UNPACKED: WE ARE NOT LOCAL CHAMPIONS!
When the Akwa Ibom State Government in the first four years of nascent democracy engaged the services of Mott McDonald of Croydon to map out appropriate site for the current ‘Victor Attah’s International Airport, they saw it pertinent to catch development light and seek expatriate knowledge where it was lacking.
Or when in 2004 graduates of Akwa Ibom flew out to Canada for 18 months IT training sponsored by the state government, development was needed and no pretense to seek it where available. Akwa Ibom leadership did not see themselves as Local men and die with LOCAL rot!
Development is vast and more than Local knowledge alone!
When MOU was signed by Akwa Ibom State Government with Globeleq of UK to take over Ibom Power Company after the completion of the first phase of the project, it was never unidirectional feat. The State reached out for what needed for the good of the State. Never shy about gaining what was lacking. That is development!
When you are reading this piece know you are an Akwa Ibomite, a born local but not limited to die a ‘Local Man’ who fears higher knowledge and advancement; or fear the people opportune to step out and gather much of these knowledge our locality is in dire need of for development. You will advance, break bounds, go wherever positive life could take you, get more knowledge, be better to compete in the world’s stable and never forget the road that will lead you home. It is a prayer. Say Amen!
DEVELOPMENT BEYOND LOCAL SENSE
Devoid of any sentiment, growing mind needs to explore opportunities which can advance one beyond geographic birth location. Reason for migration not far-fetched.
From time immemorial, human nature always graves for and seek knowledge to better its state.
History has not faulted Akwa Ibom State as an entity which seeks development and launches out for knowledge in achieving this per time.
This makes any sensible Akwa Ibom person to have a bile-taste just going through some pieces of write-ups in recent times about respected Akwa Ibom sons who have diligently paid their dues in serving society and humanity; whose path have been blessed and charted to rise, not just to mingle with contemporaries at world’s level.
Can’t a good thing come from Nazareth?
It is sad that Akwa Ibom political terrain is laced with mudsling, blackmail, hate and intimidation. But unfortunately, Akwa Ibomites are not weaklings!
Mr. Udom ‘Uko’ Inoyo is not a coward or a weakling. Yes! This can be taken to the bank.
How can a man who has passed several hurdles of ethnic intimidations, racism, language-barrier, hate, corporate-politics, suddenly become a coward and allow political dictators forecast his future and derail the already humanitarian responsibilities put on his labs before now.
It is those who do not know Mr. Udom Uko Inoyo that speculate falsehood about him.
There has not been any official statement yet from this personality that he seeks position at hill-top mansion in the State come 2023. Then who are these mischief makers who throw this dust of speculation thinking it can smear the hard earned image of this Nsit Ubium son without a spread on them too.
Wait a minute, who can say it is even a crime for this Akwa Ibom son to seek such position if blessed with great qualities needed for such office at appropriate time. I don’t see this as criminal at all except these folks do not understand what DEMOCRACY is and no form of intimidation can cower any Akwa Ibom person with good intentions for the State.
Didn’t you read, ‘2023: Why Thou’est Come Quickly!’ Yeah! It is already 2023 and Akwa Ibom political terrain is so heated up.
So much of the intimidation, name calling, blackmail can not deter any serious Akwa Ibom person who knows what he/she has in the Kitty to serve the people of Akwa Ibom who are in dire need of quality service.
WE ARE NOT LOCAL SLAVES.
Right from 2003, this erudite Ubium son has been quietly touching lives and preparing youth to be equipped with sustainable skills for responsible living.
It is worthy of note that youth empowerment is never throwing money at them like slaves. It is raising the youth with sustainable skills for a longterm impact. Testimony from one of the beneficiaries of the Skill Acquisition program organized by Mr. Udom Inoyo for the youth as far back as 2004, said over 60 persons have benefited from the programme. many of whom have built houses, married, and bought vehicles as a result of the skills acquired from the programme. Mr. Nseobong Jacob said the skills included; wielding, electrical repairs, plumbing, bricklaying, Aluminum, fashion design, generator repair and maintenance among others were youth from villages such as Akai Ubium, Ikot Okoro, Obio Eket, Odoro Ataisong, Ikot Akpaneno, Ikot Umo, Nung Obong Ubium Umo, and across other communities in Nsit Ubium including youth from other parts of the State.
