Ibibio Reception: Festival Of Endorsements For Gov Emmanuel
It was a day of celebration for the entire people of Akwa Ibom State as Ibibio Nation and the entire Akwa Ibom people unanimously endorsed and supported the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, for eight uninterrupted years.
At the sacred arena of the Ibibios, the Asan Ibibio, a colourful reception organized by the Ibibios to celebrate their Governor and his wife, Martha, became a festival of support, endorsement and solidarity by the various stakeholders and leaders of the geographical and political blocks from within and outside the state.
Speaker after speaker, ranging from royal fathers, senatorial representatives as well as brother governors from other states in the country, eulogized Governor Emmanuel and announced their support for his leadership.
Speaking on behalf of Paramount Rulers in Ibibio land, the Paramount Ruler of Ikot Abasi, Edidem Udo John Ntukubom, described Governor Emmanuel’s leadership as God’s divine provisions for a time like this, adding that he was mandated to endorse him in view of his outstanding agricultural revolutionary programmes in the state.
“If all the Akwa Ibom people have come out to say that Mr Udom Emmanuel has their support for eight years, who is going to come and oppose that,” Chief Ntukubom quipped, referring to the crowd of Akwa Ibom people at the arena.
“Since no one can oppose that, and God himself has ratified it, I hereby present you with two cows, a male and female, to symbolize the prosperity his government is bringing to Akwa Ibom State.”
Another Ibibio paramount Ruler, Edidem Ime Dickson Umoette of Etinan Local Government, presented a sword of valour to the Governor, describing him as a brave Ibibio son who will always overcome obstacles before him.
Edidem Umoette, the Chairman of Uyio Ikpaisong Ibibio, said his people were in full support of Mr Emmanuel’s governance for two terms, as a performing governor in the State.
Other items presented by the royal fathers included, a Bible from the Paramount Ruler of Onna Local Government, Edidem Raymond Inyang, and a Staff presented by the State Council of Chiefs, led by Edidem Effiong Archianga.
In their separate messages, the governors of Abia, Imo and Ekiti States spoke on the need for the people of the state to come together in unity and love devoid of parochial sentiments and continue to support their governor to achieve more.
Governor Okorocha of Imo State said he came to further strengthen the bond of peace and unity between the South East and the South South, and advocated the strengthening of the economic ties that will generate wealth for the states in the two sub-regions.
“Mr Udom Emmanuel is not a Governor of a section of the state, he is not a governor of APC or PDP, but Governor of Akwa Ibom, therefore we must learn when to drop politics and when to embrace governance.”
On his part, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, lauded the entire people of the state for the show of love and large crowd of support on the Governor, describing him as a fisher of men who has brought his people together.
The Chairman of the PDP governor’s forum and Governor of Ekiti Stste, Ayo Fayose, said that Mr Emmanuel’s endorsement was not a surprise, and boasted that the party will always maintain strong grip in Akwa Ibom and South East and South South states.
Speaking on behalf of the 26 members of the House of Assembly in Akwa Ibom, the Speaker, Barr. Onofiok Luke, described Mr Emmanuel as a detribalized leader with the agenda to develop the state, and added that the state lawmakers are ready to give him complete support to continue to deliver on his promises.
“We are telling the people in Abuja and everywhere that the Governor is on ground and the ground is for the Governor. We in the House of Assembly, stand with Governor Udom,” Barr Luke added.
The immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State and Senate Minority, Godswill Akpabio, speaking on behalf of the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, said the fact that everyone attended the event meant that Udom Emmanuel is a symbol of unity.
“That means that Akwa Ibom people did not make mistake in 2015 when we rose as one to elect Udom Gabriel as our Governor. Your Excellency, in a period like this, God must produce a leader. In a period of recession, you have done exceedingly well… your training to work and manage people and resource that training has paid off in Akwa Ibom in the last two years.”
He added that Ikot Ekpene people are firmly in support of the governor for two terms of eight years.
Earlier, the people of Eket Senatorial District, speaking through Rt. Hon. Chief Nduese Essien, had expressed happiness and satisfaction with the governor, describing him as a leader who has made them proud.
Chief Essien said that Mr Emmanuel’s performance has convinced those who never supported him from the beginning, to join his train, and called on others to follow suit in order to move the state forward.
Also speaking, the Senator Representing Uyo Senatorial District, said the people of Uyo will only produce a governor to take over from Governor Emmanuel in 2023, adding that the entire district was fully in the governor’s support.
A former Governor of the State and Chairman, Central Planning Committee of the event, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, announced that the entire Ibibio leaders in the state have given their nods for Governor Emmanuel to complete his second term in office, and called on all to unite and support the governor irrespective of their ethnic and political inclinations.
Governor Emmanuel, who was visibly moved by the show of support, thanked the people for their support, saying, “I am here just to say thank you to Akwa Ibom people for the love you’ve shown to me today especially the Ibibio Nation, for organizing this kind of reception, this is unprecedented.”
He announced that he was going to commission an electricity sub-station in Uyo as well as a new road project, the Nda Nsit-Ikot Abasi – Ibesikpo road, in Nsit Atai in furtherance of his promise to expand the existing infrastructure in the state.
Gov Emmanuel also promised that he will continue in his programme of improved secondary health facilities, and promised to invite the Acting President to commission the new health care centers in the state soon.
The state Governor sued for continued unity from the people, “because even during the era of Ibibio Union, there was nothing like Annang or Oro. All of us were under one umbrella called Ibibio Union. We are siting companies, we are commissioning. People go to school under our free and compulsory Education, do we ask them which party do they belong?” Emmanuel wondered.
He said his administration, “launched a philosophy that we must all rise to togetherness, we must rise above biases, ethnicity and religion as development does not have any colour and tribe.”
The Governor added that “with the meager resources that we have, we have touched all the three senatorial districts. While others were seeing recession, we are commissioning projects; most of the projects we are commissioning tomorrow are the projects we could not commission as at May 29.”
Earlier, the Chairman on the occasion and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Nsikak Eduok, commended the Governor and declared his support for him to continue in office for two terms.
“He has done excellently well so far. Honestly, I would be speaking the minds of millions of people who love good things.
“As a concerned citizen and a son in Ibibio land and this state, I always pondered how the state could have fared in this period of poverty in the nation and everywhere, recession, no money to do what you want to do, but thank God with the little that we had, this son of God (Gov Emmanuel) has been able to manage the resources properly. Therefore, taking us to where we are, we believe that you would continue to do like this for the remaining part of this first tenure and throughout your second tenure in office.”
The former Chief of Air Staff appealed to all to rise up in love, cooperate and encourage the governor instead of just sitting down at the back and criticize everything good or bad.