…calls for more Professionals to be involved in governance
The Adviser of Inoyo Toro foundation, Mr Udom Inoyo has expressed worry over how society tends to believe that only those who are in politics or holding political offices are serving the people.
He made these remarks at Watbrige Hotels on Friday, April 1, 2022 during a book launch by Etim Etim titled; Akwa Ibom Heroes: Inside Story of the fight for Abrogation of the Onshore-offshore Oil Dichotomy.
The former Vice Chairman of Exxon Mobil Nigeria stated that although there are several individuals who were making tremendous sacrifices and contributions for Akwa Ibom State, they rather remained largely unsung.
He said: “Unfortunately, today, there is a tendency to believe that only those in mainstream politics contribute to the development of our state. But, truth be told, Politics is only one of the vehicles now made critical because of unfair distribution of perks. And I get it! Thus, I am committed to public service and advocate for more professionals to be interested and involved to promote quality governance.
“There was a time those of us in the private sector used to be recognized and appreciated but that is no longer the case.
“I am aware of persons who have done great things for Akwa Ibom State outside of politics, many who have unlocked opportunities and continue to do so utilizing personal contacts, overcoming systemic bureaucratic roadblocks and investing private funds.”
He further highlighted some Akwa Ibomites who have made tremendous contributions in reaching out to the people but remained largely unsung to include; Larry Etta, former Group Managing Director of UAC Plc who established a clinic for medical services for his people in Uruan community.
Inoyo also identified Edo Ukpong, a corporate lawyer in Lagos who came home and reconstructed a long-abandoned Ndiya health centre in Ndiya Ikono local government area, Dr Eskor Inyang and others in diaspora who he said would forfeit their income abroad to embark on medical outreach to Akwa Ibom but their contributions tends to heard less of or not told at all, Mr Inoyo however described them as his heroes.
He further noted that one of the ways of encouraging people to invest back home is to shun the act of treating people with divergent views as castaway, especially where their political views do not align.
“But one way of ensuring that more people are encouraged to invest back home is to eschew the prevalent zero - sum game where everyone who is not ‘aligned’ or having a different perspective especially on politics is treated as a pariah. That mindset will take us nowhere. I must also plead with our public officials to always rise above personal interest for the general good. The State’s well-being should be paramount in all we do, and you must embrace and support this coming to help, that way, we all win,” Mr Inoyo said.
The former ExxonMobil man appreciated Mr Etim Etim for rising above his personal political persuasion and documenting the role of persons in the struggle that has put Akwa Ibom in the map. Also appreciated him for bringing to the fore the role played by Akwa Ibom professionals resident in Lagos, known as Concerned Akwa Ibom Professionals in Lagos ( CAKPIL), a group which he said was formed because of the struggle for resource control.
Mr Inoyo stated that Etim’s book serves as a reminder that anyone can help the state as such, all hands must be on deck to push Akwa Ibom to an enviable height as the State really needed help.
Mr Inoyo highlighted the role played in promoting qualitative education in Akwa Ibom through the Inoyo Toro Foundation for the past 15 years, his role in rallying Stanbic IBTC and a company called IJNC to donate a molecular PCR machine for Akwa Ibom during the Covid -19 pandemic, stating that people do not seem to be aware that the machine is not just saving lives but equally generating funds for the State at Ibom Specialist Clinic (ISH).
Mr Inoyo is mentioned by number six (6) alongside 12 other eminent Akwa Ibomites who contributed immensely to the Onshore-offshore Abrogation struggle in Etim Etim’s book notably in the role played by The Concerned Akwa Ibom Professionals in Lagos (CAKPIL).
The book’s public presentation attracted an array of prominent Nigerians including; Professor Yemi Osinbajo Vice President of Nigeria as Special guest of honour represented by his Special Assistant on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Chief Ndueso Essien, Prof. Nse Essien Vice Chancellor Akwa Ibom State University and Commissioner for Information, Akwa Ibom State, Comrade Ini Ememobong amongst others.
Dr Emmanuel Akpanobong as Chairman on the occasion, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe as Chief presenter who was represented by Dr Ita Udosen, Umana Okon Umana represented by Engr Ben Ukpong and Professor Lawrence Etim as the book reviewer.
Dr Udeme Nana set the tone for the event.