According to Etebong Akpan, a youth from Ikot Okoro Ubium, a village where Mr. Inoyo hails said Mr. Inoyo is the first individual to have influenced electricity distribution in his village as far back as the late-80s.
LOCALS NEEDING MORE
Another narrative by Chief Usenobong Imo, an indigene of Ikot Okoro Ubium, “Mr. Inoyo did not only bring a 500kva transformer which was installed at the middle of the community, he ensured that power was adequately distributed in the community earning him enormous respect and admiration from the people.” (Excerpt from article ‘Dilemma of a Corporate Chief’ by FredFish Tom and Udeme Nana).
Rural women were not left out in his strides to impact and improve their living standard. Mr. Udom Inoyo influenced NNPC and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited in 2004 and cassava mill, palm fruit mill and poultry were established under the Integrated Community Development Programme (ICDP) in his community. According to Madam Nwa Samuel Sunday, the mill and poultry are still used by the women for over one decade now. She confessed that, the facilities were timely and life changing because they used to go to a long distant to process cassava and palm products.
Also, Inoyo Toro Foundation has been busy adding value to education since 2007. Understanding that education is the bedrock of society and teachers’ motivation paramount and needed to be spurred up.
A lot are in the baggage of this high-profiled Akwa Ibom son many are already intimidated of; thereby wielding blunt sword of hatred in attempt to assassinate the already established and shielded character of this individual which Akwa Ibom politics can not take it away from reasonable minds and world view. Many individuals have known him and are willing to unpackaged the truth about this personality.
“There is Udom Inoyo, the gentleman in Exxon Mobil. When I mentioned those who had supported the party…I remember that barely one week in office, he came to my office in Ikot Ekpene road and demanded for the party card.
“I brought his Ward Chairman then and they signed the party card for him. I remember that very clearly. That was 2007. Besides that, he did a lot of other deep things for the party. I don’t think it makes sense to talk about it now. But when I am asked to comment specifically on him, I will. And I will on all the others because I know them to a certain level.” (Excerpt from ‘Guber 2023: Otu Ita Toyo Exposes “Deep things” Udom Inoyo Did in PDP in 2007’ by Ekemini Simon).
Chief Assam Assam in a public function last year said, “they think of us all, I know him the best. That is not correct. I am certain we are all familiar with the story of the elephant and the 8 blind Indians who upon touching a part of the elephant identified the elephant differently.
“Metaphorically I would look at us all as the 8 blind Indians and Udom as the elephant. So in proposing a toast to Udom Inoyo you have to recall that part of him you touched or which touched you.”
Political speculation will not change the person of Mr. Udom Inoyo who has been in his quiet corner discharging humanitarian responsibilities needing no undue glare.
BE LOCAL BUT THINK GLOBALLY
When next you hear the name Udom Uko Inoyo think of a man which grace has charted his path for impact on humanity. Think of a man whose locality did not limit his thought pattern to yearn for more knowledge for self development to compete with giants in more developed climes. When you hear Udom Inoyo remember the price the generation now and future need to pay to seek knowledge from more developed climes to add up and change for better Local state. Until then, we jettison no advanced help to get to the envisioned state.
Hear one of our leaders speak, “I have this particular advantage that I had studied and worked in the UK as well as the United States of America and also as I have said, in the West Indies. So people come here to invest knowing that I know how business is done in those places.” extract from His Excellency, Arc Obong Victor Attah’s Interview in World’s Report.
Robert Browning says, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”
Wherever you go, remember the road that’ll lead you home.
LOCALS we are, but we can’t die LOCAL CHAMPIONS!
Enwono-Abasi Elisha is a Journalist. Writes from Uyo. (firstname.lastname@example.org)