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2023 Guber: Iniobong Essien speaks …appeals to Akwa Ibom people to pray for Governor Emmanuel



2023 Guber: Iniobong Essien speaks

…appeals to Akwa Ibom people to pray for Governor Emmanuel

As the debate on who occupies the Hilltop Mansion in 2023 continues to gain momentum, the Chairman of Ibom Airport Development Company Limited, Dr. Iniobong Essien, has opened up on the aspirations for the governorship race.

Dr. Essien, who is a former Commissioner for Science and Technology in Akwa Ibom State, in an interaction with the Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) on Friday, hinted that although he has not informed any group or individual of any aspiration, he would not decline if God reveals him to Governor Udom Emmanuel as his potential Successor.

This follows insinuation across the State that he (Iniobong Essien) will run for the 2023 Governorship election.

“So far, he (Gov. Emmanuel) has not named anybody (as a successor). So if the Governor were to hear my name from God and then says, ‘this is the person that God wants, then I’ll certainly get back to my people, think about it and of course, give it a trial.

“It will be a call to service. I was called to be an Elder in the Apostolic Church, not because I chose to be. At some point, I was hesitant but when I looked at it from the point of service, I went on to take that up. I enjoy service. To me, a call to service at that level is a call that one will certainly pray about and possibly give a trial. People have come to me to say why don’t you do this, but I have never spoken with anybody to date, I have not. If there is anybody who says that I have said that I want to contest for Governorship of Akwa Ibom State, I’d like the person to come out and say it publicly”, he said.

He noted that Governor Emmanuel needed divine guidance in his choice of a successor, saying rather than pressurize the Governor, Akwa Ibom people should also seek God’s face on who takes over the baton of leadership in 2023.

“If you’re talking about the succession plan, Governor Udom Emmanuel has spoken severally that, he is waiting on God and the stakeholders. So we will patiently wait for His Excellency. I’m sure he’s talking with the stakeholders and they are giving their inputs.

“God is not a God of confusion. I want to appeal that we allow Governor Udom Emmanuel to hear from God. I would also advise us (Akwa Ibom people) to pray to God to guide him so that he hears very clearly (from God)”, he said.

Dr. Essien carpeted widespread insinuations that the Governor was making moves to frustrate the ambitions of some Governorship Aspirants in the state, but made a case for Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency in the forthcoming election.

“Governor Udom Emmanuel has never given any instruction that there is anyone that needs to be politically ‘demystified’. What I desire is that based on the zoning that we have, Itu/Ibiono should be given a shot. It is left to the stakeholders in conjunction with the Governor to take a decision on what it should be”, he added.

The erstwhile Commissioner also spoke on ongoing works at the Maintenance, Repairs, and Overhaul (MRO), second Runaway, and Terminal Building at the Ibom International Airport.

“Close to 70 percent of work has been done at the MRO of Ibom International Airport. An official operator is in the pipeline and that will be unfolded very soon. The MRO is almost ready for use.”

“The terminal building, from my interactions with the engineers, should be ready by the middle of next year. Same thing with the second Runway. Asphalting has started. I’ll put the level of completion at 60 to 70 percent.”

He expressed optimism that the current administration would complete ongoing projects in the state before 2023, exception of the Ibom Deep Seaport which he noted cannot be completed under Governor Emmanuel’s tenure.

“I can tell you that with the way he is going, Governor Udom Emmanuel will land well. He will land well in terms of completing his projects and in his succession plan. There is no way Governor Udom Emmanuel can complete the Ibom Deep Seaport in his administration. But what he has done so far, especially, getting the approval from the Federal Government, is commendable.”

PR Unit
Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom (COOPA)

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By Edet Ikotidem

A former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Arc ( Obong) Victor Attah has canvassed support for Governor Udom Emmanuel’s succession plan.

Obong Attah made the call in Uyo during an audience with members of the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum .

The ‘Eduek Ekpe’ who expressed interest in the Governor’s succession plan, expressed his concern about who becomes the next governor of Akwa Ibom State

“As a Governor, I could not have left the state the way i met it and the development of Akwa Ibom has been dear to my heart”, he said.

“Any person who wants to govern Akwa Ibom must tell the people what he wants to do and how he intends to go about it, he added”.

The former Governor called on Governor Emmanuel to dialogue with the people to guide against avoidable mistakes in the choice of a successor.

