The Imperatives Of Obasanjo’s Recent Visit To Akwa Ibom
October 29, 2018

The Imperatives Of Obasanjo’s Recent Visit To Akwa Ibom

  • Tom-Chris Morgan

Yesterday, Akwa Ibom state government played host to a very high profile personality, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The Ogun state born incredibly witty former general had breezed into the state in a pleasantly surprising manner to among other things show solidarity with the State Governor, His Excellency, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, whom he joined at the Sunday service held at Qua Iboe Church, No. 112, Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo.

While Dr. Obasanjo’s brief solidarity call on Gov. Udom may not necessarily be classified as a state visit, since he currently occupies no elective political office, the man who still remains a big fish in the political waters of Nigeria is about the only Nigerian whose innocuous straddle across the waves, South and North of Nigeria has the capacity of causing considerable ripples all over the coast.

That is the weight of the toga of Obasanjo’s political might which he wears boldly like his famed babariga.

In truth, he is one among the few of the dying breed of those leaders considered as the ‘Fathers of modern Nigeria,’ a fact complemented by his stoically avowed commitment towards ensuring responsible governance across the different strata of the nation’s politicosphere.

Baba’s stint in Akwa Ibom may have been shortlived, but the reverberating effects of his presence would continue to linger, and are destined to cause significant tsunamis and create oxbow lakes in the political trajectory of the state and country at large especially as the 2019 general elections close in.

As an individual, the enigmatic Chief Obasanjo may continue to divide opinions, but as a statesman committed to installing proactive leadership in the country, he has no equals.

Having, recently obtained his Ph.D in Moral Theology, the hard-to-crack octogenarian is simply going around the county doing good. His public adoption of his erstwhile deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as the 2019 President of Nigeria is one among the positive signposts Baba is committing himself to, and a clear indication of the fact that this is a man concerned about the future of the nation.

For Akwa Ibom people, the imperatives and significances of Dr. Obasanjo’s visit cannot be overemphasised neither can they be downplayed.

His choice of Akwa Ibom is also apt and telling, and pregnant with so many positives which the people should be proud of. He came with a simple message: To show filial solidarity with the high-performing, people-oriented Gov. Emmanuel, urging the people of the state to do everything within their powers to ensure that the Governor is reelected next year.

In his words, ‘Children of God, you have a good product in the person of Gov. Udom Emmanuel and there is no need to change that. He is a true child of God. He would fear not and stand still to continue to deliver to you the many dividends of true governance. I am particularly impressed by his socio-economic drives and human capital development.’

Strong words of encouragement from one who is rarely easily-moved nor ever flippant.

Isn’t it quite ironic that while a few naysayers may never see the giant strides, Gov. Udom Emmanuel is taking in the state in the past three years or so, mainly due to the fact that they are blinded by their drives towards personal emoluments, the governor is enjoying massive national and international approvals?

He is widely seen as an incorruptible gem and a fast rising visionary leader who should be preserved for bigger roles in the future. A fact confirmed by President Buhari’s clear fondness of him.

Obasanjo is moving tornado who does not just visit anyone, but when he does, such is always replete with good intent. His public bromance with and endorsement of Gov. Emmanuel at this point is an all-clear signal for the governor to march on with his reelection bid. The win percentage of his endorsees is unparalleled anywhere in the country. One does not easily forget his backing of Yar’udua in 2007, Jonathan in 2010/2011 and Buhari in 2015 and the victory songs recorded in all those instances.

From the look of things, his magic wand is about to be reactivated again in 2019.

Moreover, Chief Obasanjo aligning with the strides of Gov. Udom Emmanuel aptly personifies the popular street parlance of ‘Game meet game, recognise.’

The last time Obasanjo held any political office, Gov. Udom Emmanuel was an iconic banker displaying his craft in the major league of the industry in Lagos. Fast forward to just under a decade, Chief Obasanjo has come to endorse the Akwa Ibom state Chief Executive for a second term in office.

The above scenario exemplifies the leap of brilliance that the man, Mr. Udom Emmanuel represents.

For eight solid years, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as President toiled to lay a solid foundation and nursed our nascent democracy that the country is enjoying now.

For eight good years, Deacon Udom Emmanuel as governor would have also laid the template of economic prosperity for the people of Akwa Ibom to enjoy now and in the future.

In the light of all these, one can only say that Gov. Udom Emmanuel is a God-sent who can only be supported to finish up his calling of rebuilding modern Akwa Ibom.