By UbongAbasi Ise
“You can fool some people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time” – Abraham Lincoln
The game of politics in our clime can be quite interesting anyway; but unfortunately too, it can degenerate to a point bereft of a single speck of moral sense and conscience. Most times, it comes to a point whereby power-mongers would mechanically take people merely as election materials instead of humans; they see electorates as something akin to raw materials from which the political power would be extracted and conferred upon them. As 2019 electioneering season is surfacing from the horizon, we would now see these politicians to coming down heavy on the masses to scramble for votes. All they would do is to play on the people’s psyche, appear as gracious as angels with the aura of populism, and beguile the masses with the promises packed with unimaginable programmes and projects that are merely vote-catching gimmicks.
Against this background, this is the time for the youths to come out of the curtain of mendacity cast upon them thus far by the government of Mr. Udom Emmanuel and look at things soberly. It is the appropriate time to reassess the performance of the governor vis-à-vis his truckload of promises made to the Akwa Ibom youths prior to, and early in the life of this administration. It is time to earnestly ask to know the extent the Oracle Database Software Management training for 1000 youths has gone, outside the 100 youths said to have been trained in 2016. We heard about 100 youths were sent to Israel to be trained on mechanized farming, but till now, the public is waiting to know the identities of those persons and the extent they have contributed in revolutionizing agriculture in the state.
Secondly, Mr. Udom Emmanuel came with so much hope that Ibom Industrial City would be developed and be put to use. And this could have served as the centripetal force for the much-talked about industrialization and the spring of youths employment. But all that is trailing the project is media hype. In fact, as at last year, the Ibom Industrial City was 50% completed as captured in the magazine, Superior Performance Digest (volume 1, number 5) published in September 2016 for the commemoration of 29th anniversary of the state. Given the alarming rate propaganda is going nowadays, it won’t be surprise to wake up in the morning to hear that the Ibom Industrial City has become the largest functional industrial hub and the busiest commercial nerve centre in the whole of Africa, employing millions of Akwa Ibomites. Oh Akwa Ibom!
Indeed, many Itu people are regretting today. An indigene of Ikot Ukap Itam, who did not want her name in prints, said that Automobile Assembly Plant project is a scam. According to her, members of the community are suspecting that Governor Udom Emmanuel has leased the project site to the wife of the former governor, Mrs. Ekatte Uloma Akpabio. If this is anything to go by, and given the rising scale of food crisis in the state today, then the people of Ikot Ukap have been practically denied their God-given land which they could have used in cultivating crops that could have brought food to their table, and provided them with what to trade on. Besides, the still-born car assembly plant project had raised the hopes of Akwa Ibom youths to high heavens and shatters them to the ground.
It is beginning to be quite certain that massive joblessness is an article of luxury for political class. That is why Governor Udom could get mammoth crowd of productive age anytime of the day to cheer his second term bid. If these people were gainfully employed, then they wouldn’t have gotten any time to spare for hollow political carnivals.
As 2019 political battle gathers momentum, Udom is preparing to extend his tenancy at the Hilltop mansion to 2023. This time around, one should wonder what he would promise Akwa Ibom youths that he has not promised before. Would there be something striking and out of this world in his next motley collection of promises? Or are there going to be outright promises of continuation of uncommon industrialization? If so, this could be risible unless miracle happens overnight.
It is quite unfortunate that the youths of this generation are cramped in the corrupt system where future seems blurred. Of course, some youths who swiftly realized on time are inured to the rancid promises of the power-mongers. They must have been wiser by now, and know that Udom’s government has nothing new to offer except loads of promises. It is time for youths to take destiny in their hands and make their choices independent of influence and gale of promises and showmanship. All the moves Udom is making today are for people to see and consider his reelection in 2019. We see the governor desperately working with the private owners of the manufacturing industries just to score cheap political point by creating the gigantic image of industrialization. But where would all these land Akwa Ibom youths?
… to be continued.
Yes! I am UbongAbasi Ise. For comments, send SMS to 08189914609