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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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GOV EMMANUEL ADVISES WARD COUNCILLORS TO BE AGENTS OF PEACE AT GRASSROOTS LEVEL

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Governor Udom Emmanuel has called on Ward Councillors in Akwa Ibom State to be agents of peace and discipline expected of them as leaders given the task of community development

Governor Emmanuel made this known while addressing ward Councillors during a two- day Leadership Retreat, with the theme ‘Leadership for Service and Victory’ on Sunday, at Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort Uyo.

The Governor said the essence of organizing the retreat for the 368 Ward Councillors in the State has been a fulfilment of his promise to prepare them with requisite leadership skills for an effective interface with the rural communities.

“The reason we pass this knowledge is that you can also use it to build your families because in your homes, families and wards, you are a leader and once you are a leader there are certain things expect of you.

“Some of you lead groups, committee, communities and you must provide leadership at wards, at any level that you have an opportunity you must provide leadership. I want you to see this as an opportunity to lead a good life”, the governor stated.

Governor Emmanuel harped on the need for Ward Councillors to inculcate loyalty as an essential leadership virtue which can stand them out in future.

Mr Emmanuel who gave reasons for neglect of the Local Government Areas, principally due to poor funding, however advocated the need for Local Government Areas to access more revenue allocation from the federal government, stressing that adequate funding and attention will serve as a major support to build thY oue rural communities.

“You need to know how much you get as a Local Government, I am one of those who still emphasize that if the grassroot must be built we need to look at the revenue allocation, take more from the center and give it to the grassroot because they are closer to the people so that we can build a stronger society”

The Chief Executive however thanked the facilitators Peculiar People Management ( PPM) in conjunction with Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, for organizing the retreat and also commended the orderliness of the ward Councillors during the retreat.

Earlier in his remarks, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, described the councilors as leaders in their various wards and urged them not to give themselves to prejudice or allow it influence their official conduct at any time.

Dr. Ekuwem, further enjoined the councillors to be self- confident in themselves and exhibit a high sense of discipline without inferiority complex so as to lead boldly by example.

Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Frank Archibong in his welcome remarks thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for keeping to his promise with the Councillors and called on the 368 councillors who participated to make the retreat count in order to replicate the knowledge gained at the grassroot level.

In a goodwill message, the immediate past Commissioner for Lands, Pastor Umo Eno, commended Governor Emmanuel for organizing the retreat which he noted will build capacity and ideas of the ward leaders and empower them to harness resources towards the development of the rural communities.

Also in a goodwill message, the National Coordinator, Maintain Peace Movement (MPM) Barr. Enoidem, urged councillors to take advantage of the retreat as leaders at their various communities and apply the knowledge gained positively as they have the onerous task to select leaders that will sustain the legacy of the present administration.

The Chairman of ALGON, Engr. Iniobong Robson, thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for keeping to his promise in approving the retreat for Councillors in the state.

One of the resource persons, Dr. Maxwell Ubah, spoke on the importance of leadership and the four principles of leadership, pointing out that leadership has a generational impact and it is about securing the future of the next generation.

Certificate of participation and souvenirs were presented to all ward Councillors.

Media Unit
Govt House,Uyo
15/05/22

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SENIOR STAFF OF VARSITIES ASSEMBLE FOR PASTOR UMO ENO, LAUD GOV EMMANUEL ON PEACE, INDUSTRIALIZATION

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Tertiary Institution Consolidation Alliance (TICA), a socio-political group of senior staff from different tertiary institutions in Akwa Ibom State has drummed support for Pastor Umo Eno’s governorship aspiration.

The group whose main aim is to ensure that the relative peace enjoyed in the State is sustained had a meeting, Wednesday at Ibom e-library, where they jointly expressed their appreciation to Governor Udom Emmanuel for making peace a reality in Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking during the meeting, Comrade (Mrs) Mary Inyang, Chairperson of National Association of Academic Technologists, Uniuyo Branch and Coordinator, Tertiary Institutions Consolidation Alliance (TICA) noted that the group was formed to support peace, development in the State and also to sustain the peace that is already being enjoyed through support for Pastor Umo Eno.

