Performing wonders in Uyo Local Government is what Elder Imoh Okon is known for, this brought about the maiden magazine “100 DAYS WONDERS OF ELDER IMOH OKON”As always seen numerous office holders, particularly the lawmakers, for the most part focus on their initial 100 days in office to record and commend their initial accomplishments after supposition of office, the case was diverse with the recently elected Executive Chairman of Uyo Local Government Area, Elder (Hon.) Imoh Okon.
The Wonders: 100 DAYS WONDERS OF ELDER IMOH OKON
Instead of sitting tight for 100 days in the wake of swearing-in before pointing at any minor or significant accomplishment, Elder Imoh Okon from the initial 30 days after his swearing-in had caused many to be dumbfounded with various accomplishments, some which gave off an impression of being phenomenal. The expansion number of these appearing to be exceptional accomplishments when relate with the short space of Elder Imoh Okon’s stay in office as the Executive Chairman of Uyo Local Government is simply seen as ‘the Wonders’.
For the past 100 days, governance in Uyo Local Government has been trailed with what the scripture refers to as ‘signs and wonders’ courtesy of Elder Imoh Okon led administration.
When the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel on Thursday 7th December administered the oath of office to Elder Imoh Okon as the Executive Chairman of Uyo Local Government, many, if not all, did not know that the newly elected Chairman was coming to perform wonders in Uyo Local Government Council. Little wonder why R. J. Palacio in his book, ‘365 Days of Wonders’ said “We carry within us the wonders we seek around us”. It was not known to anybody that Imoh Okon is the ‘wonders performer’ whom the people of Uyo, including employees of the Uyo Local Government Council were looking for.
There is no gain replaying the sorry state of the Uyo Local Government Council administratively and politically; from vandalization of council’s properties to stealing of the remaining ones and from blackout in the council secretariat to disconnect between the leadership and the council staff. Rather, what deserves playing and replaying is the seeming magic and wonders performed by Elder Imoh Okon in restoring the council to life with striking achievements just within his 100 days in office.
It all started on the 7th day of December, 2017 when Uyo born Apostle Nyenime Andy of Holy Ghost Ambassador accompanied by the Uyo Field Superintendent of The Apostolic Church Nigeria, Apostle Ime George led other anointed ministers of God from Uyo Local Government Area to pray and dedicate the Executive Chairman’s office in the council secretariat and also performed spiritual installation of Elder Imoh Okon as the God’s chosen Chairman of Uyo Local Government Council. The exercise which was part of activities in the Solemn Assembly organized to usher in the administration of Elder Imoh Okon took place immediately after the swearing-in of the Chairman by the State Governor. Being the first of its kind in the history of Uyo Local Government, one is left to believe that it was indeed the beginning of Elder Imoh Okon’s 100 Days wonder.
A noticeable wonder that followed the historic spiritual exercise was was the re-furnishing of the Chairman’s office with standard and up to date furniture less than sixty minutes after his swearing-in. Where and how he got the money in such a short time remains wondrous till today.
When Was The Magazine Launched
The magazine: THE WONDERS: 100 DAYS WONDERS OF ELDER IMOH OKON was lunched on the 50th Birthday celebration of the undisputed Chairman on uyo Local Government Area.
Elder Imoh Okon in the course of his 100 days wonders has been the first Chairman of a Local Government in the history of Akwa Ibom State to fix and plan for the burial of a high ranking monarch like a paramount ruler in just thirteen days. When he announced, during his inaugural speech on the 7th December, that he will bury the late Paramount Ruler of Uyo on 20th December, 2017 exactly thirteen days after his assumption of office, many thought it was a line of speech meant to entertain his supporters and visitors who thronged the council secretariat for the solemn assembly/swearing-in ceremony. This was not unconnected to the fact that until then, nobody in Akwa Ibom State has ever heard of a paramount ruler’s burial being fixed, planned and organized in less than thirteen days, especially, considering the fact that the immediate past administration of the Uyo Local Council had struggled to bury the Paramount Ruler since April 2017 and even failed to meet up the first burial date – 29th November which was fixed and widely publicized. Again, where and how he got the money and the logistic in such a short time remains wondrous till today.
