LAGOS – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has eulogised Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State for his excellent performance as governor, stressing that he won’t invite him to commission an already inaugurated project like one former governor did when he was the President of the country.
Obasanjo spoke in Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday where he commissioned a 23.4 km Etinan – Eket road.
He said, “Governor, you have particularly dignified me because I have come here to commission projects more than any other state in Nigeria.
“It is not my experience with one governor when I was the President of Nigeria. He invited a former President to commission a project, he invited the Vice President to Commission the same project and he invited me to commission also the same project.
“It was when I was commissioning the project that someone told me that I would be the third person to be invited to commission the same project.
“Governor, you are not that kind of governor. Every occasion is a new project, every occasion is something that adds to something that exists and God will continue to expand your coast.
Obasanjo added, “I like what I have heard about those who gave goodwill messages, particularly the Paramount ruler of Eket. I first heard a line about Eket in 1959, because a few of us were recruited into the Army in 1957 and we started our training internship in 1958 and one of us was Essien and we became attached and he was the one who introduced me to Eket and to this part of the country. Since then I have become, if you like, a citizen or a son of this community.
“When the governor was doing well one of the things that bothered me was how he would land and how succession would take place and he kept saying to me, don’t worry that at the appropriate time he would confidentially introduce somebody to me.
“Governor you have achieved success. Success is making a place better than you have found it, and you have made Akwa Ibom better than you have found it, therefore you are a success.
Obasanjo noted that success has another part, pointing out that success without a good successor is hollow. “What you said to me has happened, which is capacity and ability too,” he said.
“I congratulate the governor-elect, I congratulate the governor, I congratulate myself too, and I congratulate all the people of Akwa Ibom State.
“From what I have heard and seen I have no doubt that you will keep on the path of rectitude following a great leader who is going ahead of you.
The former President advised the governor that since he is comparatively young he should still make himself available for service to Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, and Africa at large.
“Let me say this, comparatively you are still young. I expect that after you have handed over, you will take a short rest, but Akwa Ibom State still expects a lot from you. Nigeria still expects a lot from you. Africa still expects a lot from you. By the grace of God Akwa Ibom, Africa, Nigeria will still squeeze the best out of you,” Obasanjo said.