Okon Bassey in Uyo
The people of Akwa Ibom State have been challenged to vote for a young person as governor of the state come 2023 governorship election for a well co-ordinated development across all sectors of the state.
A former political adviser to ex-governor Victor Attah of the state, Mr. Imo Udo threw the challenge to the people of the state while fielding questions from journalists in Uyo yesterday.
Udo, a former governorship aspirant in the state, equally urged elders in the state to take the back seat and allow the youth to run the state with new ideas and energy since the youth have the needed verve to successfully navigate through the increasing labyrinth of politics, governance and development.
”My opinion is in sync with the majority opinion, that a young person should be given opportunity to be the President and the Governor. Because at certain age you can’t go out to inspect projects. At certain age you may not want to cross the river to see what is happening in the other part of the State. There should be age consideration.
“I’m not advocating for a legislation placing a restriction on the age of attending any office because that would be discriminating and segregating against someone because of age.
“The issue of age should be allowed to be determined naturally by the people. If someone is aging, he won’t be able to move freely as Governor; there are also certain social things that he will not be able to do.
“There are certain economic things he will feel are wastage on account of his age. Personally, there should be an age that someone would say, ‘I am older than this thing’, “Udo said.
According to him, a member representing Etinan Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Rt Hon. Onofiok Akpan Luke, has the capacity and the wherewithal to govern the state very well.
“You need to listen to him speak about the development of Akwa Ibom State. The young man knows the needs, dreams and aspirations of Akwa Ibom people. He can tell you from the beginning of democracy in this dispensation of democracy till now how governance has been.
“He can tell you the challenges those governors had and can tell you what needs to be done now to ameliorate whatever deficiencies we have in Akwa Ibom State. And he will tell you all of these off hand.
“He can speak for two to three hours and he is talking substance without referring to any paper. I will charge you gentlemen of the press to put together a political debate so that it will help Akwa Ibom people to take the right decision on who their governor should be.
“He has the capacity. He has a good antecedents. Now when he drives pass, people call him a giver. This happens because he used the little he has to empower the people. But if you give him a higher responsibility, it is my belief that he will do more and Akwa Ibom people will be better off.” He said.
Udo said the next phase of development in the state should focus on human capacity development to bring the citizens at par with the existing infrastructural development..
“First, Governor Udom Emmanuel has done very well. He has been able to develop infrastructure and has driven the policy of industrialisation very well. We have built a lot of material things in Akwa Ibom State right from the time of Obong Victor Attah.
“We have done the airport, we have done the seaport, we have done roads, we’ve connected all the LGAs in Akwa Ibom State, so it is easy for anyone to get to any LGA within one hour plus. We have built hospitals, we have renovated schools, we have done so much concerning material things, so I think the next government should focus on building people.
“We have taken Akwa Ibom State to a lofty height in terms of physical infrastructure and yet the people in Akwa Ibom are strutting behind economically.
“The duty of the next government will be to bring Akwa Ibom people closer to development and bridge the gap between infrastructure and the people. That is what I expect the next government to do.
“I am not talking about giving or sharing money. The notion of giving doesn’t imply that he shares money but it means meeting people at the point of their needs.
“Onofiok Luke is sympathetic to the needs of the people. It is not all about sharing money. It is also about developing policies that will address challenges people are facing.”, he posited.