Ndifreke P. Akpan (Govt House)
“In my sojourn in public service, I have worked directly under more than six Governors and I can say that we are lucky to have Governor Udom Emmanuel as Governor of Akwa Ibom State today.”
90 year old Dr. Akpanabasi Ikoiwak, renowned orator and writer made the assertion at the launch of his book,
“Flashes of Oratory; Selections from the Speeches of A.A. Ikoiwak”.
Dr. Ikoiwak said, “this young man you have here is covered by a power that is more than steel.”
Ikoiwak who had worked with Late Brig. Gen Udoakaha Jacob Esuene during his days as Governor of South Eastern State between 1967 and 1975 said,
“those who know me, know that I don’t flatter. You have seen the number of Governors I have worked under, many of them.”
Citing Matthew 25:33-34, the former university lecturer spoke on the symbolism of Governor Emmanuel’s name “Udom” which is interpreted from vernacular as ‘right’ quoting that “and he shall set the sheep on His right hand and the goats on the left, those on the right hand are blessed of the father.
He advised the Governor against being shaken by anyone, as he is destined to lead the state for eight years.
Dr. Ikoiwak whose younger brother, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak, is the current chairman of AKISIEC, also maintained that the Governor’s other two names, Emmanuel which means God with us, and Gabriel which represents God’s messenger of good news, means that the Governor has God around him, his pocket, his heart, on his head and around him.
He urged everyone to support his re-election just like the Governors each from Ikot Ekpene and Uyo were supported for two terms in the previous sixteen years.
“Uyo did eight years, Ikot Ekpene did eight years, What has Eket Senatorial District done wrong that you want to split its turn? There is no reason why you should give part of four years to him and give four years to another,” he roared.
The former university lecturer said books represent light and his brain represented in ink, and added that given the same opportunity all over again, he would love to remain an English teacher writing books to enhance learning.
Governor Udom Emmanuel who was accompanied by his deputy, Moses Ekpo, celebrated the author “for his intellect and presence of mind to chronicle this great and inspiring book ‘Flashes of Oratory’.
He noted that Dr Ikoiwak is “one of the few surviving members of that glorious years when passion and selfless devotion to service formed the abiding motivation for career in public service.”
Mr Emmanuel said, of all his years of service to the people, his years as speech writer to Governors were the greatest contributions to the country, describing it as a gift which requires reading and interpreting the mind of another person in authority.
The Governor promised to uphold all that is needed to keep the state united and promote those attributes that made the state renowned as the best bet in integrity and hardwork.
“In those days when you want a man of integrity, they tell you look for an Akwa Ibom person, but today people are trying to destroy those core values that shaped us and demonstrated the kind of God given set of people we are in this part of the world.”
The Governor purchased 100 copies of the book at N5m, and directed the Ministry of Information and Strategy to make it available for the reading public.
Earlier the book reviewer, Senator Etang Umoyo, Chairman on the Occasion, Chief Nduese Essien and Keynote Speaker, Chief Assam E. Assam(SAN) all spoke in glowing tributes of the author.
Chief Essien described the book as an attempt to present to the present and future generations, the thought, wisdom and intellect of a living hero.
Goodwill messages from the ALGON chairman, Frank Archibong and Prof. Des Wilson were received at the event, while the Chief Launcher Elder Ben Udobia celebrated the book with N1m.