A’Ibom 2023: Following the path of prosperity and development

Richard Peters

Prosperity and development are twin elements in the determination of growth and success. To be considered as a success story, one must be sure to convince people beyond reasonable doubts that they have for sure improved.

In leadership, the twin concepts of prosperity and development comes to mind when considering the difference one must make to leave their names imprinted on the sands of time. As such, every good leader must take care to ensure that they position their area of jurisdiction on the path which can lead to prosperity and development, as well as the maintenance of same.

In Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel has in the last 7 years demonstrated these twin elements, much to the disappointment of his opponents who never thought he would come as far as making the State the hub of industries and infrastructural developments, which have set the template for the acquisition of prosperity. We are now proud owners of giant projects, with the security to attract investors and tourists to have a feel of our potentials. Say we are wealthy and you won’t be wrong because the foundation for our wealth are all laid out – good road networks, functional industries, a booming agricultural system and a robust healthcare system; we are indeed good to go.

Today, Akwa Ibom State is setting the pace for economic growth in Nigeria, with countless industries creating employment for unemployed and producing raw materials for SMEs’ use and export.
However, because government is a continuum and others must be allowed a fair share of governance, Governor Udom Emmanuel is preparing to leave the scene but not without someone, whom he is convinced, will see to the furtherance of the course of the State. What a lot of people do not know is that good leaders strive for continuity. It would be so painful for any leader to go through the stress of building an entity with so much time, resources and energy channeled into it, only for a successor to trample such efforts under their feet.
This explains the reason for the Governor’s recent announcement of who Akwa Ibom people should rally around.

Now, developments anywhere in the world are not executed at the express approval of citizens; they are often condemned, delayed and sometimes, killed by those they are meant for. Many atimes, the same people who engage in very agonizing criticism ignorantly, turn back to be the major beneficiaries of criticized projects and persons. For this reason, leaders who do not desire to be distracted or discouraged, disregard condemnation and forge ahead to deliver on their kind wishes for the same people who never remember to take back their ill words when they start enjoying the goodwill of condemned projects.

As far back as the Old Testament era, criticism has remained a veritable tool for demoralization. Noah was called names for building the Ark of protection against the flood and Nehemiah was taunted by Sambalat and Tobias for building the fallen Temple of God. However, the antagonists in the end, came to the understanding that there was indeed a viable reason for the project they condemned.

Today, the same fate has befallen the Governor of Akwa Ibom State whose only “crime” is choosing a successor. But the truth remains that the choice of the Governor CAN be taken as TRUSTED. One is because the Governor must have x-rayed the array of aspirants and satisfied himself with their capabilities before making a final pick.

As such, we must look beyond the emotional sentiments of a people’s leader who will be more concerned about warming his way into the hearts of the people through public appearances and roadside patronage than the real ness of leadership. Our want for a person who will “mix-up freely” or “share money” at plaza as some are agitating, should not becloud our need for one who will diligently continue in the path of infrastructural renaissance and economic restoration. We should look out for one who will effectively follow the pattern laid by this government and not, turn into a bungalow, the foundation laid for a sky scrapper. This should be our collective wish for our dear state.

Moreover, the man, Pst. Umoh Eno has no illness in his personality. The incoming Governor is an entrepreneur, administrator and a minister of the Gospel. An accomplished hospitality professional and fellow of the Nigerian Catering and Hotel Institute (FNCHI), with MSc in Political Science from the University of Uyo; he is an alumnus of Pan African University’s Lagos Business School (LBS), and has over 35years working experience in the private sector, spanning banking, marketing, management and hospitality.

In 1997, he established Royalty Hotels and Recreation Limited in Eket, Akwa Ibom State to provide specialized hospitality service with a global mindset. This fully indigenous organization has since grown into a Group with diversified interest in beverages, industrial catering, apartments and coffee shop. Umo Eno, fondly called Governor of the Royalty Group, has keen interest in human capital development of youth; creating direct employment for more than 500 people across the country.

He pastors All Nations Christian Ministry Int’l in Eket, a nondenominational Church where he oversees the Bridge of Hope, an arm of the Ministry that offers weekly free medical services to more than 200 hypertensive and diabetic persons in the host community in Eket.

Passionate about raising young entrepreneurs, he set up The Gathering – a nonprofit making initiative in 2017 that convenes IGNITE; a global platform for knowledge-based empowerment, training and entrepreneurial skills development of youths for entrepreneurship and self -sufficiency. He speaks regularly to youths and adult groups on entrepreneurship, leadership and ethics and is currently the chairman, BOT, Akwa Ibom Business Community.

He has held many appointments including the Chairmanship of Akwa Ibom Hotels and Tourism Board from 2004 – 2007. He is a two (2) Star Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary Club of Eket, District 9140 and has received several awards for his public spirited life, including the National Productivity Award, Icon of Hope Award by The Apostolic Church, Nigeria; Special Recognition Award by Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Akwa Ibom State.

In October 1, 2019 he resigned as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Royalty Group with six (6) subsidiaries, having put in place a seamless succession plan, to accept an appointment with Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel as Executive Director, Agricultural Investment, AKICORP.

Umo is a good social mixer who believes in hard work, integrity and strong character. He is the author of Wealth Creation – God’s Way, Break Forth, Exercising Your Dominion Mandate, Dream Again, The Legacy of a Father and true Friendship. He is the Publisher of Hospitality Connect and Appetizer Magazines and a regular contributor to industry and inspirational journals.

Behold your incoming Governor, Akwa Ibomites!

Wisdom Bassey

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