He rarely gets the requisite accolades and recognition for the work he does and the achievements he has, thus far racked in. Our subject is the unassuming, low-lying and shy Honourable Commissioner for Sports, Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Monday Ebong Uko.
The genius of his personality has almost buried the greatness of his perfection at work ethic. His feats in Local Government administration as a former Council Chairman of Obot Akara, his subsequent triumph as a private entrepreneur running Monty Suites – a hospitality outfit, his giant strides with our Sports sector, were overshadowed by his emotive brilliance as a manager of men and resources.
Like a skilled Coach, it is amazing observing with scrutiny, how Commissioner Uko relates with his staff, the high and the lowly, with equal ease and uncommon grace. This way, he motivates them to draw out the best service and gets even average minds to become assertive goal-getters.
Up close and personal, I was privileged to serve in the Media Committee for the recently concluded Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival. It was the Second Edition of the innovative Sports Fiesta. The success he has constructed from that historic outing, and in our sports generally, will guarantee an immortal reputation for His Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.
How do I mean? Governor Emmanuel became the first governor to lift a major football trophy, since the founding of Akwa United. Back to back, Governor Emmanuel celebrated the Federation Cup, winning the maiden edition of the Aiteo Cup, which the former, transmuted to.
His destined landmark includes, being the Governor, to beget for Akwa United, Her first participation in an international competition. It was a repeat performance, as they took part again in the CAF Confederations Cup this year. Although they crashed out in the third round of the experience adds some value to their resume as a budding and building football club.
In this tenure, Commissioner Uko achieved more memorable success, when the Super Eagles, our national pride, qualified for the upcoming Mundial in Russia 2018, in our very popular Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, making naysayers lap up their vomit of negative rant. Again, posterity granted Governor Udom Emmanuel undying mention in that milestone.
On March 6, 2018, while declaring the Second Edition of the Akwa Ibom State Youths Sports Festival open, an elated, obviously impressed, Governor Emmanuel said in part, “We are glad that our efforts in sports development in Akwa Ibom State are beginning to yield fruits, and bringing us trophies home and away. Our beautiful bride, Akwa United is a national pride. On assumption of office, we were quick to diagnose its ailment and gave it appropriate medication. Today, we have won the Federation Cup, now Aiteo Cup and other national trophies. Currently, they are engaged in the race for the Confederation Cup and they are doing marvellously well.You need to see how they devoured the Hawks of Gambia in Banjul, the other day! The nation too, is celebrating our achievements in sports development. Last November, I was awarded the Best Sports Governor 2017 at an award event organized by the National Sports Award. Also at another award event organized by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports; we were awarded the State with The Most Comprehensive Sports Development Programme; The State with the Most Patriotic Sports Supporters and The State with the Best Sports Infrastructure. My Administration sees sports development beyond what others see, we see the Dakkada spirit beaming in our land through sports.”
There could have been no better vote of confidence for a Commissioner of Sports that had excelled in his art and done exceedingly well from his boss. Commissioner Uko distinguished himself from the methods of his predecessors.
He composed a style that was unique to his warm, humorous and enamouring personality. His own experience brought to bear. His resolve to succeed was stronger. His intention was defined and his input was rich. His accomplishments in simple terms is a triumph of willful sincerity of purpose over adversity and institutional ineptitude.
Today, inspite of the teething challenges he met, his work and tenure as Commissioner for Sports stands assured of kind chronicle in the pages of history. His aim to reorganize the whole organogram of the Sports ministry has ‘teed’ off on a grand scale. In my submission, every governor, or President, needs a man of Monday Ebong Uko’s temperament, team spirit, emotional intelligence, integrity, industry and vision in his cabinet. What an impact he makes and what added value he brings to the structure.
On this note, I remain attracted to the beauty of his carriage and sheer charm of his leadership which holds together the Ministry he leads. I elect to label him, The ‘Monday Hammer of Sports Development’. Why so?
Well! Here we go. Workers at construction sites use a very heavy hammer to break rocks and concrete. They call it a, ‘Monday Hammer’. According to them, on Mondays, they come to work refreshed and strong having rested over the weekend and are therefore able to wield this heavy hammer to get the task done.
Sir Monday Uko is doing the hard work in sports development for Akwa Ibom State. This is a Lotus for you, Hon. Sir Monday Uko.