By Clement Ikpatt
Udom Emmanuel is stubbornly refusing to open both the mall and the wet-and-dry park located within the Ibom Tropicana complex for seething hatred he has nurtured and sustained against his predecessor.
In 2015, then Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State commissioned the Ibom Tropicana Mall which, like the adjacent movie theater, was to boost tourism and commercial activities in Uyo. It stands as one of the best designed and most modern mall facilities in Nigeria.
In 2019, over four long years after commissing the 100% completed facility, Udom Emmanuel, out of spite against his predecessor, keeps the facility locked away from merchants and the public.
In April 2018 when I first write about Udom’s mall politics, his apologists floated the excuse that government is yet to secure a management team for the Tropicana Complex. Akwa Ibomites, who are known to be patient, granted Udom Emmanuel a benefit of doubt despite common knowledge that he runs a petty, lazy and clueless government.
In 2015, Udom Emmanuel’s was elected based on his campaign promise of continuity – that is, continuation of the “uncommon transformation” agenda by his predecessor. No sooner than elected, he turned capricious and rambunctious to the extent of frustrating or destroying all projects inherited from his predecessor. It was for the same reason that he frustrated a SHOP RITE franchise from setting up in the Ibom Tropicana complex.
Today, the Ibom Tropicana complex, in which are the mall, the wet-and-dry park, an international conference center and a 17 storey hotel building, stands abandoned. If Udom Emmanuel can have his way, the multifaceted entertainment complex would, perhaps, be razed down and forgotten.
Abandoning the Ibom Tropicana complex project is a blatantly stupid idea that collapses revenue enablers and smothers the little that is left of low economic activities in poverty blighted Akwa Ibom State. It deprives of internally generated revenue, forecloses employment opportunities and ramps down quality of life standards in the State. Yet, thinking that he is drawing a pound of flesh from his predecessor, Udom Emmanuel has shortchanged Akwa Ibom State by abandoning the project
Udom Emmanuel is hereby reminded that he is a paid public servant, not an incorrigible itinerant Deacon with mandate to lie about everything and ride roughshod against Akwa Ibomites. Patience and tolerance of his derelict, impeachable and reckless abandonment of gubernatorial duties have worn thin.
Gov. Udom Emmanuel must clean up and open both the Tropicana mall and the wet-and-dry park that have been already completed or resign from office.