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Hon. Otuekong Nse Essien is the deputy chief whip of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. He is the member representing Onna State Constituency. He is an articulate grass-rooter, a brand to behold, an ever shining star with a motivating leadership disposition. Hon. Nse Essien (Indomitable) is one of the most formidable supporter and promoter of the Udom Emmanuel led administration. His deep insight on socio-political and economical issues bearing in mind ways of salvaging the people from the wrangles of poverty, social disharmony and development. In this exclusive interview with our Deputy Editor, Hon. Nse Essien speaks on political issues, government, governance, Udom Emmanuel and the PDP come 2019.
Within the period of one year in office. Our investigation gathered that over (200) persons from your constituency had benefited from your numerous empowerment and skills acquisition scheme. About (150) elderly people and different youths placed on monthly salary. Some months ago, you emerged the overall best lawmaker. Your performances and representation has portrayed you in some quarters as most outstanding while the youths, elders and the women refer you as a “model leader; please, could you highlight us your basis on this high grade of effective representation within a year plus in office despite our porous economy?
Ans: Is there any reason whatsoever I should bar my people reaping on the confidence they reposed on me by giving me their mandate? Absolutely “no”. I have a pact with my people; the pact is to render uncompromising services. That is the reason I decided to empower and train our youths under different skills acquisition to enable us tackle the issues of poverty and other social vices. This pact is to ensure our elders, women youths and the party are accorded due consideration and benefits of democratic dividends.
I have started this earlier before now. The construction of (Ikot Akpatek-Ikwe Odio Road).
I have delivered by attracting the construction of a state of the art sports complex with complete hostel accommodation, civic centre sited at former Governor Dr. Clement Isong’s village to immortalised him in Onna, car gifts etc. encompasses my prioritise lists. I understand my terrain and the burdens of my people is known to me and they new why they elected me to represent them.
The sacking of five thousand (5,000) teachers recruited during the last administration of Gov. Akpabio by Governor Udom Emmanuel has generated so much tensions and aspersions cast at the Governor within and outside the state. what in your own findings and opinion as a lawmaker do you think should be the way forward ?
The foundation of the recruitment of the (5,000) teachers was so bad, I am referring to the processes that was applied. how can a level (04) staff have the authority to issue an employment letter to over (4) of his relations? Tell me where in the civil service rule that permits a junior staff of grade level (04&05) to be in charge of teachers recruitment? If this is allowed, then we are in total collapse jeopardising our next generation as well as the education sector.
Reports reaching me indicated flagrant abuse of office, serious act of nepotism, unfair and unqualified consideration, ethnicity courtesy of affiliation etc overshadowed professionalism and ethics regulating teachers recruitment.
The governor in his obvious intellectuality constituted a team to investigate the loopholes as reported, the investigative panel discovered shocking unwholesome, dubious and obvious irregularities which surrounded the recruitment processes, in ensuring that he keeps to his campaign promises of all inclusive and transparent governance; another formidable team was set up to re-scrutinize the recruitment processes and applicants who will pass through the reevaluation process will be reconsidered and confirmed with an appointment letters.
I assure you that after this process, the foundation will have a solid base which will enable our children and generations unborn to be guaranteed of sound education as envisaged by the government with required basic knowledge as applicable in the education curriculum.
The administration of His. Excellency, Udom Emmanuel is perceived by some camp to be hunting his predecessor sighting the dissolution of State Executives Council and disapproving the appointments of over (5,000) teachers employed during Akpabio’s tenure without the consent of the later. Don’t you see this as a dangerous and capable of thwarting the re-election of Governor Udom come 2019?
Its very wrong for people to cast aspersions on the Governor. And this aspersions could only be traced to those with myopic minds. Obviously, as I have said earlier. the process of (5,000) teachers recruitment was marred by irregularities which has raised so much concern as regards its envisaged dangers. There is no hunting expedition as to demeaning the bold integrity of former Governor, Sen. Akpabio by the administration of Governor Udom. On the issue of Executive Council dissolution, every appointments must always be appraised and records when weighed determines who the Governor wishes to work with. As you are aware; the governor has no hatred on whosever is dropped. Everyone will be engaged in one way or the other because government is a continuous process. The governor is deep neck on delivering beyond expectations so it will be needless should the Governor considered anyone in his cabinet without proper assessment, trust and confidence on the character whosoever. In ameliorating the plight of the people, factories and industries are brought into the state to enable jobs creation for our teaming youths, enormous diversify agendas are on top gear. The governor did promised Akwa Ibom people a fuel depot and today that promise is realistic in Mbo local Government which has put hoarding and scarcity of petroleum products to minimal control. let it be known to you that soonest, Akwa Ibom State will be boasting of two refineries and Jetties and when completed with proper operation, you can imagine how booming our state will be in terms of employment, tourism, infrastructural phase lifting and industrialisation. Go and tell the people that we are not afraid of 2019. Are you not aware that the pencils manufacturing industry will employ over 15,000 Akwa Ibomites before February 2017?
