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Impressive Roll-call Of Achievements By First-time Akwa Ibom Lawmaker in Two years

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Two eventful years have gone by since Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-udo was unanimously chosen by the people of Ikono and Ini Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State to represent them at the National Assembly. Despite what has been one of the most tortuous times in recent history, the people of Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency can still look back at the last year, and indeed the last two, with relish.

When canvassing for their support for his aspiration to represent them, Ukpong-udo made several promises. He promised to represent them robustly by bringing to the fore, as well as speaking out on, issues that affect or could affect them. He promised he would see to their welfare by empowering them to create wealth and to develop their capacity, attitudes and mindset. He promised he would support the student body and that, where possible, he would ensure that qualified indigenes are given a fair employment opportunity. He also promised physical development in terms of infrastructure in the area. Overall, he promised he would “bring back to Ikono-Ini people what is rightfully theirs.”

During the second of these two years, the entire world was brought to its knees by a pandemic of epic proportions, with shocks still resonating to this day. This was followed by local and international protests over racial injustice and police brutality. Things further escalated to far-reaching cases of insecurity occasioned by religious extremism, ethnic intolerance and banditry across the national landscape.

In the face of these challenges, however, one of the more heart-warming features of these times has been a wide gamut of completed, ongoing and nascent people-oriented programmes and projects within Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency in the last 24 months.

In line with his promises, Ukpong-udo has stayed true to his colour of selfless dedication to the common good. He triggered a prompt response by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to address an incident of a landslide in Odoro Ikpe and Ibam Edet communities of his constituency. He has also drawn the attention of the Federal Government to the need to complete Nkari Dam in Ini Local Government Area which will help with flood control, energy generation, irrigation as well as human and livestock water supply.
These have been followed by a massive infrastructural facelift in the constituency, with a focus on communal utilities; a sequel to Ukpong-udo’s promise of “…provision and rehabilitation of social amenities and basic infrastructure in needy communities.”

Several new market stalls have been completed and are now in use at Edet Ukpom Market. Within the two local government areas of the constituency, multipurpose Civic and Entrepreneurship centres, in the place of regular town halls, have been constructed at Itak Ikot Obio Ise, Ini Local Government Area, for example, while some are still under construction. Similarly, council halls for Traditional Rulers have also been either completed or are ongoing.

Road infrastructure has remained in the pipeline due to the multiplicity of stakeholders involved in their execution, especially post-covid. However, propositions for the construction of several roads within the constituency, including the Uyo Afaha Nkan-Urua Naira-Ikot Nseyen-Ibiaku Ntok Okpo road, the Nkara Obio-Ediene Atai-Osuk Ediene-Udok Atai road, and very recently, the Uduo Ndiad Road, Ikot Akpa- Edet Ndiya road have been appropriated and provided for in the 2021 Budget.

On the contrary, Health and Educational infrastructure have enjoyed increasing patronage by Obong Ukpong-udo in the last couple of months. Classroom blocks have been constructed and completed in various schools like Comprehensive Secondary School, Obotme, in Ini Local Government Area and Comprehensive Secondary School, Ndiya, Ikono Local Government Area, while renovation work has been proposed to commence at the Lutheran Senior Science Secondary School, Ibakachi.
Among the health facilities in the area, work is ongoing at the Primary Healthcare Centre, Nkari, as well as a Healthcare Delivery facility at Ndiya.

Rep. Emmanuel Ukpong-udo’s dedication to healthcare has been further expressed in his unprecedented attention to pregnant women and newborn babies, courtesy of the ‘Macaire Mother and Child Care Programme.’ This novel initiative has been geared towards lowering maternal and infant mortality in the state by providing incentives to encourage pregnant women to submit to professional medical care. Following Ukpong-udo’s financial input to the programme, the constituency at large has taken delivery of 146 newborn babies with no fatalities since its inception in 2019.

The welfare of every indigene of Ikono/Ini has been something of a personal enterprise for Rep. Emmanuel Ukpong-udo. He has ensured to leave an imprint of benevolence on every single family in the constituency – directly or indirectly – by tactfully spreading welfare programmes and packages across the social divide throughout Ikono and Ini Local Government Areas. From miscellaneous, spontaneous and distress gifting, to structured empowerment and wealth-creation initiatives, he has indeed brought to the people what is due to them like he promised before office.

From miscellaneous and consistent financial grants for well over 400 individuals and families and counting to instituting an ongoing monthly alternative income scheme in the aftermath of Covid-19 – the U-Martha Ambassadors Scheme – for about 200 families. From providing about 11 motorcars and motorcycles, in addition to various other household items (like power-generating sets, deep freezers) for countless indigenes, to identifying with and supporting a Trust Fund for members of his constituency under the aegis of Ikono-Ini development Association (IIDA), Abuja, and even to facilitating the disbursement of cash relief from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management for 30 women in the constituency.

