• By Comrade Unwana Assam

“Broken promises are like broken mirrors. They leave those who held to them bleeding and staring at fractured images of themselves”. The words of Richard Paul Evans above best captures the mood of the people of Esit Eket regarding the plethora of failed promises made to them by Gov. Udom Emmanuel during his campaign season for reelection into office for a second tenure.

Amongst the myriads of promises made, that of revamping the Akwa Palm Industry in Etebi seems to be the most conspicuous and reminiscent in the people’s mind, if not for any reason but for the economic potentials lying latent in there, which if revitalized would go a long way to assuage the people’s condition especially by way of creating job opportunities.

Having tarried this far without any concrete plans or concern towards the actualization of the said project, the common man is left with a safe assumption that the promise was a sheer political ploy devised by the governor to enveigle the people of Esit Eket into voting massively for him in the last concluded gubernatorial election.
This no doubt leaves tongues wagging as to the motive behind the immediate dissolution after three months of formation of the Task Force Committee chaired by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem which embodied a coterie of some prominent people of Mbo, Urue Offong Oruku and Esit Eket.

It is still fresh in the people’s memory that in the last Mega Rally for Gov. Udom in Esit Eket, he made a pronouncement that he will see to the construction of the road that leads to Esit Eket Sport Stadium, and so ordered for the immediate reactivation of Akwa Palm Industry in Etebi. In the same vein he promised to compensate Esit Eket with some appointments as soon as he assumed office for second term. But from all angles, it seems the answer to those promises is blowing in the wind.

Having at the fore the principle of inclusive government which is one of the vital features of Democracy, the question that comes to mind is; throughout the first term of Gov. Udom Emmanuel, what tangible project did he execute for Esit Eket?
Well, it also suffices to recall that in the spirit of democracy, paradoxically, the people of Esit Eket failed to vote for their own son who contested for same position with Udom Emmanuel but under the aegis of the APC. Such democratic and patriotic gesture alone, anyone could assume would have placed Esit Eket as the ‘numero uno’ in his agenda but unfortunately, it’s a failed assumption.
It is rather quite disheartening and sad that the people of Esit Eket trusted Gov. Udom as a man of integrity who keeps his word, and so gave him their mandate, but then are disappointed because from all indications, the fulfilment of the promise is not forth coming.

Today in the state, we are talking about toothpick, coconut, pencil, peacock paint, syringe, cassava industries etc. located in different Local Government Areas of the State but the abandoned Akwa Palm Industry in Esit Eket which to some States and countries, could serve as the major means of income and employment, has been forgotten because the governor chooses to treat Esit Eket with indifference and insensitivity.

As a patriotic citizen of the state and as a son of the soil, I appeal to His Excellency Udom Emmanuel, to turn his attention once again towards the direction of Akwa Palm Industry for its immediate reactivation. As a matter of fact if this industry is back on its feet and humming, its economic benefits to the state of course could not be overemphasized. The challenges of high price of palm oil, unemployment, food insufficiency etc. can be curbed if not utterly exterminated. The functionality of this industry will no doubt give the people of Esit Eket the satisfaction for their support and mandate.

As Esit Eket has not felt the impact of Industrialization and inclusiveness as it were, however, redeeming the promise for the reactivation of Akwa Palm Industry can go a long way to serve as a recompense, and that can give the people succour.

Wisdom Bassey

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