Unyime Etim: Evaluating the strides of workaholic council boss:
As momentum gathers over the local government elections in the state in a few months time, some serving chairmen are already making subtle moves to keep their seat, even as they get set to battle those who are angling to take over from them.
In the midst of all the shadowy manoeuvres and hi-wire politics that is already playing out in the state with regards to the local government elections, there are chairmen whose superlative performance will easily speak for them hence earn them a return to their seats at the end of balloting.
The election, analysts contend, will be based more on what a chairman has done to warrant the people considering re-electing him or queuing behind a new man whom they’ll hope will attain to their pressing needs than flaunting a perceived godfather whose influence would propel one to victory.
If one’s antecedents and achievements in office will form the yardstick upon which voters will make their choice, then it’ll be a smooth ride for a gentleman in Ikot Ekpene who has displayed deep knowledge of leadership, exhibited a character of one who is fully at home with the nuances of power, how to wield it and use it to better the welfare of the people.
Under his watch, Ikot Ekpene which was hitherto a city ruled by urchins, robbers and their allied partners in crime have become a city identified now only with peace, tranquility and conviviality. People can now go to work without fear of being attacked by hoodlums who, until now, used to have a field day in their devilish escapades.
Women and petty traders are no longer afraid to head home at the close of the day unlike in the recent past where the reverse was the case. The ugly story has since been changed by Unyime Etim, a man who knows his onions and has presided over the affairs of Ikot Ekpene with the kind of charisma and carriage that has yielded enduing results in the local government area.
To achieve the peace being experienced in Ikot Ekpene today, the council boss often held security meetings with security buffs, traditional rulers and youth leaders to fashion out ways of stamping out the scourge of crime and criminal elements from the area. He also provided logistics to security personnel to aid their work.
A proven administrator, organiser and strategist, Mr Etim has brought his wealth of experience garnered over the years in various capacities at different times to bear in his administration of Ikot Ekpene local government area much to the delight of the people.
His strides today as local government boss is not overly surprising especially if one considers how he, at various times, worked in one way or the other to facilitate the development of Ikot Ekpene local government area.
To decongest traffic and make for free flow of movement, the local government chairman facilitated the construction of a fully barbed wire perimeter fencing at the popular Otor market to regulate roadside trading that hampered both vehicular and human traffic. Today, the traffic snarl that was a permanent fixture in that axis has since disappeared hence making for ease of movement.
A onetime Personal Assistant to a former Commissioner for Works in the state, Unyime Etim was a great asset as he coordinated appointments and travelling schedules of the commissioner and equally handled the general administration of the Hon. Commissioner’s office. He also monitored and supervised projects executed by the Ministry of Works and reported directly to the Hon. Commissioner. This he did dutifully and delivered concrete results with finesse.
Today in Ikot Ekpene, Mr. Unyime Etim has brought about a paradigm shift in the administration of the council. He has ensured the prompt payment of salaries to workers and their entitlements, including giving the secretariat a facelift from what he met on ground.
Aware of the dictum that health is wealth, Mr. Unyime Etim has ensured that wastes are properly and speedily evacuated to give the local government a serene, green and clean scenery at all times. Sweeping of streets has become a routine. For proper disposal of wastes, receptacles have been provided by him to further achieve a clean and healthy city. It is no wonder then that his commitment to ensuring a clean environment has earned him the appellation of “Mr. Clean”.
In the area of healthcare, Mr. Etim has also made remarkable strides. He has renovated and rebranded more than six health Care centres across the local government to improve quality healthcare delivery.
A workaholic, the council boss has shown relentless desire in the welfare of his people whether in road grading, building of a new office block,empowering the women, youths and, as we say here, “maintaining” the elders on a regular basis. Given his desire to alleviate poverty among his people, he has at various times facilitated skills’ acquisition programmes, supported small scale businesses and provision of monthly stipends to some unemployed youths in the area.
What is more, Unyime Etim has proven to be a true lover of his people considering his remarkable strides in office. His accessibility, all-inclusive and participatory leadership style are features that define his personae.
Truth be told, if one were to be sincere without pandering to negative sentiments, the inescapable fact is that Mr. Etim, a youth friendly and promoter of egalitarian principles, has done his bit within the period he has been in office to earn whatever plaudits come his way today.
He is a visionary and firebrand leader whose burning desire to provide quality leadership is unquenchable. He has fire in his belly and still has a lot in his ever fecund mind to do for the people of Ikot Ekpene local government area. He is one that even a casual observer will look at and say unsolicited, that one good turn deserves another.
As he is putting himself forward for more service to his people, he has the backing of the elders, blessings of the women and endorsement of the youths. Politically speaking,the people are saying, ” every good term deserves another ” Soar on Mr. Clean.
Manasseh Umoette is an Ikot Ekpene based journalist and Public Relations practitioner.