- By Unwana Assam – Eket
Before now, not many people knew much about the man, Okpolupm Etteh. Not because he has not been there. Not because he has not been part of the past administrations in the state. Not because he has not been contributing in quantum to the successive governments in Akwa Ibom state. It is not necessarily because Etteh has not been that super hardworking public servant, not also because he has not been satisfying the urges of his people but it is simply because Etteh is not a noisemaker.
Surprised? Don’t be. Verily, verily, a good politician is not known by noise-making, rather, by actions capped with a touch of humanity.
In our clime, it is very hard to see a politician who has empowered many people, a politician who has been an engine room and contributed extensively to many governments yet, remains quiet and humble to a fault. Etteh is such a man. He gives cheerfully, does wonders to humanity and chooses to remain anonymous, an attribute very rare among our politicians, especially in this part of the world.
In a normal circumstance, Etteh does not need any official introduction to be known. A quiet, humble, down-to-earth, easy-going, a giver and very popular.
A man who has never been found wanting in any assigned task. A man who believes in the “live, and let live” philosophy. Behold, If there is one man who has seen it all in politics yet maintains low profile and grateful to God, he is Rt. Honorable Ekpolupm Etteh.
Just like President Buhari opined, Igbos are the Dot in Nigeria, Ikpong Etteh is a ‘Dot’ in Governor Udom’s government. Many people may not understand why Etteh is a “Dot” in the government of the day. The reason is apt and simple. A dot is like a colour stained in a white cloth. A cloth that has been washed, pressed, and carefully folded into the wardrobe, and when removed to wear, there lies a beautiful blinking colour in it that even if you use a bucket of hypo to wash, it won’t remove.
Though it may seem like a stain and yet very beautiful, adds meaning and value to the clothing article. A typical illustration of who Etteh is in the government of Governor Udom Emmanuel. A very powerful ‘Dot’ you can’t do without.
Among the commissioners in the state executive council and the appointees of governor Udom Emmanuel, if there is one appointee that has added meaning, value, and knows how to compliment the completion agenda of governor udom, that is Rt. Hon. Etteh, the Honorable commissioner for special duties. A dotted commissioner.
In the short while he has been appointed into the state executive, Etteh has already gotten many jobs assigned to his ministry delivered. Is it Dakkada Smart Building? Is it Four Point by Sheraton near completion? New International Terminal building at Victor Attah Airport?Supervision of Completion of MRO in progress? Completion of Parallel Taxi Runway? Name it.
Being a politician is easy but adding excellence in politicking is rare. With his track record right from when he was the state house member, one need not be told that Okpolupm is a man of excellence and due process. As one of the long-standing politicians in Akwa Ibom State, Ette dislikes deceit and mediocrity. He hates marginalization and pride. In a nutshell, he hates cutting corners and blackmail that has become a household trade in Akwa Ibom politics.
Imbued in him are competency, politics of inclusiveness, justice, fairness, equity, and leadership participation. In eket federal constituency, there are political dealers and there also are political leaders with the interest of people at heart. Since it is a general belief in politics that, actions speak louder than words, the actions of Etteh, his antecedents, track records as a former state house member, former honorary adviser to the governor, and now a commissioner, has religiously placed himself in the class of political leadership who does not only care for himself, his family but also for others.
Etteh is one politician from Eket Federal Constituency with deep hindsight of the collective urges and aspirations of his people.
There is a proud servant and there is a humble servant. If there is a humble servant to send on an errand, if there is a man well deserved to be rewarded with more work for his faithfulness to duty, sincerity of purpose, sincere love for his people, that person is Rt. Honorable Ikpong Etteh. At least we are made to understand that, “a reward for a job well done is more work”.
Of a bare truth, If Etteh was not a man who knows how to put right the leadership ills, bridge the gap between government and the people as well as unify the people in his federal constituency especially in a time like this where the chips are almost down, Udom, who many credit to as a man of diligence, excellence, and good team spirit, he would not have assigned Etteh to man such an enormous ministry heaped with complexity in his cabinet.
The ministry for special duties which is very vast in nature can only need a smart, intelligent, humble, articulate, and brain box politician like Okpolupm Etteh. A shining dot in the government. A man with loads of ideas for effective leadership and representation. A silent achiever. A five start lawmaker who made the people of his constituency proud. While in the state house of assembly, Esit Eket people benefited from him more like Ibeno people where he comes from. A man who gives equal treatment to everyone irrespective of origin.
Okpolupm Ikpong Etteh, being the longest-serving state lawmaker (2007-2015) from Eket Federal Constituency, a man with lawmaking experience, the former house leader, is one brand in our political constituency we must not only protect but ensure, we project and send him to go out and speak for the good people of Eket federal constituency.
While giving his best to the government of Governor Udom Emmanuel, this article serves as a token reminder that, though the task ahead is enormous, the representation in Eket federal constituency beckons.
Comrade Unwana Assam is a good governance advocate, rights activist, media practitioner, and the publisher of newsline9ja.com