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Wednesday, September 22, 2021



At exactly 10.40 am, my phone rang as I headed out of the office. At the other side of the phone was a baritonic voice calling my full names and inquiring to know how I was doing. “Vincent Aluu, how you today?” I answered in the affirmative not knowing who the caller was. When the caller introduced himself as simply Udom Inoyo, I melted inside of me wondering why such an unassuming personality would dial my line on a rainy Tuesday. 

He told me, “Thank you for all you have been doing to promote our little effort at pushing the human race forward. You did all of them without meeting or knowing much about me. I do not take this for granted”. I was yet to recover from the shock when he went to give in details some of the things, I have done to promote him.

He invited me over to his residence which I obliged. At least it would afford me the platform to have a one on one of the greatest Malabites, of which I happen to be one. It was a memorable meeting with one of Akwa Ibom finest who spent 31 years in Exxon Mobil, rose to the top of his career and retired without a query, bribery allegation, suspension or corruption issue.

 We discussed on a variety of contemporary issues plaguing Nigeria inclusive of leadership recruitment process, politics, journalism, governance, his life and times at Mobil. We also talked about the impact he is creating in Akwa Ibom state unannounced. It was indeed an eye-opening meeting for me. 

I queried to know why he does not do media hype of his contributions to the development of Akwa Ibom State. He told me Vincent; “the left hand must not know what the right hand does. We do what we do to put smiles on the faces of people and not to take the shine off them. We are not in a popularity contest”.

“My passion is to create value in people so they will be useful to themselves and society, not people who would be begging for handouts to survive. My mission to create capacity in youths to be self-sustained, independent job and wealth creators. If leadership is not to show the people the road to better life and future, then the opportunity is a wasted one’, he said.

“I run on the fuel of hard work, diligence, honesty and fear of God. Prayer alone won’t do for you what preparations would do because God is not a partial God”, he added.

As I rose to take my leave after about 2 hours of tete-a-tete with the immediate past Vice President of Exxon Mobil, founder and Advisor of Inoyo Toro Foundation, it was a reinvigorated me that bid him goodbye. 

As a scholar on leadership and governance, the conclusion of the matter is that if Akwa Ibom or Nigeria, needs a new kind of leadership that is transformational, they should search no further. Udom Inoyo represents that paradigm shift we earnestly seek or yearn for. 

 _Aluu Vincent is the Publisher of Naija Eye Witness News_

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