Governor Udom Emmanuel recently threw away modesty, and publicly boasted about how wealthy he was before becoming governor of Akwa Ibom state.
The governor went as far as referring to his private residence in Uyo to underline the gap, in terms of wealth, between him and others in the state.
He also spoke about his father building one of the best homes in his native Awa, in Onna local government area of the state.
“The question there is that as at the time some of us built one of the best houses in Ewet Housing Estate, how many houses could be compared to our own,” Mr. Emmanuel said in November, 2015 during a live television interview in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state.
PREMIUM TIMES obtained a recording of the interview this week.
The governor was responding to claims that he began building a mansion in his village with public funds shortly after he was sworn in as governor.
Mr. Emmanuel said his father’s home was one of the best in his village in Awa, Onna Local Government Area of the state. And yet, neither him nor his father was in government at the time it was built, he said.
The governor said, “Look at somebody of my own status in life. I was already sitting on the board of profit-making companies at the age of 35.
“At the age of 40, I was already sitting on the board of 12 corporate bodies, including a group.”
Apparently referring to Zenith Bank where he worked as executive director before becoming secretary to the Akwa Ibom state government and later governor of the state, Governor Emmanuel said, “At the age of 40, I was in the board of one of the best banks on planet earth.
“And there is nobody at that level that will go home with a salary of less than $1 million per annum.”
The governor said it wasn’t true that he was building a mansion in his village. He said he was merely doing an expansion on his father’s house.
“Is building a four-bedroom house such a big deal?
“I am one person when I contested (for governor) people brought money, and I told them I didn’t need their money.”
Governor Emmanuel, during the interview, attacked those he said were spreading ‘satanic propaganda’ against him.
“If you see those people who are sitting on the radio to rant, and rant and rant, they have failed their generations,” Mr. Emmanuel said, angrily. “They are a total failure. Most of them cannot feed their families.
“Go and ask them, what have you done since you were born.
“Most of them are 50 years and above and they can never boast of managing a trust.
“When you see people who through God’s grace and their personal sacrifices have actually risen to the peak of the whole world, you can’t bring those people down.
“So some of them are just ranting, they are failures – they failed humanity, they failed their families. So the only way they can vent is to come to the radio and insult a governor.
“And when you see all those illiterates coming up on radio, you can tune off your radio for a while, you don’t allow them to corrupt those minds,” the governor said.