During the recent Uyo Book Club’s Colloquium to mark the 82nd Birthday Anniversary of the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah, issues bothering on the state leadership was on focus; while that of the former Governor between 1999-2007 was exrayed.
Many were the notes about the leadership style of the former Governor popularly addressed as A FATHER OF MODERN AKWA IBOM, by individuals who witnessed and played active roles in that regime.
Summarily, the tone of the various remarks by great Akwa Ibom sons/daughters present during the event at Uyo Book Club was that of an engaging template of development by that regime which surpassed successive governments; and the missing link in the spate of state’s development is as a result of sheer neglect of this template. Poor consolidation plan which has altered the guiding principles of the state development laid by Obong Victor Attah.
According to Chief Nduese Essien, “The bane of governance in Akwa Ibom State has been the inability or failure to perpetuate continuity and consistency to plans and programmes. The application of sentiment-based passion to development can not achieve sustainable development.”
A clear case is the Science Park, an idea borne by Obong Attah during his administration 20 years ago which technocrats have opined would have become a lucrative ICT hub boosting state economy through internet packages in high demand in today’s ICT world.
In his remark, the founder of Uyo Book Club, Dr. Udeme Nana said former Governor Obong Attah’s lifestyle, leadership style, contributions and achievements are Books to be read which will help refine the sensibilities of the people.
“Going forward, Akwa Ibom needs a leader in this mould of Obong Attah: mature, seasoned, cerebral, widely exposed, well experienced, hardworking, visionary, credible.
“A prospect possessing national and international network whose voice would be heard and respected. A man with ideas, who is also receptive to good ideas, someone who can take us away from our dependence on oil into a society driven by technology.”
He seized the opportunity to list few of the feats achieved by the administration as the then media adviser. These included; Introduction of GSM into the state which made Akwa Ibom State one of the first four (4) states to enjoy the service at inception by investing in Econet Wireless communication.
Also, an Independent Power Plant was built in Ikot Abasi.
Nine (9) centres of Excellence in ICT were established at CCC (Uyo), Methodist Boys High School (Oron), Immaculate Conception Secondary School (Itak, Ikono), Itam Secondary School (Itu), Government Secondary School, Ikwen (Obot Akara), Lutheran High School, Obot Idim (Ibesikpo/Asutan), Holy Family  College Oku (Abak).
The Ibom Airport, which was named in honour of the former Governor, Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah by the administration of Gov. Udom Emmanuel after due deliberation of a motion moved by member representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko in the Sixth House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Onofiok Akpan Luke.
Furthermore, Obong Attah built and remodelled Ibom Plaza; Uyo Village Road, Atiku Abubakar, Four-Lanes, Dualized Ikot Ekpene Road, Rebuilt dualized Abak road, Oron Road to Airport, Oron road through Nwaniba to Le Meridien and Golf Resort, Le Meridien Resort now Ibom Golf Resort, Built 18 hole Golf Course, Timber Market at Ifa Ikot Okpon, Itam Timber Market, Ibibio Museum  of Unity at Udo Udoma Avenue, Cenotaph at Udo Udoma Avenue, Banking Layout, etc.
More of the achievement of that regime can be looked up: https://thereachng.com/look-at-arc-obong-victor-attahs-achievements/
In other goodwill messages, it was deduced that the state can only advance in the hands of leaders who understand and respect the founding template of detribalization, apolitical sentiment, which is the fulcrum of the state’s development.
In his presentation tagged “Akwa Ibom March Towards sustainable development – The Road to be taken,” Chief (Hon) Nduese Essien, former Minister of Lands and Housing and Member House of Representative (1999-2007) said “Regrettably, we have been unlucky to have internecine conflicts between successor and predecessor of every administration to the extent of disrupting development between administration. This is a pitfall that has to be avoided as we transit from the current administration to the next.”
He stressed on the development-plan-focus by each administration which will catalogue the aspirations of the state in a long period of time and set out strategies in achieving it.
“A situation where an administration comes and abandons major projects of its predecessor to embark on his ideas of major projects results in stagnation to growth and colossal wastages. Obvious cases in sight are: The Science Park; Qua River Hotel; Tropicana; Four Point by Sheraton and E-Library.”
Other Akwa Ibom sons speaking on the occasion, Arc. Ezekiel Nyaetok, Dr. Chris Abasi Eyo and Chief Ita Toyo eulogized the personality of the former Governor and unanimously qualified him as selfless leader who engaged good hands in his administration devoid of the sentiment of political affiliation.
They added that he was a leader not afraid of criticism but open to learning and higher intellectual content.
The Patron of the Uyo Book Club, Dr. Ekong Sampson said Akwa Ibom State needs detribalized leaders in the future who have the sincere interest of the state at heart so the state can move forward. He added that the state needs leaders who can transfer wisdom to courage and courage to a driving force to power a mission.
It was a celebration mixed with solemn moments of the opportunities lost by the state due to poor culture of consolidation by successive governments.
The gathering made a prayer for a greater Akwa Ibom with great leaders in the mould of Arc. Obong Victor Attah.
©Enwono-Abasi Elisha,


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