There was wild celebration in the city of Ndiya, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, on Friday over the reopening of Udua Odiong.

Praises also rained on the Councilor representing Ndiya Ward 2, Pastor Hon (Mrs.) Anne Abraham, for reconstructing the 42-store market for her people.

Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Pastor Umo Eno, who performed the commissioning ceremony, said that the Councilor has done what most Local Government Chairmen cannot do even till the end of their tenures, adding that it takes only those with goodwill to do what she has done.

He stated that the performances of the Councilor in the community since she assumed office one ago, are commendable and worth emulating by all public office holders.

Pastor Umo Eno cutting the commissioning tape

In his word: “Let this be a challenge to other councilors including the Councilor representing my ward, no matter how small.”

The Commissioner thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for providing enabling environment for development to thrive.

He emphatically stated that “The administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel has favoured us. Any officer saying that ‘mkpo ibaha’, that person is a thief.”

Also speaking, member representing Etinan, Nsit Ibom, Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, described Anne Abraham as a selfless leader who he said has denied her family of luxury living while meeting the desire of her community.

“I love to be identified with good things that is why I’m here. I came here to celebrate good works, performance, achievement and selfless service. That is what we need. I heard about the unity football tournament and other things she has done.

“When God chooses you out of many and places you in leadership position at any level, you have to serve the people selflessly, and not to acquire resources or build empires around yourself. You are to do good to people because that is the only way we can have peace in our communities.”

He announced N1 million grant for market women, and solicited corporation with the Councilor and Council Chairman to maintain peace for development to thrive in the area.

Earlier while setting the tone for the occasion, the Councilor gave appreciation to God for giving her the enablement to execute the monumental project, and thanked the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and his wife, (Dr. Mrs.) Martha, for giving women opportunity in governance.

She said revitalization of Udua Odiong, which was an outstanding market in this part of the country, but had been abandoned for over 50 years with heaps of debris, has been a longstanding yearning of the people for trading.

Pastor Hon Anne Abraham

“While we acknowledge the immense efforts made by the State government in meeting the yearnings of the people, we recognize that each tier of the government has a role to play, and I resolved to do my part, to fulfil my calling and to build on the legacy of giving back to our people.

“It’s worthy of note and to state here that this project is funded and executed with my very little earnings without any financial support from any quarters.

“I want to announce here that the market shall be rent free, as a token of my appreciation to the people, except the Local Government Tolls Collection on major market days of Fion-Aran.”

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Pastor Anne also thanked her husband, Rt Hon. Abraham Abraham, for providing the much-needed assistance during the hectic period, saying “Without your proper guidance, we might have lost track of our work and would not have completed the project in the desired time. We appreciate the moral support which helped us maintain our enthusiasm.”

It would recalled that barely two weeks after taking oath of office as Councilor, Pastor Anne who doubles as the Chief Whip of Nsit Ubium 7th Legislative Council, flagged off the first ever Unity Football tournament which recorded a huge success in maintaining peace and unity among the four communities in Ndiya Ward 2 – Ikot Akpanofuk, Ikot Ukap, Usung Inyang and Ikot Ewang.

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Still in her bid to practically sustain the existing peace and unity in the community, she used the occasion to announce a 5-day Ndue Eduo Afia Nsit Aboo Unity Festival scheduled to commence from 29th December 2021 over 2nd January 2022.

In his goodwill messages, the Oku Ibom Ibibio and Paramount Ruler of Nsit Ubium Local Government, HRM Edidem Solomon Daniel Etuk, who was represented by Ete Idung Ekom Jonathan of Ikot Ukap, expressed satisfaction over the performances of the Councilor in the community.

Speaking on behalf of village heads of the four communities in the ward, he said “We are proud of Pastor (Hon.) Anne Abraham, for taking this bold step,” and thanked the Governor for giving her the opportunity.

Ete Idung Ekom Jonathan

On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security Matters, Capt. Iniobong Ekong (rtd), while announcing cash grants for market women, stated that “There are two types of political fights – fight of contest for election and fight of governance. Now that PDP has fought to build a market, let other parties also do something.

He called on all citizens of Ndiya to join hand with the Councilor to build and sustain the existing peace in the community and indeed the local government and the state at large, adding that “If Anne is able to come up with this barely one year in office as Councilor, that means there are a lot in her mind for her people.”

Capt Iniobong Ekong

Also in his goodwill message, Leader, Nsit Ubium Legislative Council and Councilor representing Ubium North 1, said “I’m indeed proud of my fellow councilor over the execution of this great project. This place used to be a forgotten zone, but she has brought it back to life. I pray other councilors tab into such grace.”

A chat with market women led by Mrs. Esther Solomon Okon, showed overwhelming joy as they showered praises on the Councilor for lifting their plight and ameliorating their living standard by giving the market a facelift 50 years after it was abandoned and turned into a dumping site, and prayed God to strengthen her to continue to better the lots of her people.

The ceremony was welled attended by notable and well-meaning indigenes of Ndiya, women groups such as Gifted Ladies Network, Nkopitem Iban, and Udua Odiong Traders Association.

©Umoh-Obong Kingsley


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