Though Elder Imoh Okon during his electioneering had informed the people of Uyo that the first thing in his 4-point agenda is Robust Empowerment and Rural Development which encompasses road grading, he never mentioned that he will perform the wonder of grading rural roads in Uyo even within his first 30 days in office. Till date it remains wondrous to the people of Uyo that a Local Government Chairman could embarked on grading of Itiam Ikot Ebia roads (Ward 4) and Ikot Ayan – Nung Ukim Ikono road (ward 8) in less than 10 days after his swearing-in. By the singular act, he was therefore the very first among the current Local Government Chairmen to embark on grading of rural roads.
While staff of Uyo Local Government Council were still wondering the magic-like performance of Elder Imoh Okon in just few days in office, the notice for the Chairman’s familiarization and an inaugural meeting with all the council staff issued by the Head of Service barely seven days after Imoh Okon resumed office was yet another shocker. This was because, it was a rare meeting to employees of the council. The over 700 staff of Uyo Local Government Area breathed fresh air at the meeting as the Chairman announced a total overhauling of the security structure in the council secretariat in order to stop vandalization and stealing of council’s properties. By the overhauling, the 70-80 years old men who worked as security personnel were all redeployed while corporate security operatives are engaged to partner with other security agencies in securing the council secretariat, a development which has so far brought an end to vandalization and stealing of properties within the premises. To solidify the security network, the chairman being the Chief Security Officer of Uyo Local Government, in the course of his 100 days wonders successfully hosted Uyo Local Government Joint Security Meeting which records show was not held in the past years. The Security meeting subsequently gave birth to the inauguration of Peace and security committee to further tighten security even in the rural areas of Uyo Local Government.
Until the coming on board of Elder Imoh Okon, going to Uyo Local Government Council Secretariat either as a staff or visitor was only for those who are sure of their body system’s ability to withstand urinary and defecation stress as the council was operating without toilet for more years. This subjected the entire secretariat premises to environmental hazard as visitors and staff of the council defecated and urinated in any possible corner within the council premises. But today, the council secretariat has turned a clean, comfortable and conducive working environment as Elder Imoh Okon within his 100 days in office performed the wonder of providing four lavatories in the council secretariat – two for female, two for male and also rehabilitated toilet facilities in all the offices within the secretariat.
No one would have believed that a Local Government Council Secretariat can operate without a single computer set or manual typewriter – No! Not a local government like Uyo. But unbelievably, one of the 100 days wonders of Elder Imoh Okon was the repairs of manual typewriters and procurement of Computer sets and Printers which in the past years were not available in the council with a ban on typing of all council’s document outside the council secretariat.
Elder Imoh Okon’s 23rd day in office will not be forgotten in a hurry by staff of Uyo Local Government Council. The wonder performed by the Chairman on this day which was 30th December, 2017 was not only historic but the first in the history of any Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State. It was the first time members of staff of Uyo Local Government Council with their spouses, children and grand children were hosted in a Christmas get-together party called ‘Family Party’ by their boss. The party created an opportunity where all the council staff with their spouses, children and grand children sat on round tables to eat, drink, dance and celebrate with the Council Chairman, his wife and children together with the councilors and other members of his team.
