging the people of Akwa Ibom State, groups were set up here and there but the Governor was angry that the people of Akwa Ibom had seized the process, that they were now the ones who were driving the process. He called me and said, “Look all these people supporting you—Abom Tony Esu, don’t you know he is my enemy? So so so is supporting you; when the people of Akwa Ibom have taken over the job of making you Governor, what will I do? What will Akpabio do?” and I said, “Your Excellency, but we will have to depend on the people to make me Governor, and to depend on God.” He got angry. That was the point of departure. He got angry and said, “You talk about God making you Governor, let me see how that God will make you Governor. What will Akpabio do? I am everything! I am the Chairman of this, and Chairman of that ,etc. And I am saying to God, “If I have been persecuted because I am using your name and because I said the people will make me Governor, I stand by what I said, it is in your hands. Our lives are in your hands, our future can only be in your hands.” I have absolutely no apologies. No matter the level of persecution, I have no apologies. I stand by what I said, I still look up to God and I leave my future in His hands.

A response from Iboro, a listener: First of all, I want to say thank you very much for the programme which brings credible politicians like Obong Umana Umana on air. I wish to say you have done very well and thank you very much. You may not realize it but your impact has affected the lives of so many people, including myself. I was that vendor that used to sell papers to you while you were Permanent Secretary, Budget Department. You may not remember me anymore , but I just wanted to let you know that you really made an impact on my life. And I think that’s the kind of person we want as Governor in our state. We have many credible candidates that are vying for Governorship and you are one of them. Also, I so much appreciate your choice of words; you choose your words carefully, you’ve stated your points very clearly and outlined your mission in becoming a Governor. I want you to stick by it Sir. I believe the people of Akwa Ibom State will support and will make their choice when the election time comes. Continue doing your good job and God will be with you Sir.
Umana: That’s interesting! That’s good.

Effiong from Uyo: I want to congratulate my able Governor, Obong Umana. I just want to assure you that God is with you. Indeed, you have made us understand that you are going to govern Akwa Ibom on your own. We promise you that we are going to support you since you don’t depend on anybody. Since you have depended on God, that God will see you through. He will not let you down. And I want to tell you that Akwa Ibom is too big for anybody to trample upon. It’s too big. Since you have made up your mind , I want to assure you that the people of Akwa Ibom state have also made up their minds to support you to take Akwa Ibom State to the next level.
Israel calling from Essien Udim: First of all, let me congratulate my Governor to be, Mr. Umana Okon Umana. He is a lion, I so much cherish him. Akwa Ibom is too big for one person to sit down and decide; I am happy that he has been in the corridors of politics, so he knows. In 2011, it was just like this, we went all out and my brother even died in the process, and yet we did not have the person we wanted. But this will be different, I want you to know the technicalities and also protect our votes. It is one thing to contest as a Governor and a different thing to be announced as the Governor. I am asking God to stand by him, and if by the grace of God you become the Governor, that you should not be giving our young men “mbiam” to swear. This concoction they go about giving people to ensure that you stand them; they deceive people with all these plastic cars and bags of rice, and little money that will tarnish their future. Please, I am begging you that when you become the Governor you should listen to the voiceless Akwa Ibom people. I wishyou good luck.                

May God protect you in Jesus Name.
A listener from Ikono: First of all, I want to congratulate our very able Governor 2015 Umana Okon Umana. I want to ask a question concerning the election. You see what happened at the PDP primary elections in Uyo; the kind of security was used to prevent people from going in to vote. What if the same security system is used in the general election? How will you assure the people that come out to vote? You see, some people may be afraid to vote because of exchange of bullets. How are you assuring us that you will protect the interests of the people of Akwa Ibom State?
Umana: My advice to the good people of Akwa Ibom State is that they should be prepared to be courageous; they should be prepared to go all the way to ensure that they defend the results of the elections, and of course where they have information about plans to rig the elections, they should let the relevant authorities know on time. It is really in our hands; our destiny is in our hands. Our people should be determined, they should be prepared ; they should be courageous to know that when they vote, they must make their votes count.
Presenter: I just got this one from Sampson, he wants you know that he is grateful for the assistance you gave to him when he had to go to India when he got shot and he wants to say thank you. 

