•••passes vote of confidence on him, seeks collaboration
A foremost social political group in Ikono LGA, Ikono South Elders Council (ISEC) today paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Chairman of Ikono LGA, Hon. Itoro Columba in his office. The visit according to the Chairman of the group, Elder Matthew Umoh was to register their appreciation to the Chairman for his stellar leadership and to seek collaboration to move the area forward.
In his speech, The Ikono Elders Council Chairman stated that never in the history of the body after the time of Late Dr. Clement Bassey has a visit of this magnitude to Ikono LG Council been promulgated and undertaken. He congratulated the Chairman on his giant strides in the administration of the affairs of the Local Government, stressing that his experience, integrity, liberality and capability to lead was never in doubt. He recalled with appreciation some of the most valuable contributions of the Council helmsman to the upliftment of the area to include; grading of rural roads, attracting water schemes to communities in the area, empowerment of some youths of the area to start up businesses, initiating skills acquisition programmes, uplift in the Council infrastructural base, among others
Furthermore, he said the group in its capacity and in consultation with other stakeholders had identified some major community challenges affecting them and seek credible ways to urgently ameliorate them. Some of the challenges include the deplorable state of some major roads in the area, need for renovation and restoration of the foremost TTC now Lutheran Senior Science School, Ibakachi, need to empower youths with access to business funds and scholarships, need to appoint Ikono indigenes into sensitive public offices and the State executive council and the need to attract industries and government establishments to Ikono Local Government Area.
The intention of the visit he stated was to present the challenge areas before the Chairman and charge him to liaise with other Ikono stakeholders in pursuing them. The group clamoured for continued partnership between the office of the Chairman and the Elders council in the development activities of the council. A vote of confidence was latter passed on the Chairman.
In a separate reaction, The Vice Chairman, Elder Udeme Umoekah said that the visit was necessitated as a result of the love they had for the Chairman and in appreciation of his giant strides in leadership. He commended the Chairman for his large heart and peaceful disposition. He lamented the constant negligence of the area while appealing to him to actively involve the area in the scheme of things. He assured him of their continuous loyalty and solidarity going forward. He also commended the council Boss for sustaining peace in the Local Government while stating that Ikono south was ready to willingly donate land in the area for the citing of projects.
In his response, the Council Chairman, Hon Itoro Columba thanked the group for electing to pay him the momentous visit. He described them as faithful gatekeepers and opinion moulders in the Local government area who collaborated with others in bringing his government and that of other PDP candidates into existence. “Even in the midst of lack and inadequacy, you stood firm and won the election for the party. This is not a mean feat.”, he said. He lauded them for being exemplary and standing out in leadership, a testimony of the eggheads in the area.
Speaking further, Hon. Columba commended the elders for supporting him to sustain peace in the land which he said was a function of quality leadership at different strata of governance. He poured encomiums on the Governor for his benevolence to Ikono and for providing counterpart funding needed to attract key life touching projects to the local Government such as the RAMP and WASH projects.
“There is no single ward in Ikono that doesn’t have at least two of those donor agency funded projects today, all to the credit of His Excellency. I and my councillors and supervisors are united to push for a common front which is to seek development for our people”, Columba said
In response to their prayers, the Council helsman disclosed that the Uyo Afaha Nkan – Urua Naira – Ikot Nseyen – Nung Ukim Road has been captured in the 2019 budget of the Akwa Ibom State government stressing that the Governor had gone further to attach a whopping N1b to the project. He stressed that government was in search of a suitable contractor to handle the project and that it was a big milestone for a project to get into the state budget. He added that soon the precarious situation of the road will be salvaged.
The award-winning Chairman promised to harness the leadership of elders in the three geopolitical zones into a single think tank to render advisory services to his government.
Columba commended the elders for being dependable allies and pledged his commitment to attracting to Ikono South whatever is due them. The International Market project he said was on course while assuring the elders that Ikono will not be neglected in the execution process of the project. Furthermore, he intimated the group of the 5-day training for Ikono people intended to equip them with soft skills and other such trainings scheduled to take place later in the month.
In attendance at the courtesy visit were the Vice Chairman of Council, Councillors, Supervisors and other officials of government.
He appreciated them for the confidence reposed in him while urging them to see him as an adopted member of the group and further assist him in sustaining peace in the area so development can thrive.
Delivering the vote of thanks, the Secretary of the group, Prince Inem Inyangete thanked God for granting them the opportunity to embark on the momentous visit. They appreciated the Chairman for the divine ideas to move the council forward and prayed God to grant him grace to do more for the people. He lauded the credible leadership quality of the Chairman while commending the supervisors and councillors for maintaining a cordial relationship him to foster peace in the council.