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As Nigerians celebrate democracy day, artisans spread across the 31 Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State under the aegis of ‘Nigeria Welders and Fitters Union, an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, have applauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for changing the status quo of the state in the past six years.

They have accordingly pledged their unalloyed support to his administration in the remaining two years.

In a message of felicitation and solidarity endorsed by the Chairman of the Union in the state, Comrade Etukudo Nsima and the Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Okon, the welders described the governor’s achievements as unrivalled, and said they were proud to celebrate the Governor’s completion agenda, as high in the area of service delivery.

Describing the past six years of Governor Emmanuel’s leadership as eventful and productive, the artisans hailed the industrialization efforts which they noted are targeted at job creation.

The message reads in parts; “As we look back from the inception of your administration, we see six years of productivity, six years of changing dreams to realities, six years of changing labour to favour, we see six years of rugged drives from policy conception to actualization, we see six years of impossibilities made possible — these among others noble reasons — such as the priceless peace that we enjoy in spite of the current security challenges in our country today, we are proud to identify with the industrialization programs and policies of your administration as its continues to manifest in the upstream, midstream and downstream marginal field development start-ups that dots the landscape of our great state, these attributes can only come from a focus and purpose driven visionary leadership as provided by you Sir.

“Your Excellency a day such as this Democracy day is a day of definition and stock taking, it’s a day wherein the govern and the government reflect on the journey so far, the pitfalls if any and to avoid a repeat, and the gaining recorded and projected in our great Akwa Abasi Ibom State, Since the inception of this present administration,- it has been consistently a celebration of excellence with promise kept, exceptional service delivery, robust revolutionary driven industrialization programs guided yet inventive fail-safe and solid policies targeting rigorously the development and welfare of our people”.

“On this Auspicious day we the Artisan Process Welders & Fitters spread across the 31 Local Government of Akwa Ibom State celebrate a great giant of Akwa Ibom emancipation from a civil service based economy to an integrated services & productions based industrial Hub that promises the same sort of dynamics that drove the Dubai dream from a mere desert settlement to what is today a definition for huge industrial investment & tourism destination.

“Your Excellency we the Process Welders & Fitters ins Akwa Ibom State celebrate you, We celebrates your doggedness in the struggle to achieve the license for the Ibom deep sea port project, the numerous life changing industry built and operating in our state, and most recently the foundation laying ceremony of Petrochemical and Fertilizer complexes, your foray into agro-industry has shown that what hinderto was thought to be impossible to grow in Akwa Ibom can actually grow better on our soil Again the numerous intervention infrastructures scattered alli over the state is symptomatic of your uncommon performance.

“Your ingenuity in the struggle that lead to the achievement of the liberty oil & gas free zone with all the multitude of industries that it will house- along with serene peaceful environment which has really endeared these investment to strive in our great state.

“These huge FDI’s and LDI’s as they come on stream gradually as we have started seeing already have the potential of creating intermediate and permanent employment opportunities for Process Welders and Fitters along with other skilled- set and unskilled labour job opportunities for Akwa Ibom People and Nigerians at large in, along with its attendant multiplying economic impact on the economy of our great state.

“Meaning that you, Your Excellency in one fell— swoop has repositioned the state from a civil service based economy to an irreversible path of uncommon industrial prosperity”.

The union advised the state government to ensure that local contents policy in the area of manpower recruitment is strictly adhered to by the companies operating in the state.

“As we celebrate you Your Excellency we are celebrating industrialization, with a stop to personnel rudderless policies.

“As we celebrate you on this Democracy Day, we are celebrating service delivery with an uncommon performance.

“As we celebrate you, we are celebrating VISIONARY CANDOUR, EXCELLENCE & PEACE along with a stop to investing entities pauperization of your policy on job creation for the Akwa Ibom people.

“As we celebrate a labour friendly Governor, we are celebrating our Unflinching Ideological support for your growth bound policy continuity beyond 2023”, the added.

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In commemoration of first one year in office as member of the State Executive Council, the Hon. Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Com. Ini Ememobong today donated a new Toyota Matrix to the Vice Chairman of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, Hon. Nsikanabasi Ukobot to facilitate the smooth discharge of his duties as Vice Chairman of Council.

