The Akwa Ibom State government has concluded plans to organize a birthday bash for the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, who turns 80 on November 20, 2018.
Newsgazette learnt that the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel had picked some people who would form the committee to plan the event.
Although Newsgazette could not get any of the names, it was gathered that the committee will be inaugurated in due course.
Meanwhile, a Lagos-based architect, Mr. Sylvester Edet said Attah deserves the honour.
“He has accomplished a lot for himself and also for the state when he served as governor between 1999 and 2007. He is one Nigerian statesman who has respected himself out of office. He is not meddlesome; he is very content and with Spartan discipline.
“The state governor is wise; he has done a noble thing by celebrating Obong Attah who designed Uyo metropolis and also fought doggedly for resource control which Akwa Ibom, Niger Delta region and the littoral oil producing states enjoy today. When the history of the state is written; when the story of resource control is told, Attah’s name will stand out,” he said.
In his reaction, the national coordinator of Udom Frontiers, Ambassador Ime Victor said lauded the governor for the initiative saying Attah cannot be forgotten in Akwa Ibom the politics of Akwa Ibom State and the oil producing Niger Delta region.
“While some honour their leaders by copying the exact way they dress, Governor Emmanuel as well as the Akwa Ibom State government has gone beyond the superficial and acted rightly by celebrating the elder statesman, Obong Attah for his immeasurable contribution to the growth and development of Akwa Ibom State.
“One would not forget so easily Attah’s belief in true federalism and resource control. While in office, he fought for resource control when the federal government wanted to ensure that the oil producing Niger Delta states continue receiving one per cent derivation. These and more have endeared Attah to the people of Akwa Ibom, the Niger Delta and indeed, to Nigerians,” he said.
Continuing, he said: “There is a quote in the scriptures that says “when the righteous is in authority, the people rejoice”. Governor Udom Emmanuel since his inception in office has proven to be a man of justice, fairness and equity and has tried to unify the Akwa Ibom people.
“Giving honour to whom it is due is one of the things that define leadership. This, Governor Emmanuel has demonstrated by recognising and celebrating Attah who did so well for the state when he was governor. It is the first time this great man will be honoured by the state since he left the saddle in since 2007.”
Born November 20, 1938, Attah completed post-primary education in 1956. He gained a degree from Leeds College of Art and a post graduate diploma in Building Science from Liverpool University in 1965.
He won the scholarship to study at Columbia University in New York, where he obtained an MA in Advanced Architectural Design and Planning.
He also attended the Kennedy Graduate School of Governance at Harvard University. After completing his education, he practised as an architect in the Caribbean, New York City, and Nigeria. He served as the National President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects.
Attah was elected governor of Akwa Ibom in 1999 on the Akwa Ibom PDP platform, and was re-elected 2003. He was elected Chairman of the Forum of the 36 Governors of Nigeria in 2003.
In 2001, Attah travelled to the United States with as many as 21 people in search of foreign investors. This visit and others produced tangible results. He promised to improve telecoms, electrical power supply, and air transport infrastructure, and to replicate Silicon Valley in Uyo.
He planned to build an airport in Uyo before he left office in 2007. He laid the foundation for the establishment of the Akwa Ibom State University of Technology.
Obong Attah ran for the 2007 presidential nomination of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2007, but later withdrew.
In March 2008, Attah joined Executive Action, a consultancy that helps firms manage problems in difficult business environments.