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CROSS RIVER STATE’S MISS USANI IS NEW FACE OF NIGER DELTA 2021

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•••WINS CASH PRIZE & NEW CAR

Miss Usani Kasi Usani who represented Cross River State in the just concluded FACE OF NIGER DELTA CULTURAL PAGEANT 2021 last night (Friday, October 8, 2021) emerged the overall winner, beating 8 damsels from the other Niger Delta States.

Edo state’s Miss Faith Iguodala Etinosasere emerged 1st Runner Up, while Grace Ekrakene from Delta state emerged 2nd runner Up.

The well attended event took place at Duellaz Event Center, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, featuring appearances by outstanding Niger Delta sons & daughters and talented youths.

#nigerdeltastates
#FondCup2021

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Senator Akpabio is known for buying awards- Governor Udom’s Aide to Methodist Church Prelate

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•••Prelate Uche and Akpabio’s inglorious “Large Shoes” in Akwa Ibom

By Richard Peters

There are indeed various schools of thoughts, just like perceptions and opinions are free. But, inasmuch as people do not perceive things similarly, certain constructs could help them reason alongside the path of objectivity, truth and factual realities.
The Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Sunday Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche, at his Interfaith Roundtable on Building a Culture of Peace and Unity in Nigeria, held in Abuja yesterday, had opined that the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, “left behind shoes too large for others to wear in Akwa Ibom State”.

He made the assertion while presenting the award of “Icon of Peace and Unity” to the former governor Godswill Akpabio. “I am saying this publicly and I am not mincing words, ” former governor Akpabio and the incumbent Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, left a very big shoe behind that is still very difficult to fill,” he said.
While, the Prelate may have been justified by whatever reason in lauding his awardee, his remark about the “very big shoe” allegedly left behind by the former Governor calls for deep thoughts in the minds of Akwa Ibom people. What could have prompted such comment? Did he hear anyone say that Akwa Ibom has not moved from where it was 6 years ago? Did he see school children roaming the streets of the State or being asked to pay fees? Or was he told that his so-called large-shoe wearer gave life to people of the State who have all now died since he left?

It is even more disturbing that one who is not resident in Akwa Ibom State and totally oblivious of the developmental pace, agricultural renaissance as well as the industrial revolution ongoing in the State would have the temerity to speak in such strong terms about a State which has in the last couple of days hosted the Former Presidents of his Country, the Vice President as well as the Senate President to a project commissioning spree.

It is also unfortunate that a whole Prelate of the renowned Methodist Church is not in touch with present realities in a state where he derives more than 40% of benefits from and is not informed enough to make grounded comments about Akwa Ibom State in public “without mincing words”.

On the other hand, one can be tempted to think he was reading a script prepared by his awardee’s boys whose ability to cook-up soured stories is not in doubt, or that he was being carried away by the financial gratifications expected from the “big-sized shoe” Senator and so, forgot the ethics of nationalism.
But whatever Prelate Uche meant by “left behind shoes too large for others to wear in Akwa Ibom State”, if subjected to close scrutiny will reveal that he probably allowed his tongue slip or intentionally intended to disparage and spite the goodwill of the State in the minds of right-thinking members of the public. For all we know, the big-sized shoes he was referring to were those of misappropriation of funds, white elephant projects, reckless spending and insecurity.

Available records have it that Akpabio was given an approval for the release of N72billion naira for the construction of the 25km Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road which constructed only 3km before leaving. He is also said to have been given over N150 billion for the uncompleted Tropicana Mall which he still left largely uncompleted. Not to mention the release of N19.5 billion for the uncompleted Etebi-Enwang road that was originally valued at N5billion naira and the release of billions of naira meant for the construction of the 8-lane Goodluck Jonathan Boulevard on papers whereas in reality the road is 4-lane.

Should one mention the N42 billion paid for Ibom Specialty Hospital he left uncompleted or the N25 billion fully paid yet uncompleted Four Point by Sheraton? What about the uncompleted Airport project? What happened to the N18 billion terminal building? Is the International soccer pitch (stadium) worth the reported $360 million dollars it allegedly gulped?

Prelate Uche need be informed that Akpabio left the state with huge debt, uncompleted white elephant projects and over N30billion pension arrears despite huge revenue the State got in his time as one of the top ten highest recipients of the federal allocations.
His administration promised 31 industries in 31 Local Government Area but saw none, but the Udom Emmanuel’s administration has delivered the Rice Mill, Fertilizer blending plant, Metering Company, Kings Flour Mill, Jubilee Syringe Factory and other industries which have given jobs to the unemployed Akwa Ibom youths including members of Prelate Uche’s church.
Today, Akwa Ibom State is on the 7th position as those with high IGR nationwide compared to the 11th position it was during Akpabio’s regime and Small scale enterprises are thriving better than has ever happened courtesy of the push given by Governor Emmanuel to promote self-sufficiency and reduce total reliance on white-collar jobs; and these SMEs have subsequently become employers of labour.