The presentation which held at his Emmanuel’s Court residence was witnessed by the Member representing Ibiono Ibom State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Godwin Ekpo, Chairman, Ibom Airport Development Company Ltd, Dr. Iniobong Essien, Chairman, Governing Council, Akwa Ibom State College of Science and Technology, Rt. Hon. Ime Okon, COE of Westgate Group, Mr. Churchhill Udoh, and others dignitaries.

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The Peace Maintenance Movement, Saturday, recorded bold impressions at Urue-Offong Oruko, Okobo and Nsit-Atai Local Government areas on Saturday with the inauguration of steering committees for the movement in the three respective local government areas.

Performing the inauguration, Chairman of the movement, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem thanked stakeholders and party faithful from the three local government areas for supporting Governor Emmanuel since 2015 as well as his Completion Agenda.

He explained that the movement, with a catchphrase, ‘That Same God’, is a vehicle with a mandate of ensuring the sustenance of the prevailing peace being enjoyed in the state.

“The membership of the Committee is drawn from all peace loving people from all communities in the local government area. No one is restricted from joining this movement,” Enoidem echoed.

Members of the Local Government Co-ordinating Committee for Okobo include, the Deputy Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Felicia Bassey as coordinator, a former Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice, and Chairman, Governing Council of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic Barr. Ekpenyong Ntekim.

Others are, Mr. Iniobong Ekung, Mr. George Henshaw, Mr. Uboh E. Uboh, Mr. Sylvester Attah, Mr. Eteke Ukpong, Mariah Ekpenyong, Hon. Asuquo Odiong, Elder Victor Amba, while Ekpenyong Atteh is the Youth representative for the local government area.

In Urue-Ofong Oruko, Hon. Uno Etim Uno is the Coordinator, while the council chairman Precious Selong is the Secretary.

Members of the Steering Committee in Nsit Atai include, Otuekong Raphael Bassey who is the Commissioner for Housing, as Chapter coordinator while the Chairman of the local government area, Lady Emem Ibanga serves as Secretary. Other members include, House of Assembly Member for Nsit-Atai, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset, State PDP Deputy Chairman, Mr. Lawrence Udosen, National Officer of the PDP, Mr. M. C. Akpan, Barr Johnson Uduak Johnson and Abasiakan Essiet. Others are, MD/CEO of Eminence Oil, Mr. Emmanuel Okon, and the the Chapter Women Leader of PDP.

The leadership of the local government steering committees in the three local government areas were mandated to inaugurate ward Excos for the movement.

Speaking on behalf of the Steering Committees, Mr. Uno Etim Uno in Urue-Ofong- Oruko, Princess Felicia Bassey and Barr. Ekpenyong Ntekim in Okobo and Otuekong Raphael Bassey and Lady Emem Ibanga in Nsit Atai, pledged their readiness to continue supporting the Governor’s development strides in the state.

They noted that it would be in the overall interest of the state and the sustenance of the prevailing peace that all must join hands with the Govenor in ensuring the emergence of a successor that would consolidate on the achievements recorded in the state.

Among dignitaries present at the events include, State PDP Chairman, Hon. Aniekan Akpan, State Secretary of the Movement, Prince Enobong Uwah, Chief Whip, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong, Commissioner for Agriculture, and Dean of Commissioners, Dr. Glory Edet, Commissioner for Information, Barr. Ini Ememobong, who is also the Director of Information, PMM, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Sir. Monday Uko, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Frank Archibong, Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Prince Ukpong Akpabio, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Orman Esin and Aides of the Governor.

Others include, Chairman, ALGON/Chairman Esit-Eket Local Government Council, Hon. Iniobong Robson, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Okon Okon, Members of Boards and Commission, among others.


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By Joseph Okon

The process to elect the next Governor in Akwa Ibom State who would succeed Mr Udom Emmanuel had long begun with consultation to groups and individuals by aspirants informing them of their intentions to contest for the number one seat in the state.

The outcome of these ambitions will solely be determined by the political parties at the first stage who would file candidates for different political parties for electorates to choose on the election day.

While the process of consultation is ongoing, there are agitations on which federal constituency is most suitable to produce the next Governor since it has been agreed that 2023 is the turn of Uyo Senatorial District. Another is the clamour for what some call a “homegrown” governor.

