UDOM INOYO: A Prophet Honoured Outside His Community (Part 2)
By Franklyn Isong
The Part One of this conversation has been very engaging and thought-provoking. I read all your comments and contributions therewith. I must commend you for all your contributions. You added to the discourse in no little way. Your comments have expanded the scope of the conversation. I have absolute respect for your fundamental rights to hold your individual opinion on any issue I bring to the front burner on any of my platforms for interaction. Education is about intellectual exchange, social interaction and information gathering and dissemination.
My responsibility as a commentator on contemporary issues include, to spot out issues of public interest, put them in the public domain and allow my readers to form opinions of theirs.
“And when they had come to the place called Calvary (the place of the skull) there they crucified him (referring to Jesus Christ), and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left,” Luke 23:33.
As a Bible scholar, I can assert that Jesus Christ, the son of God was arrested, tortured and crucified on the cross of Calvary, even when, the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate washed off his hands from his trial. The Jews crucified Jesus because of ‘hate, jealousy and uninformed/erroneous perception’ they (Jews) held of him (Jesus). Find time to read the full story of the crucifixion of Jesus in Matthew 27:1-54.
Moving forward, after my previous piece under reference, it is obvious that Mr. Inoyo is a victim of erroneous and uninformed perception which few Akwa Ibomites hold of him. For instance, most commentators on the said piece had referred me to Inoyo’s activities and inter-personal relations with workers of the Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN). Inoyo works currently with MPN and got elevated to the position of the MPN Board Vice Chairman. It is truism that majority of the few who are shouting: “crucify Inoyo, crucify Inoyo” within the Akwa Ibom community are neither workers of MPN, never worked with the company, nor had any direct or indirect dealing(s) with Udom Inoyo or MPN! How did they form the negative perception of a man they never came in contact with or had any dealing(s) with, if not based on hearsay stories, which at best, could have been deliberately fabricated with malicious intention to mislead and misinform the gullible public?
Again, I run the risk of being accused of holding brief for Mr Inoyo, even when, I am not. But only doing my duty as a journalist and following through this conversation to its logical conclusion in order to establish just one fact, which is; “someone could just be hated, disliked and/or crucified based on hearsay stories, uninformed or erroneous perception of him/her.”
Nonetheless, in order to further deepen this conversation and to bring to the fore, the opinion and perception of workers of MPN on Udom Inoyo, I stumbled on a goodwill message sent to Udom Inoyo on his promotion to the position of vice chairman by the workers of MPN through its umbrella union, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) signed by its secretary, Comrade Kings Udoidua.
The message reads in part; “We congratulate you on the successful completion of your term as In-Country Human Resources Manager of Exxon Mobil Companies in Nigeria. We appreciate your contributions to national workforce development and industrial relations. Your gumption and grace to dexterously navigate the swiftly-mutating industry requirements while keeping an open mind even in the face of mountainous challenges and consistently delivering win-win outcomes set you apart. We will miss your legendary problem-solving skills and pragmatic engagements.
“We also applaud your determination to continue to serve the Company as Board Vice Chairman and External Relations Chief, providing the much-needed external collaboration crucial to the Upstream Synergy agenda. Your strides and legacies in HR will continue to inspire both present and future generations of employees.
“We wish you success in your new role. The Association will continue to support and work with you to move our Company forward. Once again, congratulations,” the release dated October 10, 2019, stated.
Methinks since Inoyo’s workers (majority of whom are non- Akwa Ibomites) are speaking good of him, wishing him well, and praying for him to succeed as conveyed in their goodwill message, hereabove, his Akwa Ibom community should resist the temptation of pulling-him-down and/or indulging in a calculated media onslaught to disparage his reputation; ridicule him before the eyes of his employers (MPN) and the international community; but should rather join his workers and well-wishers to pray for him to succeed in the exalted office, he has ascended through God’s benevolence and hardwork.
It is high time we started identifying our sons and daughters in wherever they have struggled to break even and offer them protection, projection and good wishes for them to go higher, than pulling them down and destroying their images into carcasses.
God bless Akwa Ibom State and us – the people!
• Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society.