By UbongAbasi Ise
“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators” – P. J. O’Rourke
Apart from serving as the seat of power, Uyo is one sensitive component of a geo-political entity called Akwa Ibom State. It is the heartbeat that is very crucial to the life of the entire State. Without fear of contradiction, Uyo is fast becoming the melting-pot of distinct societies and cultures not only in Akwa Ibom State but in Nigeria as a whole. Therefore the issue of leadership in respect to Uyo is something that ought to be accorded utmost attention by all and sundry irrespective of whether it has to do with Uyo local government area, Uyo State Constituency, Uyo Federal Constituency or Uyo Senatorial District. As the general elections is around the horizon, the State and the country would now be grappling with the intractability of the problem of having to choose the right characters that would be representing the collective pulse of the citizenry for the next four years. In this regards, Uyo, with all its significance and strategic relevance to Akwa Ibom State, is in dire need of credible hands that would be piloting its affairs as far as elections into legislative chambers from state to national levels are concerned. Uyo constituents would need to look beyond the histrionics that would be perfected by politicians to gain advantage; they would need to undo the past mistakes, and forge a strong presence in the contemporary legislative front come 2019.
At the moment, Uyo’s main concern lies in the Federal House of Representatives. In recent times, Uyo constituents have been witnessing representation deficit in the Green Chambers as was signaled during Christmas meeting in Uyo where stakeholders assessed the performance of various political officials and individuals within Uyo Senatorial District. At the meeting, the seemingly abysmal performance of Uyo Federal Constituency in the lower chamber of the national assembly was brought to the fore. Beyond any consideration, it was an implicit invitation to Uyo constituents to beam a searchlight not only on their elitist segment but their rank and file to see if they could be lucky enough to find some sagacious, business-minded, youthful individual that would fit the bill.
Law-making, as a role in the 21st century, has changed both in character and texture as the political trend today is conditioned by forces of global economy galvanized by revolution in information technology and the way of communications. Today, business of legislature has overlapped to cover broad spectrum of economic interests and therefore require individual with business leanings to grab the reins of legislative governance. Uyo Federal Constituency, as 2019 is approaching, does not need a lawmaker that would go and sit down in the House of Representatives spectating. Of course the federal constituency should pay no heed to superannuated politicians whose lassitude would continue to place the constituency in the legislative backwaters. Since Uyo is the socio-economic and political nerve centre where the development of Akwa Ibom State is woven around, Uyo Federal Constituency would need to send an astute businessman, a consummate politician, a grassroot mobilizer, who is capable of representing the constituency with verve and vitality.
There is this unconfirmed report that suggests that Mr. Ime Uwah, the Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Marketing and Brand Management would earnestly be asked by the youths from Uyo Federal Constituency to vie for a seat in the Green Chambers come 2019. If this report is anything to go by, then Uyo Federal Constituency may be striking a real deal.
Born on February 15, 1978, Mr. Ime Uwah is from from Atan Offot in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Indeed, the life of Mr. Ime Uwah is one that offers an intriguing story of business innovation, audacity, and service to humanity. Uwah first ventured into business in 2003 when he set up XL Flavours, the first fast food service delivery company in Uyo. With creative mindset, he joined forces with the founder of Black Genie Nigeria to develop an online commercial webpage where clients could advertise their business. His experience in the area of information and communication technology continued to grow while working with ICT-based outfits such as NETCOM, VSAT, and Touch Seals limited in Lagos.
Given his versatility, Ime Uwah, in 2007, established a trading and building constructions firm called “Out Edge Limited” with headquarters in Lagos. Also, Uwah partnered with Aira Screen Limited in Canada to bring in original retractable mosquitoes net for windows and doors, the first in the country at the time.
With remarkable business acumen, Uwah founded in 2012 Eni Stores limited, an Agro based and retail company based in Uyo. The business grew remarkably and in 2014, Eni Group Limited was established as a conglomerate covering Out Edge Limited and Eni Allied Agro Farms limited. Through his business concerns, Uwah has generated vast job opportunities thus giving lifeline to many Akwa Ibom people.
Uwah’s astuteness in business would not go unnoticed. His feat in private sector came to the attention of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, and in October 2015, Mr, Ime Uwah was handed appointment as the Special Assistant to the Governor on Marketing and Brand Management, an office he holds till date..
Being a proactive business magnate, Uwah has reportedly used the Directorate of Marketing and Brand Management to mobilize over 15,000 Dakkada Ambassadors. In order to concretize the Dakkada philosophy in the lives of Akwa Ibom youths, Uwah has established the Dakkada Business Forum (DBF), which comprises entrepreneurs and young professionals from different fields; and through the business forum, 31 Dakkada Multi-purpose Co-operative Societies have been created. According to report, the Multi-purpose Co-operative Societies are now expanded to 329 chapters.
Through the instrument of Dakkada Multi-purpose Co-operative Societies, youths have been empowered with business ideas by way of trainings and seminars. The cooperative societies have helped in facilitating easy access to both free and subsidized Government agricultural inputs for farmers, creating synergy and network amongst members to provide easy market resources, as well as assisting the Cooperative societies and members to access interest free loans and grants.
On 2017 Cooperative Day, the Akwa Ibom State Bureau of Rural Development and Cooperatives honoured Mr. Ime Uwah with award of excellence for his passion to assist the rural poor to achieve their potentials through cooperatives.
Uwah holds a B. SC (Hons) Chemistry from the University of Calabar (2004), and has attended several courses in business management, peak performance, and leadership. He has received a certificate in Executive Business Education from the prestigious Lagos Business School (LBS).
Considering his repertoire of experience, there is no doubt that Uwah would cope with the intricacies and tempo of contemporary legislature if he has a shot. If the youths of Uyo Federal Constituency are going to call on Mr. Ime Uwah to represent their interest in the lower chamber of the national assembly, then they would do that with the belief that his contributions would be legible, and it would be a good thing should the Special Assistant acquiesce.