A lot have been said about the 2017 AKISAN convention but let me ask rather quickly, of what benefit is this convention to Akwa Ibom State? A little trip down memory lane will give us the history of the AKISAN face-off with Government after Government back home. It is such an interesting cycle. For starters AKISAN is the acronym for Akwa Ibom State Association of Nigeria (USA) Inc.
In 2002, Mr Chris Oyobio led executive of AKISAN carefully perfected their plot to embarrass the then Governor, His Excellency Obong (Arc)
Victor Attah because of the Governor’s refusal to play to the gallery with tax payers money. Oyobio and his crew at AKISAN switched quickly to the Late Ime Umanah for sponsorship. Expectedly, Ime Umanah was accorded all the privileges against the government of the day. Former Governor was to say the least humiliated at the meet. Thank God the social media did not come alive then. The Governor learnt the diaspora politics and played along.
The first two years of Senator Godswill Akpabio CON as Governor was also dramatic. The Mr Monday Affiah led Executive did not get sufficient patronage and swiftly hit back. The opposition hijacked AKISAN and bank rolled the funding of the conventions stalling all attempts by government to market itself and its projects at the convention. It’s was pretty dramatic between AKISAN and the Akpabio administration, the Governor staying on top of the situation to avoid being embarrassed before the sons and daughters of the state whose opinions are well respected.
But, if we must stop and reason, did the AKISAN ill-treatment against these leaders stop them from completing their two terms in office? The answer is no. The worse it did was the barrage of criticisms from people in diaspora on yahoo groups. Granted that wrecks havoc on people’s thought processes but it doesn’t change the fundamental dynamics.
Interestingly, after Attah and Akpabio planned embarrassment, new AKISAN leaders sought government support and participation at their townhall meetings, symposiums , roadshows and conferences. That accounts for the thousands of dollars that flies to the diaspora every year in the name of AKISAN. Government mobilizes a big delegation to boost its support base, in the event of a likelihood of planned embarrassment.
This yearly event has over time taken so much funds from the State that would have been put to developmental projects that will add value to lives of Akwa Ibom people. Can AKISAN in its many years of existence point to one factory or developmental project that they have brought to the State?
Can Akwa Ibom people celebrate AKISAN back home? Who knows about AKISAN on the streets of the State?
This year, Governor Udom Emmanuel finally took the bull by the horn. Let me lead you to what caused the recent attempt to embarrass the Government of Akwa Ibom State by the Executives of AKISAN. The President of AKISAN was in the State for weeks to entice Government to invest hundreds of millions of naira in the 2017 AKISAN convention. Some mind buggling figure.
Governor Udom Emmanuel who had participated in the last year edtion and have sat down to evaluate the positive impact of AKISAN convention on the people of Akwa Ibom State supported the event with his personal funds which was not large enough to satisfy AKISAN executives.
Why did Governor Udom Refused to invest the State funds into such failed venture ? as a great fund manager Governor Udom Emmanuel knows that such funds could build a cottage industry and create jobs for 200 youth , it could also be invested into construction of road that will open up the hinterland of the State to development . It will be a total madness for the State to continue to invest the State money into ventures that has no positive impact back home
In so many Convention organizers are in the habit picking white guys from the slumps ,dressed and perfumes them to look good before the Government as intend investors .
During the tea meetings they will present so many proposal in bid to swindle Akwa Ibom State Government and when it failed the fake investors disappeared without no implementation of such investment proposals.
I wouldn’t want to mention names here , but I can remember a group of Akwa Ibom indigenes with foreign partners who received large sum of money from past Governments to supply medical equipment to the State and till today , the equipment was not supplied neither did they refund the State the funds . And this deal was one of the AKISAN tea meeting deal .
So if Nsima Ekere have somuch money to dash to our citizens in USA is not wrong , and whatever the leadership of AKISAN did to embarrass the Government of His Excellency Mr Udom Emmanuel , does not devalues his government instead it idolizes his Government , as one who is not ready to squanders the State funds in wasteful ventures .
You can see narrow support of Government , as all the State delegation who went to the 2017 AKISAN , was self-sponsored and this is why the delegation was not up to 30 people .
Governor Udom Emmanuel have made it very clear that he is not in Government to run the State to ruins but he is in Government to develop the State by process of industrialization and infrastructural renaissance.
So no Akwa Ibom people should lose sleep over the recklessness of Nsima Ekere investing of 5 million dollars in such jamboree , this is a big lesson to the masses that such a person should not be given a leadership position come 2019 and really I pitied President Buhari who appointed such corrupt personality into NDDC
President Buhari is known world over for his doggedness in fighting corruption but Nsima Ekere depicts corruption and reckless abuse of public funds.
In the history of AKISAN, no attempt bids to embarrass a sitting Governments for or by the oppositionc elements has paid off. Did Ime Umana win against Attah? The answer is No. Did Udoedehe win against Akpabio? The Answer is No. A popular leader is a popular leader. No citizen(s) in America, who do not even have voter’s card can change the dynamics of politics back home. The power to vote lies with the masses and not Akwa Ibom people living in United States of America who will not come home to vote.
Nsima Ekere is pilfering the common wealth of all NDDC states and that is no secret. Prominent voices are beginning to raise their voices against these tendencies to use the NDDC to fulfil personal and selfish agenda. Time will tell.
Come September 23rd during the Silver Jubilee celebration ,The Acting President will be in Akwa Ibom State to inaugurate two major industries ,Jubilee Syringes and METERING Solutions Limited ,those are the products of Governor Udom Emmanuel’ s investment not in empty jamboree of not economic values.