Aniekan from Ikot Ekpene:I want to congratulate the APC Governorship Candidate. I have two questions to ask him. My honourable candidate, because we are waiting for you to emerge as the Next Governor this year, I have a question regarding the welfare of civil servants. Sir, what are your plans for civil servants in 2015? The second question is this: how do we reach your campaign team? We have a campaign song for you.
Umana: Thank you very much! Our Campaign office is at Ewet Housing Estate. Visit our office and we will be happy to receive you. Now, talking about Civil Servants, if you go through our strategic action plan for Akwa Ibom State, which I said should be on our website now, you will notice that on Housing, we have indicated that within the first one year, we are going to build 30,000 houses and we are talking about the Malaysian model. We have done some work already and civil servants will be the biggest beneficiaries. We can work out a mortgage arrangement so that they can own their own houses. That is even outside other welfare packages. I already told you what I did when I was Commissioner for Finance, which is verifiable, in ensuring that salaries were paid as and when due. So I have that record already; and those who know me know that my word is my bond. When I say I will do it, certainly, I will do it. So, civil servants can look forward to happier days. They can look forward to a government that will be sensitive, that will ensure that their welfare is a priority. They can celebrate as it used to be, and not be in agony. They can look forward to better days.
Derrick from Uyo: I want to congratulate my APC governor for Akwa Ibom State, please I want to ask him who is his running mate is for Akwa Ibom State.
Umana: My running mate is Engineer Benedict Ukpong. He retired as a Director in FCDA, Abuja, a very experienced engineer, public officer, Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, well experienced and well educated, young, vibrant. He is 52 years old. I believe it is a wonderful combination.

Where is he from?
He is from Oron.

And does he have the backing of the Oro people as well?

Of course he does

Presenter: Why did you choose him?

But you just heard his background. In all honesty, he wasn’t expecting that the offer would be made to him. We did our background check; it had nothing to do with sentiments. Anybody who knows me will know that we deal with these matters objectively. We consulted widely, with stakeholders, with leaders from Oron, from around the state because he is going to be the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State , just like I am going to be the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, not a Governor of any section. We consulted widely and shortlisted a number of persons, God favoured him and we picked him. We believe he is a good choice, in terms of his education, in terms of age, in terms of experience, he’s really good. I’m happy that the party and the stakeholders supported our choice and we are ready to go.

Calls from audience
Emmanuel: he said that the government had recycled projects since 2007 and I want to find out-since he was part and parcel of government, why didn’t he resign? And two, he was part and parcel of government, he made money from there to join the APC and in the process he acquired a lot of money...
Umana: Is he done?

Yes I guess he’s probably done, though the call ended abruptly. He asked a very interesting question. A lot of people are asking where you your source of wealth from. You are very generous; a man with the interests of the people, you know with that kind of interest comes a lot of good open hands. A lot of people are saying you got your money while you were SSG, and during the various other offices you held in government.
Well, there is the myth that Umana is very rich…

Are you not rich? Are you not a wealthy man?

Well it’s relative. Let me start with the first issue raised. Yes I said that what we find on television every other day—like today, I watched it this morning, recycled projects. For example, you see the underground drainage; some persons are even saying that it is not working because when it rains everywhere gets flooded. It’s always there. It was shown this week, it is going to be shown again next week, but it was commissioned in 2009. There are some of those projects commissioned in 2008 and so on. Which other government in Nigeria is doing all of these? What point are we trying to prove? This is my point! If we completed a project in 2007 or maybe 2009 why are we still showing them every week? We are paying money, it is not free! We are paying a lot of money. That is my point! That has nothing to do with the fact that I served in the government. I could have held the same opinion when I was in government. Don’t you know that people who serve in government, Commissioners etc, they hold opinions that are different from the direction of government? Of course that happens. And if every day you have an opinion that is different from government, everybody would resign every day. So that is not the issue. It is not the issue. I am a citizen of Akwa Ibom State. The fact that I served in the government is irrelevant, it’s immaterial. When I am saying that what is not right is not right; and if we feel that there is misapplication of our funds, and that the priorities are not right, we have every right to say so. When contracts are awarded, we hear about cost, when they are commissioned nobody speaks about cost, we have a right to ask. That has nothing to do with the fact that I served in government. Even when I served in government, I felt the same way...

That’s what he is saying. If you felt that way when you were in government, were you outspoken like you are now?

No no no! You know, you must also conduct yourself with decorum. When I served in government, the best I could do would be to advise through official channels. But if your views are not taken, and of course, anybody who serves in government and anytime you have a disagreement and your views are not taken you resign, then nobody would be there. That’s the point! But, when you get to a point and the disagreement is fundamental , and the person who hired is thinking that you cannot continue, he has the right and you move on or you also feel that you should move on, then you move on.

Now did you move on or you were sacked?
What difference does it make? I moved on and you know that if you serve at the pleasure of the Governor who appointed you, he has the right to write a beautiful letter like the one that I got to say, “I thank you for your services.”

Where you surprised when you got that?