Permit me to say that in the political configuration of zoning in Akwa Ibom State, offices are more often than not zoned to people than places. It is when a person assumes the office that it will be counted that that area took its turn.

On the ongoing debate on which Federal Constituency in Uyo Senatorial District is more suitable to produce the next governor, permit me to say that it should not be about the federal constituency as a right, but who has what it takes to govern the state, pay salaries and undertake development projects with or without allocation from the federation account.

Akwa Ibom people must not sacrifice good governance on the altar of popularity or homegrown syndrome, but should base their choice on who has the requisite credentials (not in academic terms only) to govern at a time like this.

Between Itu/Ibiono and Etinan federal constituencies, none is more qualified than the other. The quality of aspirants they parade would determine who is more qualified than the other when the chips are down. Again, leaders are made for their own time: a governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2023 to 2027 will be very peculiar, different from conventional politicians. That is why in a time like this when allocation from the center cannot guarantee meaningful projects, who is that man or woman who has the capability to salvage the state?

Hence the trajectory of conversation regarding Akwa Ibom 2023 gubernatorial elections should center on the economic policies that would transform the state and create wealth for the people. It should be based on what the people can see with their eyes and feel with their hands.

The state needs a leader who would be able to set up businesses and manage successfully. A person who wouldn’t mortgage the destiny of Akwa Ibom and its people on selfish aggrandisements is a sine qua non for the 2023 governorship position.

Political and opinion leaders should carefully dissect the managerial ingenuity, competence, economic blueprints of aspirants, and not the deep pockets of aspirants seeking to govern the state. This will give them a clear direction on who should be followed.

While searching for that man or woman for this time and season, Akwa Ibom people must take a queue from other developed climes when faced with similar situations. The so called homegrown mentality should completely be jettisoned for the avalanche of broader and sophisticated perspective vis -a- vis the succession politics.

There are no data globally that affirm that it’s only when somebody stays for a certain number of years in a particular area that he or she can govern the place well. All these are confusions fused into the discussion by politicians to brainwash the gullible for their selfish political interest. The people must be vigilant and should not fall for this cheap gambit.

That is why in 1986, when China needed someone to salvage the country’s economic accounting system, they appointed Dr. Fengbo Zhang to head Chinese Macroeconomic Research, and he was someone who obtained his PhD overseas. This was not because they didn’t have “homegrown” economists in China, they chose their very best who was not even known much at home.

The research project led to China publishing their first GDP which utilized the World Bank’s method as a reference, and made numerous appropriate adjustments based on China’s national condition. The GDP also has been converted to USD based data by utilizing the moving average exchange rate. The research systematically completed China’s GDP and GDP per capita from 1952 to 1986 and analyzed growth rate which formed the Chinese economic model today.

In times like this, the kind of governor Akwa Ibom needs is that governor who has the requisite experience to build something out of nothing and the needed connection to link the state to investment opportunities globally, and grow the economy astronomically like Governor Emmanuel is doing today. Popularity and self aggrandizement is antithetical to good governance. The people must put away sentiments and emotions to be able to see better.

Akwa Ibom needs that person for governor who will able to sustain the record breaking legacy of peace in Akwa Ibom state. And who is willing to key into the peace maintenance movement of the state without considering any personal ambition. It won’t be possible to sustain the industrialization legacy of Governor Udom Emmanuel led government without peace. Hence Peace Maintenance Movement (PMM) becomes a panacea for continuous growth and progress.

It is important to note here that the 2023 governorship will neither be about popularity- where a person worked before nor how long one has been in Akwa Ibom. It’s about who has managed what before outside politics? What has such an individual established and grown successfully in a private capacity?

After answering these questions sincerely, the person that will take over from Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2023 will emerge clearly. That is why in God’s power game, he doesn’t give power as a right but by Grace to whoever He qualifies.

Put succinctly, Akwa Ibom needs someone with the Grace of God, just like Governor Udom Emmanuel who was neither the most popular nor a “homegrown” politician. He had answers to the economic problems and has successfully navigated the state out of a turbulent successive economic and health crises. Let the best hand have the job, and Akwa Ibom will be better for it.

God bless Akwa Ibom!

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