Of Gov. Godswill Akpabio and His Generosity..
It is no longer news that Innocent Idibia aka Tuface and Annie Macaulay celebrated their traditional wedding last weekend neither is it news any longer that the state governor of Akwa Ibom promised the couple a car gift during the celebration.
What is news however is the fact that the car gift has finally been handed over to the couple as promised by the state governor.
Personally I have no issue with Tuface & Annie accepting this gift, a gift is afterall what it is..a gift and a symbol of the goodwill and loving heart of the giver. Also bearing in mind that it was unsolicited and Tuface could very well procure any vehicle(s) of his choice without batting an eyelid, I still find it difficult to put the pieces together.
Issues that have to do with our dear country and the polulace are not one to take lightly or overlook. I strongly believe the level of corruption in the country can be reduced if not completely eradicated if everyone who is able to do so lends his/her voice to the campaign. That is just by the way.
Back to Akwa Ibom, never been there before and never met the Idibias. However, my mind has been doing a lot of exercise mentally ever since news of the gift came out.
Following the outcry that greeted the move, the Government was quick to release the following statement:
Following spurious and false speculations in the social media concerning the wedding gift by Governor Godswill Akpabio to Mrs. Annie Innocent Idibia, née Macaulay, I wish to state as follows:
That the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Chief Godswill Akpabio, donated ONE Prado jeep to Mrs. Annie Innocent Idibia, nee Macaulay a daughter of Akwa Ibom State and renowned artist during her traditional marriage at Eket.
That the State Governor as a token of support for the couple promised to fund the traveling expenses (economy return tickets) for only 20 relatives of Mrs. Annie Idibia Macaulay to Dubai, where the couple have chosen to wed.
“That looking carefully at the surrounding events in perspective, Mrs. Annie Idibia, nee Macaulay is a daughter of Akwa Ibom State and the gift of a Prado SUV from her governor is only a gesture of love and goodwill. Her resolve to stand by her husband on his journey right from his days of youthful beginnings to stardom even in the face of challenges was commendable and a true attribute of the Akwa Ibom women.
“That It is however unbecoming that mischief makers and enemies of progress have decided to inflame the social media with incongruous reports that the State Government is sponsoring an entourage of party supporters to the wedding in Dubai, when in fact the Government is only sponsoring the travel expenses of twenty of her family members at an estimated cost of roughly Three Million Naira (N3,000,000.00) only.“I wish to therefore urge members of the public to discountenance the misrepresentations made out of a well intentioned act of the governor.”
From the statement, it could also be gleaned that Gov Akpabio in his generousity is taking this gesture further by sponsoring 20 relatives of the bride to Dubai for the 'white wedding'.
A question that quickly sprang to my mind was: at whose expense?
The gifts are apparently not coming from the personal purse of this generous governor but from the public purse of the state. It would come from the pool of never-drying fund that belongs to the entire
poor masses of Akwa Ibom.
Just as a reminder, we are faced as a people with issues that sap our energy and rob us of life. Daily.
People die every day with their dreams for lack of encouragement and finances to realise their ambitions.
Many wallow in poverty, depending on the bins for sustenance daily!
Many lay their weary and aching bones to rest under bridges with the howling winds as companion!
Many have turned to prostitution, plying their trade in the bush, even in foreign countries!
Many are faced with life threatening ailments and die daily for lack of adequate healthcare, I could go on and on.
YET our leaders dip their hands into public purse and dispense funds with reckless abandon on frivolities and cheap publicity stunts that does nothing to improve the quality of life of the masses.
In Akwa Ibom, one can only hope that salient issues such as poverty, unemployment, infrastructure, healthcare, education, etc have been adequately tackled.
Furthermore, one can also conclude that this generous reward policy would be extended to every woman from the state who has imbibed the virtues of patience and long-suffering in standing humbly by their spouses through thick and thin.
Methink we have more issues, life threatening ones at that to grapple with in this nation than to embark on needless jamboree with state funds. If the governor had funded this gesture from his personal purse and not publicised it, noone would have cried out in my opinion.
I also think we still have a very long walk to freedom in this country.
Lastly, I strongly feel our leaders know the right path to thread, they only lack the will to act in the face of temptations (in the form of unguarded state coffers).
A prayer for those at the helms of affair: Dear God, please help our leaders to do the right thing, help them not to harden their hearts to the plights of the poor masses.
Have a beautiful weekend.