Why should I be surprised? No! I was not. I am realistic. It is not like it was a life and death matter that you would say oh this is a job that I must die on this job. No! Not at all! To be honest, I didn’t want the job in the first place. I was pressurized at a time. And I have no regrets because it is not about any individual. If I served in that capacity, I believe that I served the state. If I made my honest contributions, it was in the higher interests of the state. And I leave the rest for God to judge. That’s it! I also know as a matter of fact, the records are there, that even as SSG, when it was not part of my brief, I was the one who facilitated the recovery of funds in excess of four hundred and something billion. I wasn’t even the Commissioner of Finance, but all the letters were issued from my office.

Well you know that when I was Commissioner for Finance, and I served with Obong Attah. Then we had all the fight on resource control and so on. By then the indices used by Revenue Mobilization to work out derivation allocations to states were not updated. So, even as at 2007, when Obong Attah left office, the indices were based on production figures of 2004, so you had three years gap and the Revenue Mobilization actually did nothing about it. That was why until Obong Attah left office we were No. 4, Rivers State was No.1 , Delta was No.2 , Bayelsa was No. 3. And Akwa Ibom was No. 4. It was in the last month that Attah was leaving office through my efforts as Commissioner for Finance that we were able to push for a review of the indices, and it was through my initiative. I had to go and source data of actual production myself and I did the computation for virtually all the states and we put up our claims to the Revenue Mobilization. And then when our position was reviewed and accepted, we were then marked up and we became number 2. We became number 2 in May 2007, when Obong Attah was leaving office. So, he was not even a beneficiary of the first allocation that came in. That was the first month that our allocation was enhanced and we moved to number 2 and we were now going to earn up to N10 billion. Before then, it was N4 billion, three point something billion. That was the position. So if that review took us to only 2005 production figures, there was still a gap. So even as SSG, based on what I knew, and I knew it was injustice, I still went ahead to update for the last two years and then we put up our claims, which could not be disputed because I got the production figures from DPR. We put up our claims which were reviewed too and those arrears were paid. And so if that was possible, and of course my role in the recovery of oil wells and so on, I don’t want to talk about that…

I would love you to talk about that.

You see, I made my contributions, and that is for the State. It’s not for the individual. Because, for example, oil wells will form part of our heritage, it outlives any particular administration. I give the glory to God and I am saying well, I didn’t want the job, I was pressurized and then I served and made this kind of contributions, then God must have had a reason for positioning me to serve as SSG. Okay, now the second point the gentleman raised, which I said that you have the myth that Umana is very rich, and sometimes people in government spread the propaganda, it’s all politics! And I want to make one thing clear; if you serve in government, yes, I served as Director of Budgets, Perm Sec Budget, even when I was assistant Director of Budgets, as a civil servant earning my salary, I still reach out when it was possible to help, because reaching out to people is not about having money. If you have that attitude you have it. If you don’t have it, you don’t have it. Two years ago, I attended a child dedication of a good friend and brother of mine, Onofiok Luke. He gave a testimony that he was in the University, in his final year, he had problems with his project, so he couldn’t raise funds and so on. And he mentioned it casually to somebody, “Look I have issues”, the person came to me and mentioned it to me. It was from my salary, I gave him support, which helped him. He completed his project. 
I never met him, I didn’t even know him. So, when he gave the testimony in the church and this was something that happened when I was a relatively junior civil servant, you know I was happy that God used me in this way. I didn’t even know him, I had not met him. So it is not about having money. And if you serve in government, nothing stops your wife, for example, from running private companies. My wife runs private companies and if we make money as my wife is making, she is making money for the family. If she runs those companies successfully and money is made, what has that got to do with the fact I was in government? Is that a crime because I served in government? So, the family cannot make money outside? She was not part of government? So, she can run the companies. So there is the myth that Umana is so rich. So so so person is so rich. It’s a myth and it’s all false. And of course when I was coming to the studio, I read somewhere, on one of the online platforms, that one of my wife’s companies Kaniex, that she is indebted to AMCON through one of these banks, the defunct Bank PHB, called Enterprise Bank now; that she is indebted to AMCON to the tune of N148 billion. Is it not a contradiction? If we were so rich and then the same people that are accusing me that I am so rich are the same people accusing my wife and her company of owing AMCON and so on and so forth, and even tried to politicize it; I read the rubbish that was published that there was fraud and that she is owing AMCON N148 billion.That’s all politics and it’s nonsense. What they forget is that it is a business transaction between her company and the bank. The bank is saying you owe us this much, her company has counter-claimed saying your computations are wrong, you owe us so much. So, it is only a proper court that can decide the case. Many other companies owe AMCON and many of the cases are in court and so on. So what is so special, if not politics? So all these stories about wealth… that same bank, I can tell you that there was another loan given to me, mortgage loan, 10 years, which partly financed even my residence, I have paid 7 years now and still have three years to go. How would you know if I don’t tell you that even my house was financed with a 10 year mortgage loan that I have paid for 7 years now? It is because it is personal and its only information that I can provide in my code of conduct form; but because I am running for this public office today, yes the people of Akwa Ibom State also have a right to know about some of these issues even though they may be personal to me, and if I deem it fit, I can then disclose it. I hear some ridiculous stories; that if you go, the man gives you money and the naira notes are dated 1995, 1996 and that he must have an underground bank and so on. They are all rubbish! All rubbish!

