Sunday, July 30, 2017, all routes led to, and assembled in Essene – Ikot Abasi Local Government Area where the Godly inclined youths of Akwa Ibom State in their traditional mode of worship on monthly basis, converged at SS Peter/Paul Parish in Essene – Ikot Abasi to lift the name of the Lord Most High in prayers and full supplication. They gathered under the umbrella of Akwa Ibom Youths Pray with the theme: SOUGHT AFTER.

The August prayer meeting had His Excellency, Gov Udom Emmanuel as the special guest of honour and whom Ikot Abasi people honoured as their strong pivot of the community through his charismatic leadership prowess since assumption of office on May 29, 2015, mounting the saddle of statehood with viable, authentic and second to none credible credentials.

And through the mass worship service that paved way for the youth prayer session, it was an atmosphere of solemnity and the purest devotional ministration in thanksgiving to a super being who has, through the years, guided, protected and fern for the upkeep of Akwa Ibom’s teeming youth population. Everyone witnessed the awesome goodness of the omnipotent in the affairs of the state despite operating in a harsh economic scenario of daring recession.

A touching, punching and mind pondering message of homily by the priest in charge sent a signal of hope, re-strategising and dedicated focus among the youths was emphasised. As well as the need for every young person to place quality, value and aim at the premium things of life sustenance for the enhancement of their being and existence on earth.

Speaker by speaker laid emphasis on curbing youth restiveness and channelling optimum energy into engaging meaningful ventures of life.

Governor Udom Emmanuel was represented at the service by the Special Assistant on Religious Matters, Rev. Akwatang, Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Matters/Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Youth Caucus, Aniefiok Iwaudofia; member representing Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh; Transition Chairman, Ikot Abasi, Ubong Ukwang; Royal fathers, political heavyweights of Ikot Abasi; Governor’s aides, invited dignitaries and the community.

One significant happenstance dramatically stole the prayer session when young, dynamic, politically solid, community leader and legislator of repute, Uduak Odudoh, member representing Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo State Constituency, took to the podium and enumerated the lofty positives of a prayerful and duty-bound youth, strategic support base for Gov Udom Emmanuel in Ikot Abasi, the Governor as a beautiful bride/brand among his constituent, 2019 and the crux of the Governor’s victory against all odds, ranting and light feather-weighted opposition grumbling in Ikot Abasi and above all, he gave concrete remarks of how the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has continued to be an endearing factor in Ikot Abasi politics.

Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh sure displayed an anchorman’s firm political grab of his territory from predators, sit-home critics and those who do not wish Ikot Abasi well. Like a solid rock and lion who escorts her young, he has spread his political and humanitarian tentacles to cover his constituent in line with the Governor’s philosophy of Dakkada, a moral boost injected for hope. The cheers and hypes he received while on the floor of the church elicited more applause when he solicited on behalf of the church for the Governor to lend a helping hand in the ongoing building rehab of the Parish of worship. That indeed was another divine legislative bidding for the work of God. So why won’t God bless him more? And he landed with a donation of N100,000 for the church upkeep, promising future support.

Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh sure knew the promising youths of Akwa Ibom, aside the prayers, were in his constituency and after the church service, he did the needful. Invited them over to his country home and the rest is now what indeed to pull a call through to those who made it to Ikot Abasi whether they are awake at the moment. Uduak played a splendid host in his usual down to earth disposition. If you were not in Essene, then you were nowhere else on Sunday, 30 July, 2017. He got an award for his sacrificial representation so far.

I took one resounding emphasise home in all Uduak Odudoh narrated, “Be rest assured your Excellency that Ikot Abasi people are solidly behind you. If in all the wards and units in Ikot Abasi LGA, APC wins any of them in 2019, I will definitely resign from politics.”

Quite assuring, an epic pronouncement of a man at home with his people…

Pat Reuben is a Public Affairs Analyst, writes in from Awantong


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