Akwa Ibom Govt. to maintain working relationship with Royal Fathers
Akwa Ibom State government has reiterated its commitment to raise the standard of living of traditional rulers in the state.
Governor Godswill O. Akpabio who stated this while swearing of the 23 rd Chairman of the State Council of Chiefs in Uyo, Okuku Uwa Umoh Adiaka 111 (who is the paramount ruler of Obot Akara), also lauded the existing cordial working relationship between the government and the royal fathers.
Akpabio emphasised the importance of traditional institution to the growth of the society particularly the rural areas and stressed need for the government to reposition and develop the rural areas to check rural-urban drift.
He congratulated the new chairman on his appointment and pledged to work together for the development of the state, saying ''government values the existing cooperation and wants it to continue''.
Chief Akpabio advised the chairman always consult on other out-gone chairmen to tap from the wealth of their experience in order to enjoy the respect and cooperation of others and to ensure the growth of the institution.
The Governor commended the out-going state chairman of the council of chiefs, Edidem (Dr) T. P. Enodien, for bringing his intellect and experience to bear on the traditional institution in the state and for writing a book entitled Royal father, Royal son.
He announced a donation of N5 million to the book launch and directed local government councils in the state to buy many copies of the book and give to their subjects.
Akpabio used the opportunity to call on Akwa Ibom people to register during the voters registration exercise to enable them to vote for candidates of their choice during the general elections in 2011.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Obong Paul Ekpo thanked the governor for donating Sorento jeeps to paramount rulers, and brand new Toyota Yaris cars to the clan heads, increased stipends and improved welfare package to the royal fathers.
Obong Ekpo hinted that the state government has signed a total of 176 certificates of recognition to clan heads and 169 to village heads while the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has completed processes for additional 83 certificates of recognition to traditional rulers .
Okuku Adiaka111 in response said he was overwhelmed by his selection and lauded the symbiotic relationship between the government and the royal fathers.
The state Chairman while pledging their readiness to work with the governor and other royal fathers to ensure the speedy development of the state reiterated their call on governor's continuity beyond 2011.