Obong Attah also noted that naming anyone now without the acceptance of the people may frustrate the process from being actualized.

He further stressed that the idea of a University of Technology in Akwa Ibom was to meet the technology needs of the state and nation at large for wealth creation and accelerated economic development.

“Any Science Park in the world is a centre for foreign exchange where millions of dollars are made through incubation of ideas and software production. So, the idea of a Science Park and the University of Technology should not be jettisoned “, he said.

In his remarks, , the former governor commended the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum for her initiatives and support for the government of Mr Udom Emmanuel and his succession plan

Reacting to the former Governor’s remarks, Chairman of the Forum, Elder Ofonimeh Isong appealed to Obong Attah not to relent in his support and assistance to Governor Emmanuel, especially in the choice of a successor.

He informed the former governor that the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum is in strategic partnership with relevant agencies to ensure the success of the completion agenda of His Excellency, the governor.

Those in the audience with Obong Attah were the Vice Chairman of the Forum and Publisher, Dailynews Newspaper, Prince. Emmanuel Ndon, Director, Contact and Mobilization, Mr. Victor Ukpong, Chairman Board of Trustees, Comrade Joseph Okon, Special Assistant to the State Governor on Project Monitoring, Comrade Ernest Akpan, Reverend Osendu Ahirika, Secretary Board of Trustees, Reverend Richard Peters.

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NDDC should be given necessary supports from stakeholders – President Buhari



President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all contributors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to remit all outstanding funds owed the Commission to enable it pursue its mandate of developing the Niger Delta region.

President Buhari gave the order in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, while commissioning the ultra modern 1050-bed space hostel built by NDDC and donated to University of Uyo.

He stated: “I want to use the opportunity of this commissioning to direct all statutory contributors to the NDDC to remit all outstanding funds to the Commission, because the Management has shown that it can manage its affairs with prudence, transparency and accountability.”

According to figures released by NDDC, the Federal Government and the oil companies owe the Commission N1.9 trillion and $4billion (about N2.2 trillion), respectively, according to the NDDC Establishment Act 2000.

President Buhari stated that “the forensic audit, which was completed a few months ago, is achieving one of its core objectives, adding: “That objective is to rebuild NDDC into an agency that is well equipped and better placed to facilitate sustainable regional development.”

He said that NDDC “should be given all necessary support it deserves from stakeholders and commended the Commission’s management, led by its interim administrator, Dr. Efiong Akwa, for a job well done.

In his welcome address, Dr. Akwa assured that there is a new spirit in the NDDC “permeating the Commission’s affairs and how it approaches its mandate of sustainable regional development.”

He stated: “It is a spirit, the New NDDC spirit, inspired by President Muhammadu Buhari and fuelled by the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, which compels greater enthusiasm that we can deliver on our collective promise to the Niger Delta region and our people.”

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Rep. Emmanuel Ukpong-udo canvasses the support of the House to tackle a key problem in the Nigeria’s education sector



The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated the Committees on Basic Education, and Science and Technology to address the issues of

falling standards of education in Government-owned schools to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and ensure the training and retraining of Teachers across the Federation.

This resolution followed a motion on the “Need for Continuous Training and Retraining of Teachers in Nigeria” moved by Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo (PDP, Akwa Ibom).

Presenting the motion in the House, the lawmaker noted that the Federal Ministry of Education is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of
minimum standards in Primary and Secondary schools across the Federation.

Hon. Ukpong-Udo expressed worries that the current standard of education in government-owned schools does not equip the pupils and students to compete effectively in the modern age of science and technology and to raise a creative generation of entrepreneurs that will be self-sufficient.

The lawmakers expressed grave concern that even when the curriculum is appropriately reviewed to promote STEM education, the teachers are not trained and sensitized to teach the same.

The motion further noted that there is a need to engage the Primary and Secondary School Teachers in continuous training and retraining to enhance their capacity and productivity to be in line with modern-day realities.

“This motion is seeking to improve the performance and management responsibilities and to also improve quality teaching and learning processes.

“The quality of any educational system depends to a great extent on the quality of teachers.

“Teachers are the most important component any of any educational system because they are the people to shape the behavior, thinking, and attitude of the pupils and students in the teaching and learning situation,” he said.

The Lawmaker insisted saying, “we all know that quality of teachers determines the quality of knowledge imparted to the students and the quality of learning outcomes.”

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