The former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah has expressed dissatisfaction over the abandonment of Science Park Project and changing of the original concept of the state University, Ikot Akpaden, in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, by his successors in office.
He claimed that the state would have been on the World Technology map by now, if the Science Park project he initiated was not abandoned and the state University was executed as initially conceptualised by his administration.
Attah stated this in his keynote address at the 2nd annual lecture series and journal presentation organised by Nemo Judex Chambers which held at the Watbridge hotel and Tower, Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.
The former governor who was conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award said, “until we are able to make the critical distinction between development projects that touch on the lives of the people and monuments that only edify self, when we are able to infuse the past into the present so that the present becomes the building block for the future, then we will be able to say in unison, it is well with Akwa Ibom State.”
Extracting from the article he wrote while in office, Attah said, “I saw certain things around here that if I don’t do them, nobody else will want to do them, so I go and do these things for instance, I have not built a stadium, because I know the next governor will build a stadium. But I can go and build a science Park because the next governor may not think like me and want to build a science park.”
The former governor who is known for his dogged fight for Resource control listed the challenges of development in the state to include inconsistencies in projects and public policy implementation and the mad drive for personal aggrandisement.
In his opening remarks, Justice Ifiok Ukana, consultant to Nemo Judex Chambers said the legal firm decided to look beyond legal services and advocacy, to setting an agenda for the next generation in Akwa Ibom State.
He expressed the team’s sincere concern about leadership and the future of the state, especially as the next elections were around the corner.
The former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Nduese Essien who chaired the occasion while appreciating Nemo Judex chambers for the initiative, pointed that the way forward for the development of the state is to revisit flagship transformational projects of Obong Attah, and charged those aspiring to govern the state, to learn from the achievements of the former governor if “we must achieve the Akwa Ibom of our dream”.
In his remarks, a former deputy speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Uwem Udoma sued for practical separation of powers, independence of the judiciary and legislature and true democracy, where Akwa Ibom people will choose who leads them.
He said until Akwa Ibom chooses who leads them, the quest for sustainable development will remain a mirage.
Professor Okon Ansa in his turn called for implementation of transformational projects and consultation of the people on what projects they need.
The University don decried the abysmal state of infrastructural decay in educational institutions and solicited for a beneficial relationship between the government and the governed.
According to him, the real components of sustainable development are increase in life expectancy, quality of education and the purchasing power of the common man, adding that until these indictors are secured a society cannot be said to experience real development.