Wired to do good, raised to touch lives, trained to live right and graced to fulfill destiny without coercion, Hon. (Elder) Aniekan Umanah is a limited edition of his kind. One that has done more than memories can capture in changing the narrative of the political and socioeconomic depth of his people, to brighten every corner life has pushed him to, by discouraging beggarly dispositions in doing great things with love and optimism.
Braving age-long sentiments of political and clannish leaning this scion of the Umanah’s dynasty has availed humanity an opportunity to live and express their capabilities, which in saying the least is an alien culture in our society where pettiness have become an order, such that people are subjected to scaling walls of doubt before they are given a chance.
Leveraging on social toga to demolish the walls social and political dichotomy that hitherto engulfed the Abak space, Aniekan Umanah in his eight years of stewardship to the state, as Commissioner for Information and Communications has worked to put the people to eternal debt of irrepressible gratitude to his heart of unmistakable and boundless goodwill.
It is unarguable that his coming on the turf heralded a new era that displaced pettiness, mediocrity, hooliganism and divisiveness. Today one can rightly point that he has unified every strata of his native Abak Local Government Area, to allow for a regime of socioeconomic and political harmony, where issues are better discussed than resort to violent confrontations.
Without seeking to spur a needless comparison, it is incontrovertible that serving for eight years in the State Executive Council as the longest serving commissioner for Information was worth the while. Such feats are not attained by luck, but through determination, capacity and competence, hence, one can afford to discuss his classic example in mandate delivery, without faulting his strategies.
While gracefully delivering on his briefs in office to raise Akwa Ibom to international acclaim, one would gladly agree that he went all the mile in perfecting the caste of propagating government policies and programmes, expending twice the energy the job required in putting Abak to sociopolitical and economic reckoning.
Needless enumerating how far he went in achieving the much he did, since that may smack an attempt to dwarf the achievements of others, but an highlight of his timely interventions would suffice as it does no harm, but sets a template for others to follow through in making lives better for their people whenever an opportunity calls.
Away from holding a yet to be challenged record of empowering his people, one is quickened to a flashback of how others before Umanah organized elaborate celebrations to donate motorcycles in our clime. This memory leaves people jaw-dropped at how the former information boss was able to reach out to more than 30 people with car gifts without any celebration.
Those he empowered for businesses are not only doing well but also helping others to economic independence, privileged to have accessed a man who assisted them without exposing them to the societal pressures of the camera. This were targeted interventions extended without prejudice to political, ethnic and filial considerations, but purely on the conviction that humanity deserved all the help it could get.
Government has done and is still doing so much, but never will it ever do everything; this unarguably could form the basis for Umanah’s decision to take up special intervention on the Government Primary School Midim Waterside, where he solely bankrolled the renovation and furnishing of two dilapidated school blocks, to avail the pupils an environment that supports learning.
Securing jobs for people excites him, since he abhors idleness and mediocrity; these are among the few things he can sacrifice everything for, and its proof is evident in the creation of a legion of people who are genuinely earning a living around him. Truth be told; this is one character that does not hold back ascent and consent to endeavours that would secure an individual a means of livelihood, even as he surrounds himself with upward-bound and result oriented people.
Until very recently, never was it heard that the Abak Local Government Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party had a challenge that required outsourcing solutions, as this thoroughbred media expert and political strategist showed an unparalleled commitment to putting smiles on their faces to promote the fledging political culture that has enveloped the area, to date. One of such efforts of his included bearing the rent cost of the Chapter Secretariat and at a time, donated cars to the Chapter Chairman and all eleven Ward Chairmen in the area.
Interestingly all these were achieved with more than money, as he employed a workable heart and empathetic disposition at seeing to it that whatever came his way in the course of discharging official duties never slid without meeting a need. This avails an appropriate testimonial to the golden heart he clearly exuded as an appointee of government.
The assurance this offers, lie greatly in his capability to do more, considering that he did so well in a position he was neither voted for, nor had a constituency purse to draw from. Nobody can rightly say what political favour they did him, since there was never a time he went canvassing for votes for himself, but was overly committed to supporting other peoples’ political ambition with his resources, goodwill and wide reach.
In consonance with the African proverb “if you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far go with the people” Aniekan Umanah had long positioned himself to go far by inextricably twinning his interest and concerns with those of his people, demystifying age, class, education and political leaning.
Thankfully, a leadership opportunity that requires his kind has beckoned, and with the decision of stakeholders of Abak federal constituency to zone the National Assembly seat of the area to Abak Local Government Area, to allow for harmonious coexistence of the people of Abak, Etim Ekpo, Ika; who are in dire need of quality representation at that level.
His plans and projections are laid bare and plain, having invested so much in ensuring his people resonates an irrepressible voice in every nook of the Nigerian nation, exploring his education, exposure, contact, proficiency and conviction to finding solutions to their deafening concerns.
One cannot but agree that an Aniekan Umanah representation in the House of Representatives in 2019 is a-win-win for the constituency and State as it will be a replay of the niche brilliant and rewarding performance he has carved for himself.
There is so much to do, but the haste in getting them done depends solely on how fast we mobilize our appeal towards the robust and quality representation that will see to unfettered involvement in law making, policy formulation and a massive empowerment plan for the constituents of Abak, Etim Ekpo, Ika Federal Constituency.
Behold the birth of a new order!
Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro, in Abak Local Government Area