It is a well-established fact that Donald Duke and Godwill Akpabio were counted as the best governors during their tenors as governors of their respective States.
Back then, whenever the issue was raised some people will say that running a state is not the same as running a country. I believe so much in the saying that he who is faithful in little things will be faithful in big things.
Let take the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua for instance he was chosen to run for the presidency because he did well in his state. So why can’t Donald Duke or Godwill Akpabio be given a chance to prove themselves? Or is it because they are not from the north?
For those of you who do not know these Governors, I am going to run you through their achievements in their respective States.
Donald Duke: He was the Governor of Cross River State from 1999 to 2007. His achievements during his time are too Numerous to Mention. He was and is still the most successful governor of the state. He won the hearts of many, including people who are not from Cross River State.
The former governor formulated several policies that resulted in the transformation of the state. He so transformed the state that people referred to Calabar as the Dubai of Africa. During his tenure as the governor of the state, you dare not throw even a piece of paper on the road. Seeing how clean the roads were, fear would not even let you try it, even if you were from another state, and didn’t know about their keep Calabar clean policies. A fine was placed against lawbreakers, and he made sure that it was enforced.
The Cross Riverians lived like the whites as the former governor always introduced foreign culture to the people of the state. It was during his tenure that carnival was first introduced in Nigeria. And the people of Cross River State made so much money from that because people came from different parts of the world to attend the carnival. The hotels were always fully booked during that period. People start booking the hotels in August because by November all the hotels would have all been booked.
One notable thing about the Don Duke is that, unlike other governors who travel to other parts of the world to have fun, the formal Governor always traveled to learn something that he can introduce to the state.
The governor made giant strides in the areas of Tourism, Agriculture, Infrastructural Development, Environmental, and so on. He placed a standard in Environment and Tourism which other governors are still struggling to live up to.
Don Duke made Calabar very beautiful. And it is referred to as the cleanest state in Nigeria. He transformed Cross Rivers State into the number one tourist destination in Nigeria. Obudu cattle ranch has been in existence long before Donald duke emerged as governor of the state but it wasn’t developed until he became governor of the state.
Obudu cattle ranch
The former governor constructed Obudu cattle ranch and built Tinapa Resort, and brought in foreign investors. He didn’t stop there, he made changes in the financial system of Cross River state and created a fund reserve which was designed to keep the state afloat during the time of recession.
When Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo visited Tinapa, he acknowledged that Don Duke had fantastic ideas and vision capable of turning the economy around and challenged the other governors to learn from him.
His effective financial management and transparency gave him a pass mark, as he was among the few governors who were not under EFCC investigation.
In the first four years of his tenure, Cross River State became the second-largest producer of cocoa and also export them to other countries. The former governor had plans to eradicate poverty in the state, so he created poverty allegation programs to help the poor.
Before his tenure, Cross River State had no university owned by the state, so he created the Cross River University of Technology ( CRUTECH ) and extended it to the northern part of the state so that people in those areas can also benefit from it.
Then he distributed textbooks to primary and secondary schools for free. And also embarked on a massive incentive program for school teachers by introducing a tax exemption package.
God will Akpabio: He was the Governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2007 to 2015. Before he assumed the sit, the former Governor Victor Attah had messed up the state. They were a lot of abandoned projects. Bad roads, no good schools, no jobs, etc.
During his campaign, he promised the people a better state. And unlike other politicians who make promises which they are never able to keep, he kept his word.
Akpabio surprised the people of Akwa Ibom with the projects which he accomplished during his first tenure. He built roads in areas that people least expected. Built schools and created job opportunities. Before this time, Akwa Ibom people were seen as people who didn’t like education. They were always seen working as house helps in people’s homes, security guards, cleaners, Motorbike riders, etc.
But after Akpabio performed the wonders which he performed in his state, most of the Akwa Ibom people who were doing menial jobs in other States returned to their state. Some of them even went back to school to enable them to get better jobs in their state.
He did not only build new projects, but he also completed the abandoned projects by the former administration. One of them was the Akwa Ibom State International Airport which was reputed to have one of the longest runways in Nigeria.
Before this time, one of the major problems that had confronted the past administrations in Akwa Ibom state was the flooding of the state capital, Uyo. Living in some parts of Uyo during the rainy season was always a nightmare. From the Idoro area through the Itam road area to the Ikot Ekpene road area, it was always a pool of water after a rainfall.
It was so bad that many houses in the flood-prone areas were submerged.
It wasn’t as if the former administration was unconcerned about the plight of the residents. Year in, year out, huge budgetary provisions running into billions of naira were made to curb the problem of flooding and erosion in Uyo but the problem simply defied every solution. This only meant one thing, the Governor didn’t follow up on the projects. So when Governor Akpabio assumed office, he decided to take the bull by the horns and confront the problem of flooding in Uyo once and for all.
When President Goodluck Jonathan visited, he was amazed at the project that he said: One of the projects that are quite interesting to me is the drainage system. I think this is the first time I have seen that kind of drainage system. And I believe it must be one of the firsts in the whole continent of Africa. That is uncommon!
That is not all. He built flyovers in different parts of the State to reduce traffic and make movement much faster and easier. One remarkable thing about the projects is that they are of high quality. The transformation in Akwa Ibom State during Akpabio’s administration was phenomenal.
Then the e-library. He built the first e-library in west Africa. It is the only library in Nigeria with a multi-media conference hall with a capacity for 200 guests. It also has facilities for teleconferencing from any part of the globe. The sheer quantum of the book resources of about 70 million downloadable e-books and 30 million books in print with an in-built alarm system to prevent pilfering; and access by users to the best libraries in the world makes this achievement uncommon.
What about the stadium? The Akwa Ibom Stadium Complex is a world-class multifunctional stadium serving as a one-stop center for sporting events, entertainment, and general recreation. It meets the requirements of the World Football Association for World Cup qualifying matches and the World Athletics Association for national competitions.
The stadium represents the first part of the Uyo Sports Park project development.
2023 election is around the corner, and campaigns will soon start. It will not be proper for us to wait till the campaign starts before we begin to figure out who we should vote for. I think we should consider Donald Duke and Godswill Akpabio. If you have any suggestions you can put them below and then share the post so that our youths who do not have anybody in mind can start considering them.
Since Nigerian youths are seeking a change in government, I think we should consider these Governors who have proven themselves. Share your thoughts and opinions.
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