Even more, Investors today are lining up for the state because of the trust for the name, Udom Emmanuel, and the peace and friendly ambience provided by the present government. Every Akwa Ibomite who lived in the State during Akpabio’s regime can attest to the killing, maiming and kidnapping escapades which characterized the big shoe-size Senator’s reign but today, we can boast of safety of lives and properties, so much that people can now sleep with their two eyes closed.

It is noteworthy that Governor Udom Emmanuel is not seeking his applause or his award for anything, neither is he in competition with anybody but is on a serious committed and calculated process of transformation. Because he believes that government is a continuum, all of Akpabio’s uncompleted projects have been captured by Gov. Udom, unlike Akpabio who abandoned Attah’s former projects. Unfinished roads and structures as well as the free education and health policies have all been sustained.

The religious leader should NEVER attempt to speak on issues he has no idea about or undertake research and ask pertinent questions if he must speak on them. There is no loophole of the past administration which the present has not filled and cemented. Akpabio’s “large shoes” were inglorious and should never be compared with Governor Emmanuel’s deeds of integrity.

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FORMER PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN COMMISSIONS 117 YEAR OLD AKWA IBOM HOSPITAL REMODELLED BY GOV. UDOM

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The dream of an improved healthcare delivery system for the people of Ikot Ekpene local government in Akwa Ibom State has finally been realised with the unveiling of a state of the arts modern secondary hospital and referral center for the area.

The 117 years old Ikot Ekpene General Hospital which had suffered years of neglect and dilapidation, was an eyesore until Governor Emmanuel commenced intervention exercise last year.

At the inauguration ceremony which attracted former President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Udom Emmanuel assured the people of the state of his committment to the upgrading and reconstruction of healthcare facilities, security of lives and property and manpower development.

He said his administration believes that these three fundamental elements determine and shape the social contract and have tackled these crucial areas with “messianic zeal and the results are there for any discerning or dispassionate mind and eye to see.”

Governor Emmanuel, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo, expressed gratitude to the former president for honouring his invite.

“We are grateful that President Jonathan, consented to helping commission the Phase 1 of our reconstructed General Hospital, Ikot Ekpene, which has facilities that are comparable to any such center, anywhere in the world.

“The commissioning of this General Hospital is a fulfilment of a campaign promise I made, to establish world class secondary health care facilities (general hospitals) in all Ten Federal Constituencies in the State.

“With today’s event, we have completed and commissioned to the glory of God, all but one, Ikot Abasi, which work is on-going”, he added.

He further said that his goal is to build a future for a new Akwa Ibom State, where industrialisation, infrastructure, human capital development, healthcare and soft infrastructure will put the state on the spotlight as a reference point on how to utilize the resources available to impact lives and create sustainable growth.

The former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan in his speech lauded the governor for completely redesigning the hospital as part of measures towards providing adequate health care delivery to Akwa Ibomites.

“I’m glad to be here at this time, It’s good we are partnering with NMA as the commence their health week.

“I commend the Governor for refurbishing this hospital and also the security aspect considering the state of security in the country today, the Covid-19 pandemic has also opened the eyes of people that health should not be taken for granted.

He also commended the leadership of Ikot Ekpene for been committed to the development of the area through their cooperation with the Government to protect these enormous projects.

The Commissioner for Health,Prof Augustine Umoh eulogised Governor Emmanuel for giving priority to the health sector while giving insight to facilities in the hospital.

He listed the components to include the newly constructed storey building administration block, emergency unit, out-patient department, more conducive environment, power infrastructure through provision of a new generator and solar energy machines, male wards, female wards, ultrasound, x-rays, pediatric unit, theatres, motorised beds, manpower of over 30 Doctors and still recruiting more.

In their messages of goodwill, the former Senator representing Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, and the House of Representatives Member for Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Nsikak Ekong and the Chairman of Ikot Ekpene Local Government Council, Hon. Unyime Etim, took turns to eulogise Governor Emmanuel for transforming the once dilapidated hospital to world class standard and for the numerous projects scattered across the Iocal government area.

Hon Nsikak Ekong who recalled his ordeal at the General hospital years back said that when a leader loves his people, the outcome is sustainable development.

” I come from Ikot Ekpene and I know how bad this place was. I remember when my friend had an accident, the emergency unit was bad, if I had left him here, he would have died.

” Thank you for coming to our aid, we will support you till completion, I wish it was possible to do a third term, we would have wanted you to continue.

“When Covid-19 came, the whole country was locked down, most states where erecting tents as isolation centers, but you built a world class isolation center in six weeks.

” Few weeks ago , my aide who dropped me off at the airport was coughing and I asked him, what was wrong and he said he was sick, I told him to run a test and it came out positive, after spending days at a facility in Abuja and with his condition deteriorating, I had him relocated to Akwa Ibom and he was moved to the isolation center at Ituk Mbang and today , Itoro Ekpe is here with me healthy, You have done so much for us”, he said.

