UDOM INOYO – A PROPHET HONOURED OUTSIDE HIS COMMUNITY (PART 1)
By Franklyn ISONG
“Jesus said unto them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house,” Mark 6 vs 4.
In the past seven months, our missiles of destruction have been shifted to Barr. Udom Uko Inoyo. The current vice chairman of ExxonMobil, owners of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (EEPNL) in Nigeria. He got appointed into the exalted seat on March 19, 2018. Until his elevation, Inoyo – an indigene of Ikot Okoro Ubium in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was the Executive Director and In-country Human Resources Manager for MPN and EEPNL. He joined MPN in 1989 (two years after Akwa Ibom state was created) and rose to the rank, after handling several human resources roles in Nigeria, United States of America (USA) and Belgium for the multinational oil giant.
It is only witches and wizards that I am told do eat their own sons/daughters. Akwa Ibom people are not witches and wizards. This practice of self-destruction is becoming more alarming by the day.
In other climes, national/international personalities are made, created or established by their people that is why we have the Aliko Dangotes, the Femi Otedolas, the Mike Adenugas, the Allen Onyemas, the Jim Ovias, the Tony Elumelus, and the Dantatas of this world amongst several others. Why are these people national/international figures? Are they not from States in Nigeria? Have there not been elections/politicking in their States? Why is Akwa Ibom different? I leave you to ponder on it – just like I do daily!
Some weeks ago, I was discussing with a longstanding friend in Abuja. We took time to assess our nation and the federating states. Like yours truly, my friend is apolitical. He is a diplomat who had served the United Nations for so many years travelling to so many countries in the course of his duties. I will not mention his name for the sake of his privacy. It was a private and friendly interaction not meant for the public consumption. But if I must bring up some of the issues to form the foundation of this piece, I must do it without mentioning the name of my diplomat friend.
It was a sad moment for me in Abuja, when an outsider, I mean, a non –Akwa Ibomite reminded me in very clear terms that “Akwa Ibom people do not have a leader. They do not groom leaders and do not honour the ones who have worked themselves to either international or national limelight.”
I tried unsuccessfully to puncture my friend’s statement as he further asked me to buttress my claims by mentioning the names of, at least, ten prominent personalities who are viewed or have the tall reputation of either international or national figures from Akwa Ibom State? Such a simple aptitude test for anyone to answer. But this mental exercise became so stressful for me to answer. Why? Because any name I struggled to mention, my diplomat friend had just one question for me, which is; “Is he/she respected and honoured by Akwa Ibom people?” I was dumbfounded. Ashamed to have come from Akwa Ibom because, I ran short of words! My friend, though hails from Ondo State, has the history of political evolution of Akwa Ibom and the 35 States of the federation including Abuja, at his fingertips. What a shame for Akwa Ibom people that we cannot boast of, at least, ten national figures not to talk of international?
I never knew, I would ever be confronted with such a conversation by an outsider, when I wrote an article titled; “ENGR. ITA AWAK AND AKWA IBOM SEVEN EVIL SPIRITS,” published by RadarPapers online via: http://radarpapers.ng/2017/03/09/engr-ita-awak-and-akwa-ibom-seven-evil-spirits/ on the March 9, 2017. Neither did I know a day like that would come when I wrote another article titled; “AKWA IBOMITES STOP DESTROYING YOUR NATIONAL HEROES,” published by Radar Papers online via: https://radarpapers.ng/2018/11/07/akwa-ibomites-stop-destroying-your-national-heroes-by-franklyn-isong/ on November 7, 2018.
It is evidently clear that from 1999 to 2020 (21 years) and up to 2023 (24 years), the State cannot boast of, at least, ten national personalities. Something is certainly wrong with us as a people. The reason for this is not far-fetched; internal wrangling, power struggle, class struggle, and the madness for acquisition of our common patrimony at the detriment of Akwa Ibom masses.
If you like, call me John the Baptist; “the voice of one crying in the wilderness,” I don’t care! All I want is for Akwa Ibom people to put a stop to this evil and destructive spirit of PULL HIM DOWN in the name of politics.
“The greatest tragedy on earth is not death but ignorance,” according to Dr. Myles Munroe. Suffice it to say that Akwa Ibom people are ignorantly destroying the destiny and soul of a State named after God by eating up the future and destiny of her own people.
Udom Inoyo and all other Akwa Ibomites who have earned international/national recognition in their little ways, through personal efforts, hardwork, honesty, and dedication to service of humanity should not be destroyed within Akwa Ibom by Akwa Ibom people but, protected, projected and honoured!
I plead with our clergies and Imams to seek God’s intervention for the State. This yoke must be broken this year – by fire! – By thunder! In Jesus name Amen!
• Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society.