A wise leader knows not only to give his people fish but to point them towards financial independence by encouraging them to fish for themselves. Ukpong-udo has provided platforms for business and entrepreneurial development via his ‘Macaire Enterprise Development Scheme’ – a wealth creation programme to which over N100 million worth of support for start-ups and pre-existing entrepreneurial ventures was allotted. Courtesy of this empowerment programme, well over 100 members of the constituency received between N500,000 and N1million in cash grants. The Lawmaker has also facilitated the registration of about 50 indigenes to benefit from the Federal Government’s N-Power Programme.

In furtherance of this drive towards sustainable financial freedom for his people, Ukpong-udo has encouraged and empowered indigenes to leverage and access employment opportunities locally and nationally. In two years under his watch, over 109 new employment opportunities have been made available to his people within the public and private sectors, as he communicates employment opportunities, offers recommendations where required, not to mention creating the Macaire “I earn, You earn” Scheme, which cumulatively had 62 persons under his direct employ, drawing monthly wages from his personal earnings.

Rep. Ukpong-udo’s pledge to develop human capacity has seen fulfilment in the lives of Ikono-Ini indigenes, especially the youths. At the secondary level, educational materials have been providing in schools like Comprehensive Secondary School, Obotme, in Ini Local Government Area, while there is a proposition to equip the Science Laboratory at Lutheran Senior Science Secondary School, Ibakachi in Ikono.

Ukpong-udo also bankrolled free UTME Registration for 150 indigenes, many of whom have commenced undergraduate studies in tertiary institutions across the country. He has provided full undergraduate Scholarships for five undergraduates, while also bankrolling two educational Tours/Excursions for undergraduates from the constituency.
The development of human capital has been extended to a wider cross-section with the facilitation of a training Workshop on Peace and conflict resolution for over 800 indigenes comprising Traditional Rulers, men women and youths.

Despite his tight itinerary, Ukpong-udo has exemplified humaneness in leadership; making it an obligation to identify personally with his constituents – offering a handshake and thumbs up in times of celebration, or offering a shoulder in times of crisis.

The last 24 months have therefore seen a bountiful rain of unprecedented and deliberate people-centred developmental milestones which have impacted the elderly, the men, the women, the youth and the children – including the babies and the yet unborn – in Ikono-Ini Federal Constituency. The pulse of the Ikono-Ini people resonates with happiness with Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-udo for his stewardship at this mid-term mark. With two further years to go this term, the people have every reason to look forward with satisfaction and belief.

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MPM INAUGURATION: WEEP NOT OBA

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I expected that outing to be dramatic. So it was. After all in 2014, Oron and Ikot Abasi were epic centers of tragicomedies.

I love Obong Bassey Albert’s (OBA) style. Charming in distress. Courageous in ambush. A solo vocalist. A self style activist. Generous. Charismatic…

It is true to Maintain Peace, the State must be guided by Justice, Equity and Fairness. But should OBA be the falconer? Should he rightfully stir this hornet nest?

This tripod of Justice, Equity and Fairness -JEF is then an orphan. OBA has made JEF a pack of cosmetics. When you want to attract confused bachelors apply it. When your desires are met, wash it off.

Did OBA consider the wheel of JEF in 2014 when against known historical and political realities stake his seat as Commissioner of Finance for 7years to grab Governorship which was known to rotate to Eket Senatorial District after Uyo and Ikot Ekpene had taken “turns”?

Many things will work for OBA. Certainly not JEF. He would have had a popular appeal had he mobilized Akwa Ibom to the rescue of Oro Nation in 2014 or Eket at large.

Uyo Federal Constituency is bereaved, because OBA’s artillery crushed them in 2015 and 2019. They only had a shot once at the Senate 1999-2003. While Ibiono Ibom enjoys the pourri for 12years without recalling Justice, Equity or Fairness as it is now.

Since OBA could not,- which he could have – negotiate JUSTICE for Oro Nation; was not FAIR to Eket Senatorial District and had trespassed the compass of EQUITY for UYO Federal Constituency, his call for JEF, is too weak a solo for a desirous orchestra fit for multi- congregation of divergent interest.

This our OBA is in TINUBU kind of political bobby traps. OBA claims to have conceded to Eket Senatorial District before President Goodluck Jonathan. That must have been a personal negotiation, not party, certainly not binding on over 7million people. This is the implications:

•Justice did not appeal to him hence, the only person or authority that could appeal his ego was the President. By giving him GEJ, they robbed him a cliff to the anchor of a tripod – JEF- which he is in dire need now.

• Jonathan is no more the President. Certainly, not in charge of the political mercenaries or political structure of PDP.

•There is a name he omitted yesterday. That person like Jonathan, is no more in PDP. He may have facilitated that meeting with President Jonathan.

• In his claims yesterday, he mentioned Barr. Enoidem, Senator Akon Eyakeyin, Hammer( Enobong Uwa) as preachers of the gospel of Peace which he heeded in 2014. The question is, where these persons guarantors to OBA’s irrevocable succession of Akwa Ibom Hill Top Mansion 2023?

•Since His Excellency Mr Udom Emmanuel is the beneficiary of the peoples mandate in 2015, and nowhere, was his name mentioned, is he and other emerging stakeholders after that infamous political negotiations liable for a party they neither partook nor shared in the cocktail?

