You Have A Voice In My Govt, Gov Emmanuel Tells Students
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has commended the student community in the state for their steadfastness and unconditional loyalty in his administration, noting that such goodwill has never been enjoyed in the history of democracy.
He made the commendation on Wednesday at Governor’s Office Annex, Uyo during the 2nd Quarter Students’ Town Hall Meeting organised by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Special Assistant to the on Students Affairs.
Governor Emmanuel, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Sir Etekamba Umoren, noted that the town hall meeting was apt and important as it seeks to provide an avenue for government to interact freely and listen to expectations as regarding government policies and programmes for the students.
He said: “Nowhere in the history of democracy in the black world that the government had enjoyed the policy of goodwill from students that we have enjoyed from you. From the bringing of the government to where we are going, this administration has always been assured of the support of the young men and women especially the students.
“I congratulate you for sustaining the yearly town hall meeting which has afforded us the platform to formally inaugurate the Students Social Registration Awareness mobilisation to be implemented under the office of the Students Social Services Volunteer Scheme.
“As a government, we have not joked about our determination to develop industries and other ventures. We have been able to generate sustainable growth and employment opportunity as well as the social, political and economic inclusion of all strata of the society through our five-point agenda.”
The Governor, while reiterating his unrelenting commitment to ensuring that every Akwa Ibom child is gainfully employed, said: “I shall not rest until all Akwa Ibom child/children have gotten jobs or at least a sustainable means of livelihood. On the issue of your welfare and quality of education, I can assure you that my administration has captured the accreditation of all courses in the state-owned tertiary institutions.”
In his keynote address, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matter and Due Process, Mr Ufot Ebong, charged the students to be prepared and see themselves as the true leaders of tomorrow.
“You have a voice on how you are being governed; you have a voice on what structures are being put in place for your future. Therefore, in order to speak out, you must be prepared so that when people like Governor Udom Emmanuel, Sir Etekamba Umoren and Ufot Ebong leave the stage, you can fill that space. You can’t achieve that by mere wishing, but you have to work towards it.”
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Student Affairs, Otobong Akpan aka ‘Aquila’, in her opening speech, commended the Governor for the inauguration of the Social Service Volunteer Scheme in the Ministry of Environment which will engage the students to collect stipends.
Pastor Paul Alexander Udofia, Commissioner for Education, in his address, charged the students to remain focussed and see themselves as future leaders of Akwa Ibom State.
He also encouraged them to always comport themselves wherever they are because they are ambassadors of Dakkada.
Commending the developmental stride of the Governor in all tertiary institutions in the state, the Provost, College of Education, Prof. Matthew Ekpo, noted that despite all the provisions that are made in schools, the things that are being done by the government, there is something the students need to do for themselves.
He said if provisions are made in the schools and the students do not take the opportunity to handle those things well, it will all mean nothing because it would not be profitable. It is important to understand that even God knows the situation that you are.
Taking excerpt from 1 John 2:13, which says “I write unto you because you are strong, the works of God dwells in you and you have overcome”, Prof. Ekpo reminded the students that God recognises who they are. “He recognises your level, and if you want to categorise, you can talk of the fathers, the young men and the children.
“Except you recognise your strength and channel it in a right direction, you miss it. The energy in young men as recognised by God is very important. Everyone of you has a destiny in his/her hand because of the strength that God has given unto you. Recognise who you are, and because you are strong, channel that energy in the right direction. God expects you to dwell in knowledge. Except you speak, your voice will not be heard.”
“2019 is on the way and it is the students that will gather and say ‘this is the man we want as governor’. Mr Emmanuel is a Governor who understands and we want to follow him because your destiny is with a man who understands.
“Your destiny is not in a man that wants money and is running for money. Governor Udom Emmanuel has seen money before, and so, he is not running for money but for the people of the state. He is running for a second term to take me and you to a greater height.”
Also in his goodwill address, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Udoh, implored the students to embrace the compulsory free and fair education policy of Governor Udom Emmanuel, as government spends over N600 million every year for payment of WAEC fees.
Describing the WAEC certificate as the first meal ticket, Mr Udoh charged the students to take very seriously, as the government of Mr Udom Emmanuel understands that fact.
Highpoints of the event were panel discussion sessions, inauguration of adhoc committees, submission of state of campuses, associations and union reports, goodwill messages, and interactive sessions.
Other dignitaries at the event included the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Education Monitoring, Mrs Idongesit Etiebiet, and various student union leaders.