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Mr Tourist attraction

Posted by By JOE EFFIONG, Uyo on 2007/08/21 | Views: 448 |

Mr Tourist attraction

The former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, missed a great opportunity to make his much-desired dream of turning Akwa Ibom State into a tourism haven come true.

•He sings, has musical instruments and heads Ministry of Tourism in Akwa Ibom

The former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, missed a great opportunity to make his much-desired dream of turning Akwa Ibom State into a tourism haven come true.
His undoing was appointing those who knew everything except tourism as commissioners.

Thus even when there was a multi-billion-naira golf course, a multi-billion naira five-Star Hotel, and many other money-guzzling purported tourism sites, the state is still a lilliputian in the nation’s tourism map. This is despite its relative peaceful environment.

However Attah’s successor, Godswill Akpabio appears to have learnt from that mistake. That is why he has gone even into Attah’s kitchen, to pick Attah’s younger brother, Essien Attah, an employee in the State Ministry of Information, to be the cornerstone of commerce and tourism in his cabinet. Thus journalists in the state, have, without knowing or making any nomination, contributed two commissioners in Akpabio’s regime; Attah and Census Ekpu, who is heading ministry of information.

Usually, regarded as a jolly good fellow, the tourism commissioner, who still insists his colleagues should call him by his first name as he is "the only commissioner without a title," beat all others in the new cabinet to invite his press colleagues to his house just a day after his swearing-in. There he did not provide only drinks and snacks, but music from his life band. Essien perform with his band, which he said could be hired at N120,000 a night; and trust press men who made sure they did justice to the drinks as a catalyst to boogying down.

The commissioner, however, still had some words of advice to his colleagues, especially, on the brown envelope question. Said he: "When you cover any event, don’t ask the organizers for brown envelop, just leave. Because of brown envelope, someone will come out and say ‘where are those press boys, let the press boys come this way.’ At what stage will a boy become a man?

"The person that is coming out to say where are the press boys is not even close to your status, but because he is handling money for somebody, you obey him like a sheep. How are the mighty fallen? But if you put yourself in a position of respect, somebody will come around and appreciate your work."
The commissioner also appealed to journalists to give maximum support to Akpabio’s government, at least for his sake because he had "always been child of information."

After, the advice and a few other talks from veterans and the bureaucrats in his ministry, the drums rolled, the trumpet sounded, the guitars screamed and the floor exploded. The commissioner rapped. His wife jigged. Journalists and other gyrated and someone said, " Which better tourism can you have more than this? Essien himself is a tourist attraction."

If Essien makes the tourism ministry what it should be as every journalist is praying, then maybe, during the next cabinet reshuffle, journalists would also be made commissioners for works and education, without of course, losing the mandatory slot in the ministry of information.

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