• It thus appears, the ASO ROCK medley was a win- win. OBA and AKPABIO became Senators; UDOM Governor. But has OBA raised questions about the fate of other 24 aspirants who were on 40 days and nights fruitless sojourn in Abuja? I wish he does. Empathy is a strategy.

OBA should wakeup. The game had long begun. Those who could not give him the least significant item as MPM FEZ CAP cannot trust him with a GEM as precious as SEAL OF THE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE.

Now that OBA has publicly committed himself to the philosophy of Maintain Peace Movement MPM, he should be mindful of the Donald Trump style politicking. It might make sense to the Republicans, but detested by Democrats and those indifferent. The consequences is for your guessing.

Like or hate him, he is a master of some political notes. He understands sentiments, grandstanding, phatic emotions, jilt, solidarity, religion as a political vehicle, manipulation etc. Above all he has a voice which he is confident.

However, the task ahead calls for more. The people he is up against are no toddlers. Can’t you see how they played along yesterday? He raised a chorus, they joined. He dived into worship, they were deep with him. He spoke, the listened. Where necessary, they concurred.

When he said I speak the minds of Ini Ememobong, Akan Okon, Henry Archibong, Ememobong Essien, Chairman Ibiono Ibom, was that exaggeration, emotional blackmail or manipulation for political gains?

If no one wears your cap, OBA wear it yourself. It’s fine like dat

But let’s Maintain Peace!

Ekomobong Peter
Writer|Observer|Commentator|Public Issue Analyst.

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ETIM EKPO AGOG AS MPM INAUGURATES STEERING CTTEE

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It was happiness galore on Friday, 26th August, 2021, as indigenes and political stakeholders in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area gathered in large numbers at the Council Headquarters at Utu Etim Ekpo to witness the inauguration of the steering committee of the socio-political organisation, the Maintain Peace Movement, MPM.

The inauguration which was performed by the national leader of MPM and national legal adviser of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, took place at the Council Multipurpose Hall.

While inaugurating the steering committee for Etim Ekpo, Barr. Enoidem said that the group was in the area to advocate for the sustainance of peace in the state in order to enable Governor Udom Emmanuel to successfully complete his laudable agenda for the state.

According to Enoidem, “Since 1999 tiil today, this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that we have experienced unparalleled peace, safety and security in all the Local Government Areas”.

“Among all the achivements of the Governor, the prevaling peaceful ambience in the state has placed Akwa Ibom in it’s pride of place”.

In his acceptance remark, the newly inaugurated Coordinator of MPM in Etim Ekpo, Hon. Odudu Jack, promised to work with members of his committee in order to sustain the prevailing peaceful ambience enjoyed in the area.

He said, “In Etim Ekpo, we believe in peace, and in one central leadership, and that is what the MPM represents”.

He mentioned that “Peace is the panacea for all development, and today, I want to assure the national leadership of MPM that we will take this paece message to all the wards and units in Etim Ekpo”.

Earlier, the Chairman of Etim Ekpo, Hon. Ime Afia, welcomed the MPM team to the area, and also appreciated them for the visit. He remarked that, ” MPM is a sign to show that we have a shepherd that cares for his flock”.

“The leadership of this state has coordinated everyone of us to ensure that there’s peace in Akwa Ibom, and we are in total support of the movement ” He added .

The event, attracted members of the political class, members of the state executive council, political appointees of the Governor, traditional rulers, women, youths and other stakeholders in Etim Ekpo and the state.

 

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WE ONCE LOST PEACE, WE WON’T LOSE AGAIN – Nwoko

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The immediate past Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Akwa Ibom State, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, SAN, says that the people of Ika Local Government Area whom he noted once lost peace, are determined to hold fast to the peace presently enjoyed in the area.

Nwoko who gave his remarks in Urua Inyang, headquarters of Ika Local Government Area, shortly after being inaugurated as Coordinator of Maintain Peace Movement (MPM) for Ika, recalled a phase in the history of Ika where peace eluded people of the area, positing that Ika understands the value of peace and will keep up in its efforts to promote lasting peace.

“We gladly receive peace. We have once lost peace and we know what it means not to have peace. Now that we have peace, we will not let go”, he said.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Maintain Peace Movement, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem, appreciated the people of Ika Local Government Area for their stance in supporting the campaign of the group, saying it is a great investment for the good of Akwa Ibom State.

Extolling Governor Udom Emmanuel, Barr Enoidem noted that the peace that God has bestowed on the state through the governor, stands as great signature of achievement for the Udom Emmanuel administration.

In his words, “of all the achievements of Government Udom Emmanuel, his ability to entrench peace in the state, towers above others.”

Enoidem who inaugurated the Ika Local Government Steering Committee of MPM, tasked the members of the committee to further propagate the message of the group across all communities in Ika.

Council Chairman of Ika, Hon Malachy Ukpe, who doubles as Secretary of the Ika Local Government Steering Committee of MPM also affirmed that the campaign of MPM is well received and will be taken to nooks and crannies of the area.

#MPM
#MaintainPeaceMovement
#ThatSameGod
#MPMIka

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Maintain Peace Movement

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