Over the couple of weeks particularly, I have been under tremendous pressure from my friends to align with one of the supposed leading governorship candidates (from APC or PDP). Some have gone ahead to be offended by my insistence on running the race to the end, -despite what I have considered a reasonable explanation to them.
Considering that most of my friends belong to one of these two parties, they have expressed their displeasure by ensuring that not a dime of their resources comes to me, -conveniently forgetting how I have been there for several of them time and time again. They eagerly wait to see me fail as it would serve me right for my supposed ‘arrogance’.
It’s in the light of the above and more that I find it necessary to make some more general explanations in the hope that they, in particular, and the public in general, will appreciate the burden that I bear in running this race.
Let me start by stating emphatically, categorically, and without any equivocation that:
I was never in this governorship race for any form of negotiations or settlement, but for the sole purpose of advancing my beliefs in what I believe holds the keys to our good future as a state and as a nation.
1. Social Governance
2. Responsibility Transfer.
In a well-publicized and attended press conference, I had made known the above-mentioned two beliefs, and I went on to give the two main parties 30days to adopt the SOCIAL GOVERNANCE ideology to earn my support. In the event of none of them adopting the SOCIAL GOVERNANCE ideology, I would be left with no option but to join the governorship race to propagate this ideology.
It was only after the expiration of this time limit that I declared to contest for the governorship of the state as I ‘threatened’.
My passion, motivation, inspiration and sole purpose for joining the race, therefore, hinged on my irrevocable belief in the ideology of SOCIAL GOVERNANCE as, in my honest opinion, the only solution to the failed governance system that has made us to become the poverty capital of the world.
The desperation with which those major parties are seeking the Office of the Governor makes it commonsensical to conclude that service to the people cannot be their primary motivation.
These big parties service and work for the top, the rich, the high and mighty. They only need and look for ‘the people’ (the poor, women, physically-challenged, most vulnerable and of course the youths) during the time of elections.
On the contrary, SOCIAL GOVERNANCE reverses the above as it is a BOTTOM-to-TOP governance approach where the PEOPLE (as outlined above but this time includes children), are the focus of governance.
Again, while the present governance structure thrives on gigantic projects that are often sited in visible urban areas either to massage their ego, or to get reasonable pecuniary rewards, SOCIAL GOVERNANCE focuses more on MSMEs that are usually located in the rural areas where the generality of THE PEOPLE are . Consequent upon the above, Urban-Rural migration is encouraged as opposed to theirs that encourages the rural dwellers to rather move to the cities (Rural-Urban migration) in seeking jobs in the urban cited big industries.
On a general note, their obsession with power makes patronage, rather than ‘fit-for-purpose’, to be the basis for job recruitment. This results in administrations that lack in visions and focus.
SOCIAL GOVERNANCE, on the other hand, is driven by passion to deliver services to the people, and thus is excellence-driven, non-partisan, and inclusive by policy.
My SOCIAL GOVERNANCE ideology runs on four hash tags
The governance music that we play at present, has failed us as a nation. In Akwa Ibom state, we sit on the time bomb of having the second highest unemployment rate in the country.
It’s insanity to do the same thing the same way and not expect the same result.
To get out of this pathetic situation that we have found ourselves, it is imperative that we #ChangeTheMusic of our governance approach.
The starting point is our second hashtag, to #GoLowProfile. A governor cannot live like a monarch when the generality of the citizens live in penury where they cannot afford the most basic amenities of life.
To free funds for those basic amenities, we must #ShutDownAndShutOut -being our third hashtag. We must ShutDown bloated overheads and wasteful spendings, and we must ShutOut all the leeches and parasites that have resulted in unforgivable capital flights.
Our crave by our leaders to be accepted by other people (like the Presidency) has opened our treasury to non-indigenes, while our people are left with the crumbs. Little wonder, therefore, that despite the trillions of Naira that we have received, there is little or nothing to show by way of private sector presence in the entire state.
It’s on the account of the above that the last hash tag #ItIsPossible derives its life.
It Is Possible to run an inclusive government where every citizen of the state feels a sense of belonging. It Is Possible (with freed funds) to pay our workers a living wage. It Is Possible to provide the basics of life with respect to qualitative and affordable Healthcare, Education, Housing, and other social infrastructure. It Is Possible to run a government based on meritocracy where excellence is the password to political appointments and engagement, thus motivating everyone to aim for excellence.
The above is my motivation for seeking the Office of the Governor, and not how I can be settled with “…commissioners and juicy contracts”, where I will become very rich, while my people die in penury.
Conclusion, to all my friends, please take time and study this memo very carefully and discuss with your principal. If they care about the people, they should adopt it. As to who will be our next governor, only God knows as at today.
For me, I need no offers from anyone as God has made me the best offer, THE DIVINE REWARD OF STAYING TRUE TO THE CAUSE OF THE POOR!
SOCIAL GOVERNANCE and RESPONSIBILITY TRANSFER TO THE YOUTHS is, and will be the National Mantra that will never be ignored, going forward. This is our victory, no matter the results from the polls. This is our victory, that we refused to betray our cause and compromise for personal rewards. This is our victory, that we kept faith with the youths in running the campaign in line with our RESPONSIBILITY TRANSFER ideology. This is our victory, that our passion and commitment to the cause of the most vulnerable is stronger than the lure for instant gratification. This is our victory, even with the risk of the votes of our converts either being compromised by taking advantage of their vulnerabilities through vote buying, out outright diversion of their votes through result manipulation. THIS IS OUR VICTORY, THAT WHATEVER THE RESULT AT THE POLLS, WE WIN THE GREATEST PRIZE OF INTEGRITY AND TRUST.
I will be glad to be the next governor of this state, BUT I will be more fulfilled if the next governor of this state, myself or any other, took a commitment to the cause of the most vulnerable.
God Bless You.
Arc.(Otuekong) Nya-Etok Ezekiel.
YDP (Young Democratic Party).