When Elder Imoh Okon during his campaign promised an all inclusive government many thought it was just a tale put up to earn more votes, especially considering the fact that some of the past Chairmen reportedly ran the council as a private estate. But against all doubts, the wonder performing Chairman assembled the generality of the people of Uyo Local Government Area across political party lines for Uyo Economic and Political Summit where a new course was put in place for a greater Uyo Local Government. No one will argue that a summit organized by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government where Past Chairmen of Uyo Local Government Council, Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress and other opposition parties, traditional rulers, religious leaders, youth and women group as well as those from the private sector were all in attendance for a common interest was not a wonderful and historic achievement. Yet, how he managed to host such gathering with little or no resources remains wondrous till date. While the applause for such an apolitical summit lasted, Elder Imoh Okon again invited the entire people of Uyo irrespective of political party starting from the grass root for an interactive session to brainstorm and contribute their quoter to the 2018 Uyo Local Government Budget preparation.
Next in line of the wonders was the restoration of electrical power to the council secretariat. That Nigeria is facing serious power challenge is no news, but more shocking news is that until Elder Imoh Okon assumes office on the 7th of December, the seat of Uyo Local Government was without electric power; not even the council’s two generators were functional. How long the blackout lasted in the Council will rather be a story for another time. While restoring power in the council seemed a tough if not impossible task for previous administrations, Elder Imoh Okon performed a wonder of bringing back the dead 100 KVA generating set to life and replacing all stolen electrical facilities in less than twenty one days after powering the secretariat with his personal generator for over 14 days.
One Area that has received an uncompromised attention of the wonder performing Chairman is the popular Akpan Andem Market. The market was the first spot of the Chairman’s official visit barely five days after his swearing-in. Ban on renewal of all daily levies and yearly toll for market shops and stalls, taskforce and roadside selling were among the first executive orders issued by the chairman with the view of restructuring the market. Today, in a way the market traders described as ‘wonder’, the market which was an eyesore has taken its shape as a city market. In less than 100 days since his assumption of office, the Chairman among other achievements in the market withdrew from court and settled about 52 court cases that turned the market to a battle field, set up interim management committee of the market pending the conduct of the market union election, opened up all access road within and around the market, stop roadside trading around the market, allocated spaces for sellers of different commodities, evacuated waste within the market and in the gutters around the market, provided Waste Evacuation Truck for daily evacuation of waste.
The Health sector of the Local Government is another area that the wonder performing Chairman has recorded unprecedented achievements within the first 100 days. Apart from drawing the attention of the State and Federal Governments towards upgrading the Primary Health Care Operational base at Wellington Bassey way to Secondary Health Center, Elder Imoh Okon being a medical expert has put his professional experience to bare in reviving the health center. First, he started by tightening security within the health center by rebuilding the long dilapidated back-wire fence around the center for safety of the patients and staff of the health center. Next was the procurement of water pump which was stolen years back and also restore electricity to the health center. Apart from the Operational Base, other health centers in Uyo Local Government have received proper attention of the wonder performing chairman.
The Agricultural sector in Uyo Local Government is not left behind by the government of wonder as the Chairman has within the 100 days initiated a model commercial farming in about 3000 square meters of land belonging to Uyo Local Government Council on which South African apple, cucumber, tomatoes and okro among others are planted. This preceded an agricultural summit in partnership with Greennation & Value Chain Services hosted by the Chairman.
Imoh Okon’s agenda for robust empowerment is no more on the white paper but has since become realistic. In a usual wonder-like manner, at least 100 people have been empowered on entrepreneurship, Co-operative and skill acquisition by Elder Imoh Okon just within his first 100 days. For experts of mathematics, this will imply that the wonder performer empowered at least one person per day in the last 100 days. While dozens of students have earned scholarship from the wonder performer, others have gotten their WAEC fees paid and some have written JAMB free of charge courtesy of Elder Imoh Okon’s 100 days of wonders.
As an indication toward delivering his promise on active social welfare, Imoh Okon, despite lean resources, intervened to save the life of a 17 years old child from Mbak Etoi who was gutted by fire on the eve of 1st January, 2018 and foot the medical bills from admission to discharge with regular and proper care.
