By Assam Abia.
“When you are criticized, unnecessarily, negatively, while on the move, keep quiet and finally silence your critics by achieving your set goals. Achievement makes mockery of a mocker””
The above philosophical aphorism illustrates very succinctly the prevailing situation facing Nigerian leaders, especially in these days of social media journalism. Unnecessary criticism laced with false information and hate speech has become a profession to some uninformed facebook freaks. Nowadays, the only qualification needed to practice as a “social media journalist” is the ability to own an Android phone. The situation has become so worrisome that some countries of the world, including Nigeria are making moves to contain the monstrous dragon which is threatening peace, unity and development of most nations through the enactment of laws that will nib into the bud the emergence of this alien profession.
It should be noted that constructive criticism is a component part of democracy all over the world. It is the pillar that sustains democratic values. It is very vital to the development and survival of any democratic nation. It is taught as a core subject in journalism.
A good leader will always welcome constructive criticism because it will afford him the opportunity to know how good or bad his dancing steps are. A good leader will read the message of life written within the lines of a genuine critic. He decodes very easily, the difference between the sleazy songs of sycophancy and true criticism.
But the quote, made as a preface of this write-up is meant for leaders and public servants who are unwarranted victims of this new profession of the uninformed. A leader who knows his onions, who has a blue print, a working document and is equipped with the needed resources to execute his blue print will always ignore unnecessary criticism. He will surely always move on, focused. He knows that the only way to silence his myopic critics is to achieve his set goal for the benefits of the generality of the people.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State is such a leader. He is focused. He loves constructive criticism but develops numbness to acrimonious criticism. He has been criticized for being slow in the implementation of his campaign manifesto. He has taken such criticism with a pinch of salt because he knows where he is going.
Eket was one of those flash points that gave rise to quite a number of social media journalists because of the fact that the Governor is from Eket Federal Constituency and because of the signage that metaphorically bore the inscription “SLOW MEN AT WORK” instead of “SLOW, MEN AT WORK” placed along the ongoing construction site at Atabong road. The works Commissioner, Mr Ephraim Inyang was hard hit during the barrage. In June last year, Mr Inyang who has come to be known as a no nonsense workaholic Commissioner, held a town Hall meeting with the people of Eket and delivered the mind of his Oga to the people. The message was simple and clear.
“I give you my word that by the time I am done with Eket, in terms of infrastructure development, the area will not be known again. It will become the second State capital because of influx of investors due to the availability of the needed infrastructure for industrialization which is the focal point of my administration”, the Governor had said through Mr Ephraim Inyang, during the meeting.
Today, the Governor is working his talk in Eket. He has changed gear under his completion agenda. The entire city is buzzing. A clean up exercise is ongoing from street to street that needs attention. From the beginning of RCC road to Okpoedi street beside Mobil Airstrip to Iko Ekwa/Afaha Ukwa Obokidim road, Mkpok/Ikot Udoma/Ofriyo roads, the promise is being kept. Some of the abandoned roads by previous administrations and the NDDC are not left out in the revolution. The road contractor has shown seriousness, speed and quality in the execution of the job. Eket is being attended to with acceleration. .
In a stakeholders meeting held recently at his instance, the political leader of Eket Senatorial District, Chief Nduese Essien told the people that the Governor has awarded contract for the rehabilitation of 13 roads at the moment in Eket and that every street with dilapidated road will be attended to before the end of his tenure.
He assured the people of the Governor’s determination to succeed in transforming the oil rich city to its expected status as the headquarters of Eket Senatorial District.
Apart from roads infrastructure, the Governor is building a “semi teaching hospital”, a referral center at Immanuel hospital Eket. The entire structure that was build in 1965 by the missionaries is giving way to modern edifice. Modern medical equipments for the hospital has arrived pending installations.
The Qua steel industry located in Eket, abandoned to rot away has received visitors who are ready, within the next one year, to put the steel rolling mill into production. The industry will not only employ hundreds of workers but will attract subsidiary companies into the State.
Another infrastructural edifice which has reached 90% level of completion is the Eket Stadium being built by the State government. The 30.000 capacity Stadium, according to the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Monday Ebong Uko, will be commissioned by the State Governor on May 27, during this year’s children day celebration.
Governor Udom Emmanuel is silently silencing his left wing critics by achieving his targeted Goals of infrastructure development, industrialization and manpower development. He is making mockery of mockers and will eventually land the State in the promise land of food sufficiency, peace through effective security, sound education for our youths and a healthy economic environment. To God be the glory. ONLY GOD.