The appointments and subsequent swearing in of Obong NSIMA EKERE as MD of NDDC and Obong UMANA UMANA as MD of OGFZ is presumed by the APC as a brazen sign of taking over power from the PDP in Akwa Ibom state come 2019. This is attributed to a post-swearing-in statement made by Chief Don Etiebiet stating that “Hill Top Mansion is what remains come 2019”. As a reputable lawmaker and Udom’s frontline advocate, what should be expected of you from the duo of Obong NSIMA & OBONG UMANA in curbing and assuaging abject penury and the unpleasant conditions of the Niger Delta Region?
Our sons are so intelligent. My advice to them as a lawmaker and as a leading force in equating leadership by example is that they should concentrate on developing our state and region and this can only be achievable if they could avoid distrust and rumours. NDDC or OGFZ is not a personal firm or establishment, the essence of conceptualising the establishment of NDDC was to serve as an interventionist agency to help assuage abject penury engulfing our people and as well aid in ensuring the level of degradation of the region is salvaged through road and infrastructural construction, clearing up of our costal lines, job opportunities, scholarships awards etc. So, there are much expectant of our sons heading this agencies to provide for the people. In all, 2019 remains a soup to be determine by the electorates which am so convinced the records and achievements of His. Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel will silent and impress everyone with no option than UDOM EMMANUEL.
Some pundits has it that the Governor has derailed on his campaign promises positing that Udom won’t be returned as Governor come 2019 under Obong Paul Ekpo as the State Chairman. Upon this, how could you rate the governor’s achievements and his 2019 chances?
Governor Udom Emmanuel is not deviating. He is boldly and impeccably working to affirmed his promises to Akwa Ibom People. The administration of Governor Udom has recorded distinct trade marks ranging from youths engagement, skills acquisition training and empowerment, grounds breaking for industrial and infrastructural development of which many are commissioned and functioning. A walk through the State will convince your perception on the Governor’s activities and accelerated pace in developing the State. The Governor as a party faithful understands the tenets that guides the party. Stretching out the olive branch to aggrieved politicians is a brazen symbolism that Gov. Udom is truly keen in fulfilling on his campaign promises with the very best yet to be recorded. You know as a leader, it is rare to satisfy everybody simultaneously. I am seeing a lot of former aggrieved party men working with the Governor while some are trying to align with him. the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) which used to be a platform of opposition parties has embrace the giant strides of the governor and an endorsement for re-election openly pronounced. what on earth will make you think that our indefatigable and reliable State Chairman Obong Paul Ekpo who is so admired of the pace the governor has applied in ensuring good governance will dance against the drum beat for the success of Governor Udom come 2019? UDOM IS OUR MANDATE.
History has it that Onna State constituency has never re-elected anybody for a second term chance. should you be the one to break the record of returning to the House for a second term base on your unprecedented and effective representation, what capital face-lifting legacies would you create as indelible track record in the minds of your constituents at the expiration of your (8 years) tenure?
The pact i have with my people is a must fulfilled promise. My positive legacies for the people I represent are obvious. I have longed for this opportunity to enable me the platform to add value to the lives of my people and my people won’t regret giving me their mandate. The construction of (Ikot Akpatek-Ikwe Odio Road) is my paramount concern which I pray it be completed and commissioned. I came to serve my people and when I reflect on the achievements of this present administration; I have started this earlier before now. The construction of (Ikot Akpatek-Ikwe Odio Road) is a must fulfilled. I have delivered by attracting the construction of state of the art sports complex with complete hostel accommodation, civic centre sited at former Governor Dr. Clement Isong’s village to immortalised him in Onna, car gifts etc. I understand my terrain and the burdens of my people is known to me and they know why they elected me to represent them. I understand my terrain and the burdens of my people is known to me and they new why they elected me to represent them.
Sir, what is your position about the new State Executives in particularly the return of Mr. Ephraim Inyang as Commissioner in the Ministry of Works?
As the governor is ready and working, the team must also be ready to partner the governor with every seriousness to deliver. You could recalled that the governor tagged the new Executive Council “team of doers”. Therefore, we are not expecting anything beyond excellence. I made bold to attest that Mr. Ephraim Inyang, my brother from the same LGA will possibly emerged again as the best commissioner come 2017. Akparawa Ephraim Inyang is imbedded with strong audacity of dousing any arising tempo or challenges that could mar the pace of development as outlined in the design blue print of His Excellency, governor Udom Emmanuel. With a man of charisma and tenacity like Mr. Ephraim Inyang heading the works Ministry, Akwa Ibom people should have not doubt this administration will surely succeed.
What is your advise to the people?
I want the people to restrain totally from belief of sentiments, nepotism and campaign of political calumny which is becoming a very interesting tool used by propagandist in demeaning governance, leadership and causing ethnic disharmony. As a believer of this administration, I implore all to embrace and cooperate with the governor in projecting and promoting unity and development in diversity for our dear state. Let me also use this opportunity to thank the good people of Onna for their mandate given me. I promise that at the end of 2019. records will speak and we will arise again to revalidate the mandate as the people wishes.