By Umoh-Obong Kingsley | 

The people of Ibom Plaza community, a tourist paradise in Akwa Ibom State, have commended the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, for his excellent performance within the last two years since he assumed office in May 2015, and declared their support for him come 2019.

They gave the commendation on Wednesday, 1st November when the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Akparawa Charles Udoh, paid a working visit to the Ibom Plaza where he interacted with traders on issues bothering them.

Speaking on behalf of the traders, the President of Ibom Plaza Community, Mr Ambrose, thanked the Commissioner for the visit and expressed appreciation to the Governor Udom Emmanuel for reopening and restoring activities at the tourists’ edifice on assumption of office in May 2015, after it was shut down for almost four years.

Describing him as a friend of the poor, he said: “We suffered for four years but Governor Emmanuel brought hope back to us and restored our joy barely three months after he took over the mantle of leadership. Therefore, we want to assure him that he has our support come 2019 and beyond.”

The Vice Chairmanship candidate for Uyo Local Government, Amb. Udeme Emmauel Ukai, informed the Commissioner that there are no more touts in the Plaza community, saying that all the people selling at the plaza are law-abiding citizens going about their lawful businesses, and that they all in full support of the Udom Emmanuel-led government of Akwa Ibom State under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform.

Responding, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh, said that Governor Emmanuel is committed to safeguard the lives of traders at the Ibom Plaza.

According to him, Ibom Plaza is very important to Governor Emmanuel because the people have imbibed the Dakkada spirit and risen to the faith of greatness. “Rising to the faith of greatness does not imply that you must work in an office. The likes of Aliko Dangote do not have more than one head just as all of us. He did not start in an office, but he started it small as you are doing.

“I am on a working visit today to check the activities at the Ibom Plaza community, interact with you concerning your welfare, and take the report to the Governor, because he is a people-oriented Governor. He has the welfare of his citizens at heart and brings governance to the people.”

Mr Charles Udoh further stated that Governor Emmanuel is committed to encouraging and empowering everyone to grow their businesses in order to interpret his dream of job creation and wealth creation as included in his five-point agenda. By so doing, poverty rate will be reduced to its barest minimal.

The Information Commissioner, who went round to check the activities of the traders, urged them to stay away from roadside trading to avoid unwarranted circumstances. “I want you to desist from selling by the roadsides to save your life because a moving vehicle can lose control and you might be a victim. Let us have a structured market where people can move in and find whatever they need to buy.”

The Commissioner assured that government will do everything possible to reactivate some of the faulty facilities at the Plaza including the LED screen which happens to be the hub of information in Akwa Ibom State.

At the newspaper stance, the vendors said that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s excellent performance has brought about reduction in negative reportage by some local papers.

According to them, those used to write against have been forced to reporting in favour of the government due to the wonderful leadership qualities witnessed in the state.

Speaking on the activities of people selling by the roadside, causing low patronage for other traders selling at the Ibom Plaza, the Info Boss said: “We will not encourage illegal trading. We will do everything possible to stop people from selling by the roadside. Government has designated a market place for everyone, let’s use that place and stop illegal trading.”

He charged the people to take advantage of the the booming opportunities emerging from the various industries that Governor Emmanuel has created in the state, saying that they can benefit from them reselling the unsold national dailies to the Pencil and Toothpick factory as well as supply bamboo sticks to the factory which are some of the things used for the production of the pencils and toothpicks.

Also speaking, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr Essien Ndueso, commended the Commissioner making history in state as he, according him, is the first commissioner to sit and interact with the people within the plaza community without being prompted.

He charged the people to be proactive in information dissemination because “that apart from newspapers, radio and television, the most important means of communication lies within ourselves. Interpersonal communications sink more.”

Mr Ndueso also urged them to report any government primary and secondary school principal who collects any fee from any pupils or students because government has declared basic education in state free and compulsory.

Ibom Plaza is a tourist paradise, sitting in center of the beautiful and culturally rich Uyo city, was designed and built in 2001 by the then Governor, Obong Victor Attah, to provide a first class relaxation centre for the locals. It is notable as the heart of Uyo. It features a sitting arena modeled in line with the gothic Greco-Roman arena with a giant elevated screen for football and sports enthusiasts beamed through satellite.

The Ibom Plaza accommodates shopping Malls, a medical centre, bustling business centres, parking lots, game centres, art shops and eating centres for families and friends to spend their leisure.

Also present at the event were Bassey Samuel, Manager, Plaza Media Unit; Street Governor, Akparawa Engr. Charley Ekah, and other personnel.

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