Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Udom Emmanuel: New wine, new skin

Udom Emmanuel:  New wine, new skin

New wine has been poured into the New Akwa Ibom Skin. The long drawn search for the future leadership and the hope for a sustained development of the state have come to a head. In the words of Governor Godswill Akpabio- the Great Teacher who taught Udom Emmanuel; “We have to demonstrate the core values of democratic governance and set the pace in the national development agenda.”

Towards the end of his administration, Governor Godswill Akpabio had admonish that; ‘it is time we begin to distinguish between politics and governance because they are not the same thing’. That admonition came on the heels of his experience over the harm that bad politics can wrought on the development of the state. The great teacher had politicked with the strong and mighty and in the process, the proud was humbled in the imagination of their hearts and had come to realize and share the experience that ‘governance’ not ‘politics’ is the key to development. Udom is the distinguishing factor of the past pedestrian Akwa Ibom and an industrialized future of the State, he is the dividing line between the drudgery of professional politicians and professionals in politics.  

One of the major factors which had plunged Nigeria into economic ruins and a total quagmire had been the appointment of men whose only means of livelihood is politics. The ‘men on the ground’ who see themselves as professional politicians. Those are the men who are afraid of the light as they perceive that Udom will not give room for profligacy and dark room politics.

At his appointment as Secretary to State Government, the brewing process of the New Wine for the New Akwa Ibom Skin had begun.  Governor Akpabio reminded Udom that the office, like that of the Governor, requires sacrifices as it was full of blackmail and character assassination and cautioned him against any ethnic agenda. “You will discharge the agenda of the state, there is no time to make mistakes and learn from the mistakes because you are joining the administration at injury time”  The sound principles of corporate governance embodying the Governor Elect forms the major contents of the New Wine to be poured into the New Akwa Ibom Skin as keys to sustainable development.  The success of state development is dependent on the effective combination of good corporate and democratic governance and these calls for professionalism. The power behind every successful leadership is the amount of knowledge stored in the capacity of the leader; this is the fountain on which prudent projections flow. In fact, it is governance that has to meet individuals’ needs and not the other way around.

The Akwa Ibom civilisation under the administration of Udom Emmanuel can only be galvanized by good governance through an articulated effort of placing square pegs in square holes. This in turn lays demand of the Governor Elect to exploit to advantage, the proficiency of professionalism in making appointments to sensitive positions in government. The framework of appointments should be based on pouring New Wine into New Wine Skin so the new Akwa Ibom skin will not burst and through asunder, the labour of our heroes past.

An example can be taken from the gospels in Mathew, 9: 16, “Neither do people pour new wine into old skins. If they do, the skin will burst, the wine will run out and the wine skin will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new skin and both are preserved.”

A good governance culture provides the structure for government, sets and pursue democratic objectives and its developmental agenda with a mechanism for monitoring the actions, policies, and decisions to align with the interest of the stakeholders and the generality of the people. While raw politics abhors accountability, the ideals of good governance embraces it, and this goes to speak volumes about Udom’s integrity.

The divine mandate on which fiat Udom will thrive should not be allowed to rancid in the greasy palms of mediocrity of the old wine skin so that the refreshingly new taste of the new wine will not go soared even at this early stage of distillation. Be alert to the antics and intrigues of professional politicians, develope sharp reflexes and make calculated compromises.

At this stage of the journey in democratic governance, Udom has been immersed in an experiential process and has redefined himself as a leader. He has challenged himself to discover what to change and what to keep, especially now that the ship of state has sailed into the high waters of economic development, political reckoning and respect.

Udom Emmanuel represents the opportunity for unlimited growth for Akwa Ibom State; the more you position yourself to join in the march with Udom across economic frontiers for the state, so do we all excel in the outcome economy.

 The great teacher had highlighted that; “What the World needs most today is integration and co-operation, to act as a force for reflection and connection for ideas, proposals, stakeholders, countries and cultures”. Today, the hands of the good among Akwa Ibom people are stretching out to grasp at the saving grace of professionals in the politics of the state, to sustain the tempo, maintain the rhythm and uphold the ideals for national international co-operation by which process, the legacies of royalty of Akwa Ibom State as mentored by Governor Godswill Akpabio may implant the State on the global economy matrix.

Johnson is an Uyo-based journalist with Transformation Initiative (TIEIP).

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