Akwa Ibom ‘Dakkada’ Campaign and The Question Of Transparency

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Akwa Ibom State has come a long way since its creation and can no longer be described as a toddler.
As a child, you begin with learning how to sit, crawl, stand, walk and start talking. I am yet to hear of any child who tried cutting corners towards the process of growing up into an adult.
The State as at today may count numerous things to its credit as being achievements but this is not to say that it has not had its own fair share of challenges.
Challenges ranging from mere distractions by persons that may be termed enemies of State to a recurrent phenomenon which has taken a toll to almost all States in the federation and that is that of meager funds.
At this point, it is very pertinent to seek to know why States should depend solely on funds accruing from the Federation Account, when there are a million and one ways to raise internally generated revenue, a distance away from depending on oil as only source of funds for States.
States and their various leaders regularly singing hymns of diversification to other sectors that can yield revenue to be used to invest in human capital, capacity building and infrastructure but never put such hymns to practice.
Akwa Ibom State is a State typical example of such hymns on diversification of its economy. Being the highest federal allocation earner, Akwa Ibom State has fallen to sleep and only solely depends on the centre for funds to execute projects, just like a baby depends totally on his or her mother for food (milk).
Even when the country way the world was plaqued (and still is) with the dreaded global recession, one would have expected that the State would show commitment and turn a new leaf by investing in other sectors that may hitherto seem less attractive but lucrative and capable of sustaining the State.
The State it would also be clearly and unequivocally stated here is paying lip service to blocking the loop holes where its internally generated revenue is allowed to fall into pockets of die hard politicians and persons who do not wish the State well, these are men who would not waste any opportunity to stifle the State’s neck at any given chance.
Our leaders show no sincerity in the line of displaying transparency as funds are assumed to be spent recklessly with no recourse to accountability.
Take for instance the scenario where the State was accused of spending N4 billion as expenditure on its anniversary and launching of Dakkada campaign. The Commissioner for
Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah in his response to the said rumour, only debunked it as mere speculation as no such humongous amount was spent adding that “purveyors of the falsehood are not attuned with facts of the matter”.
But if we might be tempted to ask, what are the facts of the matter? What was the actual figure that was spent? Would this not be termed as an ample opportunity to set the facts straight? What would it take to say that it was not N4 billion but it was so so and so figure?
It should be clearly stated that citizens reserve the right to know from their leaders whom they voted to represent them at any level what they do with funds. How much was received and simply, how such fund was spent.
This would give credence to events and instances where the State would raise issues that they require facilities like loans to use in executing projects.
If you dare seek to inquire about figures, one is termed as an enemy of state. But should this be the case? What happened to their oath of allegiance?
Someone once jokingly said that our politicians only take their oath of allegiance seriously only during their swearing-in ceremonies and after then, such oaths are thrown down the drains. This should not be the case. Our politicians should be made to understand that they are not accountable to themselves but to the people.
Today an initiative ‘Dakkada’ has been launched
but has been received with mixed reactions as to its necessity and sustainability. But do we really require an initiative to ‘rise up”?
Now back to the issue of spending and the need for transparency and accountability, how much was spent on the campaign launch”.
In as much as I would not want to be seen as if I am a dog who sniffs at anything possible, figures should create an atmosphere of confidence by citizens on our leaders who had pledged to work for the interest of citizens and not that of themselves.
We tout much about government being ‘continuity’ but such continuity is not put to practice. What happened to past initiatives by previous administrations? Outside the ‘etok Syndrome’ of late Akpan Isemin, former governor Godswill Akpabio launched the ‘Akwa Ibom Ado Okay’ while governor Udom’s administration birth the ‘Dakkada’ initiative.
Would it be out of place for successive administrations to get to sustain initiatives? In the same vein, wives of governors and Presidents should consider building on pet projects of their predecessors and not necessarily spending tax payer’s monies all in the name of launching a new project or initiative.
It’s getting over a week now after the pomp and pageantry of the Dakkada initiative launch, what are we to expect? Or is it just the shouts by those who have benefitted from contracts through the Dakkhada for us to rise up?
What did ‘Akwa Ibom Ado Ok’ initiative achieve? How much was spent by the anchors? It is the believe that the funds used in launching these ‘opaque’ projects could have been channeled to reduce the effects of flood across the State especially the State capital, grade and construct more internal roads, provide skill acquisition centres for our youth and a lot more. So much money spent on adverts, jingles and a lot others on ‘Dakkada’ could have been penciled down for better and more rewarding ventures.
Akwa Ibom State should “rise up” not just through an initiative, but through actions that span through lives of brotherliness, due process and transparency.

1 COMMENT

  1. Governor Udom Emmanuel should see the exodus of committed PDP members to APC as a bad omen for Akwa Ibom State in 2019 due to his inability to read the handwriting on the wall for too long indeed.
    This is just the cradle for allowing pensioners to suffer, while he is enjoying what Senator (Dr)Godswill Obot Akpabio bestowed as a solid legacy of hope for the Akwa Ibom people. There are dependants ot these pensioners, whose hope is in jeopardy. Some have stopped schooling, where they had hope but the tornado swept the family to the panting pad just to reach out for the reed to hold at sea in vain.
    It is worthy of note, that it did not take Senator(Dr) Akpabio one month to echo unique developmental foundations, which detonated great and sincere joy across the length and breadth of the State.
    But, now,melancholy and regret for wasted votes .

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