Also Speaking the President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Innocent Ujah expressed excitement over the remodeled medical facility.

“We are here to mark the 2021 NMA Week, we are happy to be part of this process, building and ensuring our people get good medical facilities.
“I’m told that we have refurbished over eight hospitals and this is the ninth.

“We appreciate the people of Ikot Ekpene for their support and also the Former President for coming around. We are flagging off our week, and we are happy to be part of this event”, he added

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Patrick Eshiet, described Governor Emmanuel as a visionary leader, who has brought about enormous development and thanked God for the clement weather.

The Ikot Ekpene General Hospital was established in 1905 by the Methodist Church as a Health Post.

Media Unit,
Govt House, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State
12/10/10

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AKSG INAUGURATES ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE ON ANTI-OPEN GRAZING LAW

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The Akwa Ibom State Government has inaugurated a fourteen-membrr committee to monitor enforcement of the recently enacted “Law to prohibit Open Rearing and Grazing of Livestocks and Provide for the Establishment of Ranches and Livestock Administration, Regulation and Control, and Matters Connected therewith” in the state.

Performing the inauguration today, at the Government House, Uyo, the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, clarified that the law is not targeted at any group of persons but was necessitated by the rising need to ensure orderly organization of agricultural activities across the country, including Akwa Ibom State.

This, he stated, would be in the best interest of the entire Nigerian populace who need both the vegetables and tubers of the crop farmer as well as the meat and dairy products of the livestock farmer to balance his diet, stressing that a healthy population makes a healthy nation.

“The typical staple food on the table of an average Nigerian is a symbiosis of livestock products and crops: the swallow such as our garri, pounded yam, amala, the meat, fish and the vegetables. …the law is not anti any person. It is to make sure that we eat balanced diet, because if cattle destroys the vegetable component of what we eat, all the vitamins will be lost.When you ensure balanced diet, the population of Nigeria will be healthy and when the population is heathy we have a productive population”.

He reiterated that, as stated while signing the bill into law on September 18, 2021, that the major objectives of this law is to promote modern techniques of animal husbandry, create job opportunities and expand the value chain in livestock business and promote the production of high quality of livestock in the state in accordance with international best practices, rather than a witch-hunt tool against anyone.

Highlighting the Committee’s mandate therefore, the Governor said it shall, among other functions and powers, develop an integrated modern livestock development and production plan for the state, develop guidelines for the implementation of an integrated livestock production policy and make recommendations to the governor, consider and determine the suitability of a location proposed for establishment of a ranch in the state, ensure that livestock are reared at permitted ranches to prevent straying, impound any livestock that is left to graze outside a ranch and encourage peaceful coexistence between the ranchers, farmers and host communities.

The functions also include to prescribe guidelines for minimum hygiene standards for meat and dairy activities in personal, commercial and general ranches, inaugurate same committee at the Local Government level, give approval to the Local Government Committee for the establishment of Ranches in the Local Government Area, collaborate with relevant Ministries, Local Government Committee established under Section 12 and Department of Livestock at each LGA to ensure effective implementation of the Law in the State and any other functions incedental to the law or as may be directed by the State Governor.

Responding on behalf of the Committee members, the Chairman and Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, thanked God for blessing the State with fertile soil and good environment that support both crops and livestocks farming. She commended the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel for ensuring peace in the State and taking steps to secure the agricultural sector in the State by protecting the interest of the various parties in the sector.

Dr. Edet assured that the committee will make the State proud by ensuring a balance of interest between the crop and animal farmers in the State, adding that the committee will work in synergy with security agencies to ensure the enforcement of the law in the state.

Also speaking, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Uko Udom, SAN, and a member of the committee, said the inauguration of the committee was the first step towards enforcement of the anti open grazing law.
He explained that the committee will soon constitute sub-committees for public enlightenment and information, monitoring and surveillance, enforcement and other functions, to enhance its effective operation, stressing that the law was vioid of any political element.

The Committee also has the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Mary Bassey as Secretary .Other members include; the Honorary Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Fubara Duke,Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Capt.Iniobong Ekong(rtd.),Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries of Lands and Water Resources,TPL.Aniekan Akpan(Ag.),Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs,Elder Ini Ikie ,Environment and Solid Minerals, Nsudo Nsudo and that of Health, Dr.Patrick Essiet. Also included in the Committee are the State Surveyor- General,Surv.(Mrs)Emem Isang ,Director of Verterinary Services and Livestocks,Ministry of Agriculture, Dr.Obot Obot, Director of Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture, Aniefiok Isong,Director of Forestry in the Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals, Etido Eyo as well as the Director-General of the Akwa Ibom State Neighborhood Safety Agency,among others.

MEDIA UNIT
OFFICE OF THE SSG
08/10/2021

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