“We have moved together as members of staff of different tertiary institutions to form this group and to stand with the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, who has made it possible for us to be in peace and also to support the incoming Governor”

Also speaking during the meeting, Comrade (Mrs) Anietie Attai Chairperson, Women Labor Committee while commending the Governor for commissioning so many projects in the State including educational infrastructure, said that Tertiary Institution Consolidation Alliance (TICA) was birthed in support of the Government.

She further noted that the group is a coalition of individuals with like-minds from different tertiary institutions that came together to form the body with the common goal of appreciating what the Governor has done so far and to support him to even do more through Pastor Eno, who will make the State to continue to enjoy the relative peace it’s enjoying presently.

Addressing the group, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Research and Documentation, Mr Essien Ndueso, said God’s mercy made him sent a Governor like Mr Emmanuel who has stopped at nothing in ensuring that there is peace in the State.

He said the Governor went further to ensure that Akwa Ibom lost its status as a civil service state, with the establishment of several industries, the latest being the Coconut Oil Factory billed for commissioning.

Mr Ndueso also expressed his support and excitement for the move and commended the group’s decision to throw its full weight on Pastor Umo Eno, adding that the group’s essence of coming together is undeniably defined by sound principles.

“I am elated to be associated with this forum. It is not very common to see a group of people who come together independently without any prompting to come and take the right decisions especially in the Nigeria of today.”

The Governor’s Aide further described Pastor Umo Eno as a man of peace, God-fearing, and sociable who on his own, and without any government funding, was able to establish and manage several thriving businesses.

“Pastor Umo Eno is not someone that is coming to the State to settle any political baggage, he is someone who on his own prowess, was able to establish a business and that business has been able to thrive.

“We need someone who can manage businesses and harness the potentials of our young persons to grow”

On the ongoing strike action that has crippled academic activities in tertiary institutions, Mr Ndueso lamented that those in authorities were paying lip services to education because of lack of interest and joined the call for an end to the impasse.

“I am surprised that recently airline owners threatened a strike action and the federal government hurriedly settled the grey areas and the strike was prevented, whereas lecturers have been ignored while then federal government owned tertiary institutions remain under locks and key.

“This is why we must make sure we look out for leaders with credible antecedents in the ongoing transition exercise, so that the country can be liberated”, he added.

Also present at the meeting were Special Assistant to the Governor on Project Monitoring, Mr Uwemedimo Umanah, Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Mr Aniekeme Finbarr, Special Assistant to the Govenror on ICT, Engr. Solomon Eyo, Nsipmong Ikpoto- NAAT Chairman Akwa Ibom State University, and a host of others.

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VP OSINBAJO UNVEILS NIGERIA’S FIRST COCONUT OIL FACTORY, FRIDAY

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All is now set for the commissioning of the St. Gabriel Coconut Refinery sited Mkpat Enin,Akwa Ibom State, following the successful test running of the factory.

The multi-billion naira value-chain facility which would create thousands of job opportunities for Akwa Ibom people wil be inaugurated on Friday by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo,SAN following its completion by the Turkish firm, VKS.

The factory is expected to employ over 3000 direct workers and has the capacity to crack 1,000,000 nuts a day.

The St. Gabriel’s Coconut Oil Factory Project, a major industrial investment by Akwa Ibom State Government comprises of a factory complex complete with administrative offices, production areas, technical spaces, industrial firefighting systems, water treatment plants, effluent treatment plants and residential quarters for technical and managerial staff as well as parking areas for several raw materials bearing vehicles.

The project is located in the serene environment of Ikot Akpan Okop village, along the East West Road in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. The project execution was flagged off by Governor Udom Emmanuel during a ground-breaking ceremony on May 24th, 2017.

Recall that a whooping 2million fast yeilding hybrid coconut trees had been planted on an 11,000 hectare of land at the St Gabriel plantation in a swampland spanning Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi and Eastern Obolo Local Government Areas. Similarly, the Government has ensured that coconuts are cultivated at Okobo, Okon -Eket and other locations in the State.

This makes it the largest coconut plantation in Africa, and the most ambitious coconut project in the world. All this is a conscious effort by the visionary leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel to prepare Akwa Ibom State, which is Nigeria highest crude oil producing State from over reliance on petroleum.

Media Unit
Govt House, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State
12/05/22

 

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