Mr Uko Friday Umoh is the special Assistant Media to Gov Udom Emmanuel. A master strategist in Media Business and Communication, Uko took time off his ever busy schedule to speak on the activities of Governor Udom Emmanuel as he rounds up his administration few days with our Editor.
How will you rate the outgoing administration in which you have served for eight years?
I will start by expressing my deep seated gratitude to the Almighty God whose benevolence is the only reason we are all alive today in the land of the living. I am most grateful too to my Boss Deacon Udom Emmanuel, a very meticulous, visionary and compassionate leader who gave me the opportunity to serve our State through his government. He is a man with a heart of Gold who is very accommodating and benevolent. I learned so much personally from him which is too numerous to mention here but in all , he came prepared for governance and he has vindicated himself as a servant leader and father of all. I am amazed by his level of tolerance and political inclusion of all and sundry who geninuely wish to serve the state. Governor Emmanuel will be sorely missed when he leaves office in May 29th but our only consolation is that he is leaving it in safe hands.God who sees the heart of men knew he did his best for our dear state and also answered our collective prayers for a Worthy successor in the person of Pastor Umo Eno. Akwa ibom people will never forget the last eight years of our results oriented leader and governor in a hurry.
Could your reason for eulogising the governor this much traced to your appointment into his government because there are people who think he failed, what is your take?
Yes he failed some people but not the good and God fearing majority people of the state. Yes Udom Emmanuel failed those who dislike development. He failed those who thought the common patrimony of the state should be shared out to their private coffers to the detriment of the state. He failed totally in the eyes of the naysayers when he rededicated our dear state to the throne of grace and Almighty God. Yes he failed those who thought the state belongs to them and will hijack power from him to continue their wasteful enterprise and impunity which is their trade mark. He also failed people who thought after his peaceful and development oriented eight years administration, political power will return to them to wreck havoc on the good people of our dear state. The list of those he failed are many but in all Akwa ibom people and the future generation will forever remain grateful to him for his resilience and courage to fail these categories of people who came to steal their peace and future but met total resistance from a man whose only strength is the Almighty God. I sincerely love his style of failure.
Talking about the incoming administration, what is your take on the last election which outcome is being contested by the opposition parties in the Tribunal?
I will start by saying that in every contest, there must be a winner. While the majority will have their way, the minority will have their say. The election has come and gone and I sincerely think that our brothers on the other side should close rank and support the outcome and the incoming Governor pastor Umo Eno. The people of Akwa ibom state having seen the good jobs done by the PDP government over the years and extra ordinary performance of our dear governor decided to stick with PDP. They Saw the man the leader of the party stands with and knew it was a divine direction. They are convinced that voting for PDP and Pastor Umo Eno means continuation of peace development and prosperity been enjoyed in the state and opted for it. Pastor Umo Eno is God’s hand in the affairs of men. He is here today not by his might but because like David in the bible, God’s anointing is upon him. He didn’t come with any Sense of entitlement like some other aspirants who thought the state is an extension of their helmet. Akwa ibom state State belongs to Akwa ibom people and they in unison and love chose Pastor Umo Eno as their next governor. While I wish those contesting his emergence at the Tribunal will have a rethink and save their funds, I believe their efforts may be an exercise in futility.
In few days time, governor Emmanuel will quit the stage, what are some of his legacies you will cherish for a long time as an Akwa Ibomite?
How I wish there are no constitutional limit for the office of the state governor like the legislature because God gave us a man after his own heart in Governor Udom Emmanuel. His passion to serve God remains unprecedented and today he has built a unique Alter for God in our state.
The Ibom Worship Center built in the guise of Noah’s ark will be commissioned in few days time. I can also proudly tell you that the Ibom Air is the most outstanding Airline in Nigeria today and it’s management is topnotch, that is the face of the state and a product of deep thinking of our performing Governor. Akwa ibom state today has the best roads network in Nigeria. You can access every council headquarters in minutes. This administration turned Uyo the state capital to a mega city, remodelled Eket and gave every local government area a commensurate touch of Government presence. Let’s quickly give kudos to our governor on the unique way he transformed the health care sector with the building, remodelling and equipping of our general hospitals and health centers. It is also on record that education received great attention, the same applies to Agriculture and food sufficiency and Youth empowerment. His industrialization policy is second to none as Akwa ibom in his time become the next most sort after destination after Lagos. Under his watch, over 20 industries sprung up and employed so many of our youth. Today when you talk about quality syringe, electricity meter, flour, plywood, quality coconut oil and so many others, Akwa ibom will readily come to fore because they are now produced from here. Worthy of note is also the care Assembly plant in ITU council area, fertilizer blending plants in Abak and so many others too numerous to mention here.
The state governor managed the resources of the state well to the admiration of the people. Remember that during the two recessions witnessed during the last eight years, Akwa ibom workers were never owed salaries as government ensured that the state Economy remains afloat. During COVID-19 menace, the state in a jiffy built the best disease prevention and control center second to none in the country and managed the situation so we’ll that several lives were saved. This government inculcated the great enterprising spirit in Youths via DAKAADA greed motivating young people to aspire to greatness. Today several Akwa ibom Youths are making waves all over the world and the lastest been Hilda Bassey who just broke the Guinness book of world records in cooking for over 100 hours spanning four days nonstop, that is what governor Emmanuel meant when he brought DAKAADA greed and philosophy. The list of the milestones of the incumbent administration is endless.
What is your impression of the activities in the office of the wife of the Governor in the last eight years?
When you drive around the state, at every vital position you will see a giant billboard of the first family, our dear governor and his lovely wife with an inscription: Thank you our Heroes and true Legends. It is a common adage that behind every successful Man, there is a woman. Her Excellency, Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel is not just a First Lady but a compassionate mother whose heart flows with milk of human kindness. Her era saw an astronomical rise in charity and humanitarian services. From building homes to widows and indigent people in the society to providing adequate support to pregnant women and nursing mothers. Using FeyRep, the wife of the governor further extended her reach to the society by putting a halt to every form of domestic violence and rape. She uplifted both the girl and boy children to a level of awareness that help them cope with the dynamics of the modern society. Dr Martha Emmanuel’s legacies are proudly engraved in our hearts, her love for humanity is second to none and God Almighty will bless her more for her good deeds while posterity will be kind to her and all that belongs to her.
What is your impression and expectations of the man Pastor Umo Eno, the newly elected governor of Akwa ibom state?
The incoming Governor is a child of grace. He is a divine revelation and a pastor of the most high God. To assume the office of the governor is not just a mortal decision but a complete act of God. Leaders are chosen by God and Pastor Umo Eno is no exception. He has understudied Governor Emmanuel’s style of leadership and I believe he will build on the successes of the outgoing administration. Pastor Umo Eno is a very humble and kind man who will touch many lives and build bridges of love peace and development across every nook and cranny of the state.