Gov. Emmanuel’s Speech At The Akwa Ibom Carol Festival
The 2015 edition of the Akwa Ibom Christmas Carol Festival recorded a great turn out on Saturday at the Uyo Township Stadium with various gospel artistes performing to the satisfaction of the crowd.
Below is the excerpt from the welcome speech by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel…
To all Nigerians home and large and from the flowing creeks and to the undulating uplands, we have not only climbed the watery lakes of our table of unity, we have also lived the vision that was revealed to John in the book of Revelation that after this had been held, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and kindred, and people and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb and cried with a loud voice saying: Salvation to our God which seated upon the throne and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood roundabout the throne.
We stand before the throne of God tonight to celebrate the gift of His Son, the pathfinder of peace on earth. God indeed is with us. The power singing praises to God cannot be overemphasized. The scripture says the Israelites came face to face with the wall of Jericho, they could not bring it down until they sang with one voice, then the wall of Jericho came tumbling down.
All those walls of animosity, blackmail, politics or personal destruction our state are set to crumble tonight and shall be replaced by the walls of greatness and oneness of soul, and where the ascendency of Akwa Ibom spirit defines our engagement and interruption. Let the birth of Christ represent the message of love and tolerance. And that, working the path of tribalism, ethnicity and bitter hatred in the name of politics, is living the valley of darkness. It is time for us to resist the undefined temptation to pull down the wall of our unity and to reduce politics to the narrow zero sum game where the defining impulse is that ‘I can only win at your own detriment’.
Let us remove the poisonous language in our body politics. Let us fix our eyes on the magnificent light on the use of progress, peace and unity. Let us all rise to the faith of greatness. That is what the Akwa Ibom project is all about. All hands must be on desk to move this to a beautiful point of success. This is what motivates us, this is what drives us.
This is the time of leadership. I call on all our people to put on the true Akwa Ibom spirit – the Dakkada spirit – and show that blood is thicker than politics and when the sun of love and unity rises, the dark cloud of hatred and divisive tendency will disappear. Let us eschew politics and acrimony bitterness, and hold aloof the flag of politics without personal and character assassination.
God is not a God of appeal. He is our Supreme Judge and His judgement is supreme. Christ the Saviour of mankind was born in a manger. We do not have to be born in palaces to become kings. Greatness is a matter of determination. Once the passion is right, nothing is impossible. That is why on the anniversary of the threshold of Akwa Ibom State, we made a determination that Akwa Ibom can be, will be, must be and will always be great. We are already picking the fruits of that tree of foresight. In arising to the faith of greatness, what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve in years to come.
Every superb edifice stands on a formidable foundation. The foundation we have passionately laid for our beloved state in the past six months is hardcore concrete that will never rust. We are irrevocably committed to building a golden future of our people.
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us imbue the knowledge that our tomorrow will be better and greater than our today. Let us replace the pain of today with permanent layers of fulfillment that tomorrow will usher. So, as we raise our voice to sing praises, open our hearts to the love of Christmas, there are also reasons to lift our heads high for God has done for us. We have done a lot of achievements into the small and short space of the last six months of this administration.
There are still assimilated infrastructure development and aggressive industrialization programmes even in the face of scarcity of funds, we are confident that He who has promised is faith. Our intellectual property will ever remain intact. While we work relentlessly to restore prosperity and open the multi doors of opportunity to our people, we are poise to reclaim the Akwa Ibom dream and reaffirm the fundamental truth in this birth of Christ.
I thank the multitude, Grammy Award gospel singers, Donnie McClurkin, Shirley Caesar, Chevelle Franklin, the National Choir of Barbados, the inspirational preacher, Bishop Mike Okonkwo and all other great gospel artistes and choral groups that will grace this stage tonight. We are all thrilled and blessed that you honoured our invitation. We also wish to thank our partners – Globacom, UBA, Zenith Bank and a host of others. We invite cooperate Nigeria to be ready to be part of the 2016 edition of this programme.
To every Akwa Ibom sons and daughters here and in the diaspora, this is your event. It is our festival of greatness. Christ came for us all, let the story of His birth steer in us all a light of love and brotherhood. May this event bless your lives in unimaginable ways and keep reminding us that whether we are in the manger or we are managers, we destined for greatness. Meditate upon this and join the long queue of our sons and daughters who already have reasons.
Let me therefore at this juncture declare open officially our 2015 Christmas Carol Festival. Merry Christmas to you all in advance and see you next year.
God bless Akwa Ibom State. God bless Nigeria. God bless you all.