2023: Akwa Ibom Needs A Carpenter As Governor

By Franklyn Isong

The State seems broken down unrepairable. Things seem not working as it should. The people of the State are apparently in a state of despair. There appears to be a disconnect between the leader and the led. Seemingly, the led are groaning in pains and anguishing in silence. Engross in the result of ineptitude on the part of our leaders. But thanks to goodness, here comes another opportunity for the people to reinvent themselves and to decide their fates for another 4years from 2023.

So far, to my knowledge, in no particular order, the following: Senator Bassey Albert, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, Mr. Udom Inoyo, Mr. Akan Udofia, Senator John Udoedehe, Senator Ita Enang, Senator Effiong Bob, Rt. Hon. Michael Enyong, Mr. Akan Okon, Mr. Ide Owodiong-idemeko, Arc. Ezekiel NyaEtok, Pastor Umoh Eno, Dr. Iniobong Essien and Comrade Ini Ememobong have been rumoured to have indicated interest in the 2023 governorship of the State. For sure, one of them will be hired, at last, by Akwa Ibom people through the ballot.

2023 will be a defining moment for the people of the State which must not be toyed with. I understand that some of the aspirants have started flattering the people with what I call “Greek gift” (a gift given or a favour done with a treacherous purpose), wearing fake smiles and becoming emergency philanthropists, making artificial friendship with the poor, and needy in our society, attending all manner of events including burials, child-naming, birthday parties, etc, and even stopover on the highway to buy roasted corn and coconut and eat, in order, to hoodwink the gullible.

Trust me, when I say, their antics aren’t new to the people. They are part of politicking. We had walked this pathway before. We did it and made some costly mistakes which is why we are where we are today. God forbid we repeat the mistakes of the past. God forbid the wrong man is mistakenly hired this time around. I want the best for my State.

Akwa Ibom, my state, must move forward with a right servant-leader employed as the Governor. I mean, one who possesses the skills of a carpenter. Who is a carpenter? A Carpenter construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures made from wood and other materials. I used the words “hired or employed” guardedly and interchangeably, to correct a wrong notion that imposition no longer fashionable in our clime. The generality of the people of voting age will decide by election through the ballots who will be the governor in 2023.

I will vote for and support a detribalized carpenter-governor with or without Cambridge or Harvard university certificate. We have tried an Architect. We have tried a lawyer and a banker. Paying too much attention to university degrees, Business School etc is probably partly why Akwa Ibom has not fared any better.

We need a mental change of our leaders. I prefer a democratic leader with or without a university degree than a tyrannic governor with a despotic style of governance.

If for anything, a humbled man with good education from whether Harvard or Cambridge university when entrusted with power usually presumes to have the monopoly of knowledge and in worst case scenario, turns a tyrant and despotic in leadership approach. This is partly responsible for the underdevelopment of Akwa Ibom and her people.

Akwa Ibom is in dire need of a carpenter-governor. Someone who is a builder to build our broken structures. Someone to repair the broken relationship between the past, the present and the future leaders of the State. Someone to construct bridges across the ethnic nationalities in Akwa Ibom and the people. Someone who is easily accessible by the led. Someone who is approachable. Someone who will not only listens to the people but offers solutions to their problems. We don’t need a visiting-governor (someone who only visits the State once the federal allocation is ready).

At this critical stage of our State, I dare to ask, who amongst the aspirants best fit the description of a servant-leader? Who is best suitable for this carpentry job?

This is the question we must bear in mind when making a decision on who should be employed to occupy the Hilltop Mansion in 2023.

Governorship of Akwa Ibom State is not a child’s play. It’s not only about the paraphernalia of the office. It’s not also only about the influence and affluence that come with the office but, about the destiny, security and well being of over 6 million people.

Let’s collectively disagree to agree on who is the right person for the top job.

~Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society

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