Sen Effiong Bob remains the most acceptable figure in the race for 2023 in Akwa Ibom state ostensibly due to his fatherly disposition and levelheadedness. People believe he’ll be more accessible and understanding in handling issues given his vast background in politics and public service.

I recently engaged one of the aspirants who, though flaunting the “youth card”, agreed with me that Sen Bob is most fitting to succeed and consolidate on the sterling achievements of Governor Udom Emmanuel from 2023. During our discussion I impressed on the youthful politician that indeed God designs that leadership be handled with mature hands. In fact, God cherishes experience as a paramount condiment for leadership.

According to Ecclesiastes 10:16, it is clearly in the will of God that leadership be reserved for mature, intelligent and experienced persons. When I meditated on that passage this morning I felt as if it was talking to Akwa Ibom state concerning 2023. It appears to reveal Effiong Bob as the plausible option for Akwa Ibom people.

The reason for this Biblical injunction is that a society is safer in well groomed and mature hands than with unprepared minds. Just as a youth is more sensible and better in decision making than a child, a mature adult is far reliable in making decisions and handling peoples and resources than a youth. All the dominant traits of youth age bracket such as exuberance, forcefulness, indecision, arrogance, emotional insecurity and adventurism etc are not among the best assets for functional leadership.

Already Akwa Ibom politics is dominated by youths. A scan of the average age of councillors, supervisors, chairmen, SAs, Board members, Commissioners, and Assembly members in Akwa Ibom state shows a 70/30 ratio in favour of youths. It is not enough to have a youth at the helm of affairs (lessons from Liberia under Johnson strasser, and the current North Korean leader). What Akwa Ibom needs is an experienced and matured leader who’ll not only attend to youth issues, but combine such responsibility with his grasp of other critical needs of children, adults, elders, and non-human sectors of the state. To restrict governance to “youths alone” is another crass display of “youth mentality”, and to aspire to be governor just because one is a youth or any other discriminative manifestos smacks of mental detachment syndrome.

The philosophy of NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN isn’t about total takeover of the reins of governance, that would be suicidal. It is about affirmative action. Every good military is made of different ages and classes of people. Infact the youths must dominate the ranks, but a successful military must be commanded by a general. When Ecclesiastes 10:16 said “woe to the city whose king is a youth”, it doesn’t imply the youths are cursed and useless, the Holy book is only warning against the dangers of inexperience and immaturity in leadership.

My endorsement of Sen Effiong Bob for the next governor of Akwa Ibom state was inspired by his blueprint for youth development and inclusion in Akwa Ibom state. Up till this moment, I have not heard of a more passionate, detailed and clinical plan for Akwa Ibom youths by any other aspirant other than the promises of street jamborees by aspirants – usual electioneering mind games that has not taken anybody anywhere since democracy reappeared in 1999.

I fervently pray that Effiong Bob should become governor of Akwa Ibom state come 2023, when God answer this prayer nobody will remain a youth for too long in Akwa Ibom state. People will be too busy to be decieved. There’s a consensus that Akwa Ibom needs a father figure come 2023, and it’s only Effiong Bob that fits that description. May God hear our prayers.

  • Philip Afaha.

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