Let me go straight to this. Something that is very important to me; something that I strongly believe should be addressed; this is also a kind of issue here in Akwa Ibom State that the reason you have all these talk about Udom Emmanuel blah blah is because he wants to sustain the development we have already, the uncommon transformation. Would you uphold the uncommon transformation? In other words, pull down the structures that Akpabio has put in place or would you sustain it and enhance it?
Well you see development is cumulative. That’s the point. If one administration builds a road, you can’t take it away. It’s there for the people. Attah did his bit. He made his contributions; you can’t take them away. Isemin did the same, Nkanga did the same. It is cumulative. I read one of Fashola’s interviews; they put the question to him: you’ve done so well, we think you are the best Governor ever to have ruled Lagos State. And he said, No! All other Governors made their contributions, and operated under other different environments, different financial profiles, and so on. So everybody made his own contribution. So it would not be fair to single me out and adjudge me the best ever. That’s Fashola, modest and totally modest. So, I’m saying that it is cumulative, it’s a continuum. We cannot say that Akpabio has not made his own contributions, he has made his own contributions, just like he also had to build on what all other past administrations did, I will do the same. But what we are talking about is his recklessness, his impunity, and the fact that our people are disregarded even when they ask legitimate questions about cost of projects, the government is silent, people are totally ignored, when they ask legitimate question about debt profile, they are totally ignored; when they ask legitimate questions about how much have we earned, they are totally ignored. Those are legitimate questions. We are talking about holistic change. Change that would encompass transparency, accountability, and that is the way it should be. If you know that you are depending on the people to elect you as Governor, then you owe to the people to be accountable and transparent. If you think that it is a godfather who made you Governor, you have to visit him every other day to clear whatever you are doing; it is a totally different situation. And that means that if the godfather says don’t let them know how much you earning, then you won’t. As I told you, the Almighty God is my godfather and then I will become Governor by the grace of God and the support of the good people of Akwa Ibom State. 

Thank you, Cleo. It’s been a nice time out here. I want to thank you and also thank the good people of Akwa Ibom State. And also to let them know that change has come to Akwa Ibom State. All these stories from people who talk down on you , telling you it’s a one party state, you have no choice, it is only PDP, no matter what we do to you, you have no choice, you are slaves. We are telling you now that you have a choice and if you have not been well treated, you have been humiliated, you have been disgraced, you have not had the benefits of the blessings of this state, it is time for you to use your vote to bring change and you can do that when you vote for me as the next Governor of Akwa Ibom State. It’s been nice talking to all of you, and of course you Cleo, O will like to thank all those that are supporting you Cleo, in the studio, once again, I wish all of you a happy new year, and I wish the good people of Akwa Ibom State, Happy New Year.

Phone in segment:
1. Ime called from Uyo: First and foremost, let me congratulate my Governor to be. I pray for him every day and I see that my prayer will soon come to pass; he is going to be the next Governor of this state. 

2. Odudu called from Uyo:I have one question for your guest. If you fail in this election, will you accept defeat? Response: Thank you my brother. I am the APC Governorship Candidate, Akwa Ibom State. My name is Umana Okon Umana. I have stated here that I will depend on the support of the good people of Akwa Ibom State. Let the people decide; when they decide freely and I am not favoured, then of course the will of the people should stand. That is the way it should be, that is democracy. 

3. Caller from Calabar:Good afternoon Sir! I have a question for you, but before I do that I want to congratulate you for your courage to break out of the PDP Cabal. Thank you once again for the choice you have given the people of Akwa Ibom State on the platform of the APC to make their choice. 

4. Caller from Nsit Ubium:Good afternoon your Excellency! We congratulate youfor what youhave done in Akwa Ibom State.

5. Cross River: Gerald:What has been your contribution to youth development in the past? What have you done in the past to empower youths since you were a Commissioner and member of the State Executive? What has been your contribution to the plight of the poor, the widows, to the needy in the society? Now that you are contesting, what is your blueprint for the youths? 

Umana’s Response: Well, I thank him for that question.  Some of the things I did on a personal level based on personal relationships. I am sorry I will not divulge that information.

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