…. describe his knowledge of the economy a game-changer
Past and present Speakers of State Houses of Assembly have chorused the praise of presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, for his performance in office as governor.
The party chieftains had hosted, in Abuja on Monday night, Governor Udom who advanced his quest for the party nomination at the party presidential primary coming up later this month.
The Chairman of Governor Udom’s Campaign Organisation and two-term governor of Benue state, now Senator Gabriel Suswam, who introduced the aspirant and cross-section of speakers and former speakers who spoke at the well-attended event said knowledge of the economy was the Number One qualification for anyone aspiring to lead Nigeria in 2023.
They also described the turn around that Akwa Ibom State had witnessed under Emmanuel within a short period of his stewardship as evidence of the aspirant’s ability and capacity to also turn Nigeria around if, given the opportunity.
Suswam had earlier said: “Fix the economy and everything else will fall in place, explaining further that: “We have not as a country had the good fortunes of having as a leader someone with a sound and deep knowledge of the economy like Udom Emmanuel has.
“That is why there is no longer a middle class in the country today. It is either you are rich or you are poor and we have been described as the poverty capital of the world.
“We have had leaders that have been bamboozled over the economy, emphasizing that “More than ever before, we now need a President with a difference who can take this country to a positive level.
“Unlike them, we are not moving this country from top to bottom but we shall be moving it from bottom where they have dropped it to the top, which is the expectation of Nigerians.
“Nigeria needs a president who is creative and we must move away from premodial sentiments because it has not helped us.
“We must now choose a leader with capacity and capability to deliver the goods. We must choose a leader with requisite training in financial matters and whose track records speak eloquently for him”, Suswan added.
Responding, Udom pointed at his training with the leading accounting firm, Pricewaterhouse, and his achievements in the public sector, saying that while the nation’s economy was contracting and shrinking, that of his state was expanding through his ingenuity of creating money in a cash strapped economy.
He said while industries were relocating from Nigeria, Akwa Ibom had attracted not less than 22 new industries through creativity of ideas and innovations that have catapulted the state into the second best Foreign Direct Investment destination, coming only after Lagos.
While Nigeria is a net importer of foreign goods, Akwa Ibom is presently an exporter of quality products, like made in Nigeria syringes, to overseas countries.
“We are even struggling to meet up with demands”, he added.
He also said, to thunderous applause, that while Nigeria as a country has been unable to manage an airline, Akwa Ibom’s Ibom Air is one of the best managed airlines in the country today.
Reeling out series of his other achievements as governor, he said if he could do all of these at the sub-national level where he did not control policies and where frustrations abound, he would do more as president of the country.
He therefore enjoined the speakers and former speakers to take the message to their colleagues that help is on the way and all hope is not lost.
“We are coming to rescue and restore the lost glory of this country”, he added.