Day Akwa Ibom Traders Pledged Support to Gov Emmanuel
By Essien Ndueso |
March 1, 2018 remains a very significant day for traders and indeed the entire Akwa Ibom people. For the first time in the history of the state, traders came together to celebrate the lofty policies of a sitting governor and offered to buy his reelection campaign materials.
For traders in Akwa Ibom, it was a time to resolve in open glare that Governor Udom Emmanuel remains the most traders-friendly Governor in the country, for fulfilling his promises to them and as such, deserves their support for another term in office.
The event was a rally at the Etaha Itam Market, Itu within the precinct of the Uyo capital development authority. It also marked the launching of the second phase of the state traders interest-free loan scheme.
However, if Governor Emmanuel’s plan was to get to the market, dish out the loans and go back home quietly, he was completely taken by surprise by what he saw on the first day of the 3rd month of the year.
The market commonly known as Urua Itam, came alive with traders from all over the state, converging to celebrate Governor Emmanuel for his carious policies that have afforded them a new lease of life.
Speaking, the President, Market Women Forum Association and Women Leader, Akwa Ibom Traders Association, Magdalene Udom, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Etak Itam Market, Elder Godwin Ebong, and the President of Ibom Timber Dealers in their separate goodwill messages, expressed appreciation to the Governor for keeping his campaign promises to both the traders and cooperative societies in the state.
They all said that traders have benefited from his administration, especially the interest-free loan scheme, ticket-free day to the traders and appointment of a trader as his Special Assistant on Traders Matters.
In an endorsement across border, the Chairman, National Association of Abia State Traders, Mr Emeka Ikhana expressed delight in the rapid infrastructural developments recorded in the state, and lauded the Governor for his pact with traders.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Trade Matters, Akparawa Idorenyin Raphael, thanked the Governor for lifting the sufferings of traders in the state, saying that he has done more than his campaign promises in 2015.
The traders, he maintained can only be better off, if Governor Emmanuel remains as their governor beyond 2019.
The Governor in his response thanked the traders of the state for their support to him and promised to continue providing enablers for the successes and growth of businesses in the state.
He charged beneficiaries to ensure prompt servicing of the interest –free loan, maintaining that this will enable the scheme to revolve to other intending beneficiaries and announce a donation of a bus to the leadership of the women association of the traders.
While urging the traders to reciprocate government gesture by mentoring younger traders to grow, Governor Emmanuel promised to sustain more trader-friendly policies throughout his administration.
He further promised the traders of his administration’s commitment in tackling the challenges of the traders and directed the Commissioner for Works to immediately commence work on the drainage at the Etaha Itam market.
Commissioner for Finance, Mr Linus Nkan explained that the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise loan is one of the numerous schemes of the Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration which aims at building entrepreneurship and support to the expansion of sustained indigenous businesses of Akwa Ibom people.
The Chairman of Itu Local Government Area, Barr. Etetim Onuk, in his welcome message, congratulated the Governor for the well-earned endorsement by Akwa Ibom State traders, and stated that the people of Itu LGA are solidly behind his second term bid.
The current interest free loan scheme involves 5000 benefiting traders, with a total of N300 million floated by the state government, with each beneficiary getting between N100,000 to N500,000 while cooperative organisations get as much as N1m each.
Obviously, the traders had more than a thank you to express to the governor.
“I stand here to declare that Akwa Ibom State has witnessed a turnaround in various areas including infrastructural and human development, result-oriented policies leading to the establishment of home-grown industries that have contributed to a reduction in unemployment rate.”
Highlight of the event was presentation of cheques to beneficiaries of the loan urging them to ensure that the money is put into good use.
The show of support to the governor did not escape the attention of the state PDP Chairman Obong Paul Ekpo who had some kind words to the grateful traders.
The event was graced by dignitaries including Senators Effiong Bob, Anietie Okon; leaders and members of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly; Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem; local government chairmen, traders associations and cooperative societies and other government functionaries.
One striking lesson from the action of the traders is the renewed zeal by people in the state to return gratitude to God and appreciate the Governor. It is a reflection of the reinvigorated dakkada spirit, which has brought about the thank you spirit in Akwa Ibom people.
As Governor Emmanuel’s people oriented leadership continues to endear him to different shades of opinion in the state, it is gradually becoming crystal clear that when the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoice.