A former Nigerian Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Chief Nduese Essien has identified governorship succession as a major factor stalling the development of Akwa Ibom State.
Essien who spoke this Monday in Inspiration FM 105.9, Uyo during a programme to mark the 33rd creation anniversary of Akwa Ibom said “The problem of Akwa Ibom State since 1999 has been succession. At the end of the first tenure, the succession to the next tenure was problematic. The outgoing became antagonistic to the incoming one. Godswill Akpabio brought Udom Emmanuel and the people supported him to emerge as a governor.
“We thought there would be a cordial relationship; unfortunately, someone wanted to be a godfather but the other one said ‘no’ I would not be a godson. As a result, we lost the cordiality that would have brought continuity. My plea is to ensure a cordial emergence of the next governor who will work cordially with the outgone. That is when the development of Akwa Ibom would be sustaining.”
The two-term member who represented Eket Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives said “Succession has caused a lot of friction in the past two administrations. It has led to abandonment of some projects and the successor having to mobilise funds to fight his predecessor.”
This as Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has been saying at different fora that he was not interested in choosing his successor but keen in delivering on his campaign promises aspects contained in his ‘completion agenda.’
“Anybody who wants to be the governor of this state must be on the move, get endorsement of the electorate. If the present Governor sees someone who is popular on ground, he would not want to go against such; but when the aspirants are waiting for the governor to tell them ‘Okay I have chosen you, go and campaign- that is when the problem will come,” Essien advised.
The Minister, however, stated that electioneering campaign for 2023 governorship, saying “Anybody who is serious in taking part to be a governor must start now or in December this year, though I have not seen anyone who has come out yet. Except there is a lethargy or the person waits to be selected to go to House of Representatives or House of Assembly to becoming a governor.
On the choice of person fitted to be Akwa Ibom Governor, he outlined “I would expect Akwa Ibom son or daughter aspiring to be a governor in 2023 to be a person who knows the state, has the interest of the state, has experience to run in sustaining of the development. Akwa Ibom has come a long way. We need a credible person to take the state further. There are standards to be maintained. We would advise people who want to come should be sincere and be prepared to work with their predecessors.”
On establishment of an oil development commission in the state, Essien advocated the establishment of Oil Minerals Producing Commission for the state, declaring “Abia, Cross River, Delta, Ondo and Edo, among others that have established it. When this is done, the oil derivation funds would be channeled to the commission.”