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Friday, October 15, 2021


Prelate Chukwuemeka Kalu Uche

" I am saying this publicly and I am not mincing words, former governor Akpabio and the incumbent Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, left a very big shoe behind that is still very difficult to fill in Akwa Ibom State."

- Prelate of Methodist Church, Samuel Chukwuemeka Kalu Uche

The above comment credited to the Prelate of the Methodist Church with reference to Akwa Ibom state is beyond mischief, and can rightly be described as blackmail taken too far. Dr Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche, is quoted as alleging at a programme in one of the branches of his church in Abuja that, "the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, " left behind shoes too large for others to wear in Akwa Ibom State."

At first it sounded like a joke or prank by some idle bloggers, especially since the name of the prelate is wrongly presented as Sunday instead of Samuel. But one of the media editors confirmed to us that the news was specially sponsored by a certain Jackson Udom, who is better rooted in his adopted state, Oyo State, than his ancestral home, Etinan in Akwa Ibom. We understand that the said Jackson Udom, who is circulating this news, is indeed a Personal Assistant on Media to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. 

We waited to see if the prelate Samuel Uche would react to it, to no avail. Having seen no contrary remarks from the methodist Prelate, we are compelled to believe that he made that wild allegations, possibly to also dig deep into the former Governor's established norm, that what money cannot do (for greedy and selfish Nigerians) more money can do.

It’s the height of unfounded generalization by the Pastor Samuel Uche, whose statement implies that Akwa Ibom State under Udom Emmanuel is faring woefully. Nothing could be so untrue. It is on record that Akwa Ibom is among the top 3 viable states in Nigeria occasioned by the Governor’s judicious management of resources. In recent times, there has been series of projects being commissioned and endorsed by series of political chieftains from the country's seat of power, signifying progress and monumental strides. It begs to ask at this point, could a poorly managed  state be building and commissioning the magnitude of projects such as the 21 storey Dakkada Tower office complex, the multiplicity of urban roads and even the Uyo- Ikot Ekpene dual carriageway road it met at 20% execution? The answer to this is self- revealing.

Akwa Ibom remains one of the few states in Nigeria that is not owing its workers and pensioners, thanks to the Governor’s financial management capability.  The Pastor Uche should be told that goodwill as an asset, isn’t earned through propaganda and character assassination.  It was in this respect that Shakespeare cautioned that, “the devil can cite the scripture for his purpose.” 

Rev. Uche must know that the yardstick for measuring growth in the global south is the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). In this regard, isn’t it glaringly clear that Governor Udom Emmanuel is the one “adjusting a tight shoe” for a perfect fit? Put differently, isn’t the  current Governor of Akwa Ibom the one re- navigating the trajectory of livelihood through the creation of jobs, wealth and poverty alleviation? What happened to those indices in the past, particularly, before 2015, especially when most parts of the state could not be accessed due to terrorism? 

Thus, the economic growth and development, measured by the over  18 industries that this government has attracted to the state in the past six years, the nine remodeled secondary healthcare facilities / General Hospitals, and the developments in the aviation industry, including the Orange Air Magic, Ibom Air and the International Airport Terminal Building, as well as the efforts in comprehensive revolution in education and agriculture, attest to the fact that Akwa Ibom is faring superlatively better than what was obtained before 2015, when the former governor left the saddle.

If perhaps the Pastor Samuel Uche, had a good relationship with his members in Akwa Ibom, he would have been informed that the state that was notorious for unrivaled carnage and politically masterminded kidnap and assassinations, had since 2015, become safe haven where businesses are thriving and development now cuts across all the local government areas simultaneously.

On this note, we have some pertinent large shoes puzzles for the Pastor Uche:

* Are the large shoes the high spate of insecurity in the state that led to the loss of thousands of lives, which reduced the state to a mere killing field?

* Do the large shoes also include the backlog of pensions and gratuities the previous administration never paid throughout the tenure of 2007 to 2015?

* Did Uche calculate the debts left behind from the Stadium complex project, the moribund Tropicana project, and some roads projects, among contents of the large shoes?

* Which part of the large shoes could one find a single dual carriageway or major road project in the entirety of Eket Senatorial District, despite being the treasure base of the state with 12 local government areas?

* Knowing what 200 million naira can achieve in community development projects, does Pastor Uche also know that each of the people the former governor used to bring for his praise singing, carted home such outrageous amounts? Soccer star Pele, got his($300,000), and still refused to honour the invitation to the state. What a large shoe!

As a clergyman, we won't ask Samuel Uche how much he was carted home for this misplaced meaningless swipe, but we are compelled to advise him to focus on the pulpit and the duty of winning souls, instead of being a tool of political blackmails.

We in the Mandate Eyes hereby call on the Pastor Sunday Uche to apologize to Akwa Ibom people, for insulting their integrity with such a veiled and destructive comment. He should desist from making provocative utterances capable of inciting sane people of the now  peaceful Akwa Ibom state. 


Uwemedimoh Umanah,PhD

Director of Public Communications,

Mandate Eyes/ Special Assistant to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.


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