Imoh Okon got his dream of good mentorship to the people of Uyo materialized within 100 days when he successfully took Boys Brigade of Nigeria to his community after being installed as the Grand Patron of Uyo and Uyo North Battalion Councils of Boys Brigade of Nigeria. In his drive to offer good mentorship for the Children and youths, wonder performer single handedly facilitated the formation of Boys Brigade Company in his community. To justify the wonders of Elder Imoh Okon, the State Council of the Boys Brigade upon the inauguration of the new company in Nung Ukim Ikono (Ward 8) declared the new company as the largest with proper uniform in Akwa Ibom State.
The wind of wonders hit the Uyo traditional Council within the first 100 days of Elder Imoh Okon’s government leaving the traditional institution with a remarkable history of being the only traditional rulers council in Akwa Ibom State to have 19 of his members receiving certificate of recognition as village heads courtesy of the Local Government Chairman. Another remarkable wonder of Elder Imoh Okon in the traditional institution is the provision of water in the Traditional Rulers Council Secretariat after 5 years of commissioning and payment of monthly upkeep to traditional rulers. In the words of the Chairman of Edidem Advisory Council of the TRC where Elder Imoh Okon is also a member, “The Chairman has not disappointed the Traditional Institution as he has always carried the Traditional Rulers along in his 100 days old government.”
For the political class, the chairman has proven to be a good party faithful by constantly keeping in touch with the party structures starting from ward to chapter level. Imoh Okon has not forgotten the platform from which he emerged as many usually do. This was why he did not fail to return back to the party to report progress less than 60 days after his assumption of office by hosting the Uyo PDP family from village to Chapter as well as his campaign team – Divine Choice Campaign Organization. This, again, was another wonder according to the party stalwarts led by the Chapter Chairman.
Other wonder-like achievements of Elder Imoh Okon within the first 100 days that will not be forgotten in a hurry include:
Facilitation of the formation of 14th Company of Boys Brigade in Nung Ukim Ikono, the largest with proper uniform in Akwa Ibom State
Empowerment of over five physically challenged persons
Introduction of monthly payment of N5,000.00 (Five Thousand naira) to all NYSC members serving in Uyo Local Government Area
Inauguration of Uyo Revenue and Investment Committee with a befitting office complex at No. 155 Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo
Introduction of electronic system of payment for revenue collection
Re-wiring and restoration of light to council hall
Repairs of over 20 Air Conditioning System in the council
Redeem of pledges made by previous administrations of Uyo Local Government to some churches with others on the process
Empowerment of over 50 youths through skill acquisition in musical instruments
Special support to two women cooperative society
Adequate welfare /training support to over 10 staff of Uyo Local Government Council
Adequate support to 2nd Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival which earned the Uyo LG team a second runner up with five million naira prize.
Introduction of monthly appraisal/review sessions with all departmental heads/staff
Active mobilization/sensitization of all communities to participate in the Continuous Voters Registration
Creation of awareness platform called UYO FOR UDOM to mobilize support for the government of His Excellency, Deacon Udom Emmanuel and his wife, Her Excellency, Deaconess Martha Udom Emmanuel
Still not done with the 100 days of restless leadership, the wonder performer marked his 100 days still with more wonders as he unveiled the brand new Logo for Uyo Local Government Area that meet the true identity and dignity of Uyo people and also flagged off another phase of intensive grading of rural roads under the scheme called – Ndiong Idung Scheme (NIS). Meanwhile, re-validation of street naming and house numbering in Uyo city and creation of data bank for Uyo graduates and professionals have since taken center stage as Imoh Okon blows the whistle for the next round of wonder performance.
The people of Uyo Local Government including non-indigenes residing in Uyo can attest to the fact that Elder Imoh Okon is working and this is evident in the massive support and accolades to the Chairman from all and sundry.
Okon has, in the past 100 days, exercised his leadership not in many words but in actions which are latterly described by many as wonders.
In view of this wonderful performance by Elder Imoh Okon within his first 100 days in office as the Executive chairman of Uyo Local Government, suffice it to say that the future of Uyo is bound to be great.