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There is no gainsaying that prosperity in the endeavours of men comes from putting God first and obeying his commandments. In Matthew 6:33, it is stated 'seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and all other things shall be added unto thee''. A quick reference point is the tempo of growth and development in Akwa Ibom State today under the able leadership of Chief (Dr.) Godswill Obot Akpabio. Since his assumption of office in 2007, the Governor aside his statutory official duties, has dedicated his personal life and the life of his administration to service to God. The Governor in 2007 shortly after assumption of office granted a micro-credit facility of N100m to the Christian Association of Nigeria in the State which has uplifted the economic status of members of the various churches and also, in his service to God, the governor introduced and maintained a monthly prayer meeting in the Government House. This is in addition to a yearly interdenominational service which is usually conducted at the beginning of every year at the Ibom Hall Grounds, since the inception of Governor Akpabio's Administration in the State. These important events acknowledge the significance of placing God first in the affairs of men and have been the secret of the unrivalled transformation spree that has placed Akwa Ibom on the global map as the emerging economic hub in the Gulf of Guinea in the last seven years.

Recently, the Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel led some Government functionaries to the United Evangelical/Qua Iboe Church in Atabong Eket. The Occasion was the annual Eket Superintendency Day celebration of the church and the fund launch of the Superintendency Secretariat Project. As both a consistent principle and preaching in his life, Mr Emmanuel made no mistake about proclaiming the need for steadfast and diligent service to God. Mr. Udom Emmanuel who stunned the congregation with his presence, having just arrived from an official engagement in Lagos, admonished people in the Church on the need to maintain a culture of diligent service to God and submissiveness to God's direction. The State's Scribe linked upliftment in peoples' lives to reward from God which He freely gives to those who serve him diligently. He unequivocally called for the people of Akwa Ibom State to strive to bear good fruits in accordance with the teaching of Jesus Christ as contained in John 15. Emmanuel, a guest speaker at the ceremony took time to incisively appraised the theme of the Church's Superintendency Day Celebration which coincided with his unexpected visit: ''The Lord Needs It'', and taking his reference from the biblical book of Luke 19, he described the physical attributes of christians in the context of donations needed to aid the propagation of the Gospel, as well as the spiritual attributes which include surrendering one's heart for service through preaching and ministering of the Gospel of salvation around the world. The worshippers at the church were moved by the open disdain by the Preacher cum public servant, for people who deliberately shy away from contributing physically and spiritually to the service of God. He acknowledged physical and spiritual contributions to the service of God as what God constantly desire of His people.

In recent times, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has come under the sledge hammer of hired media scavengers who although unable to fault his temerity and focused stewardship since assumption of office about 10 months ago, have tended to peddled obvious and outright falsehood against his person.

If further inferences are to be deduced from his epoch speech at Qua Iboe Church Atabong, then the current persecution of the Chief Scribe by few detractors, is all together to be expected after all. This is because, where there is this level of divine direction to a people, there is bound to be people whose role is to ask questions(criticize and condemn), just as the disciples of Jesus were asked questions in their quest to get a colt for their Rabbi. There is always a challenge before the commencement of steadfast and diligent service to God most especially when it involves taking a people along within a community of people. Such has to be expected and any person divinely inspired should be more concerned and fully convinced of the resultant impact and benefits that will accrue to the community of people, than he is about the vain questions being raised. These instruction and anticipated experience as contained in the biblical book of Luke 19 : 30 â€' 31 suffices as a good illustration. Jesus Christ in the bible portion sent two of his disciples to go, untie and bring to him a fresh colt. Christ expected that people who will see the disciples untying the colt will ask discouraging questions and it actually came to pass. This was a challenge against that Divine directive.

The immeasurable faith and belief in God by the State's Chief Scribe is not unconnected with his parental background and upbringing. Born into a Preacher's family in Awa Iman in Onna Local Government Area, there is no doubt that his has been a life of dedicated service to God. His largely unblemished personality which can be evident in his meteoric rise to the echelon of his profession can attest to the practical reality of what he represents. No one therefore can be in doubt on why a Divine â€'driven and service-oriented Governor Akpabio readily found in Udom Emmanuel, a dependable ally in the Akwa Ibom project, especially at a time when men are seeking answers to mind bugging questions on 2015.

As already seen, Akwa Ibom State has had it so good in the last seven years due to the constant resort of the Chief Executive to seeking and involving God in the affairs of the State. The State will be better for it if further development initiatives are evolved under divine inspiration and direction. On this undebatable note, it would be utterly unbecoming if the people of the State totally yield themselves to only asking questions and refusing to be convinced by the divine answers offered to their questions. Just as the people in the bible allowed themselves to be convinced of the answer the two disciples of Christ gave and allowed the fresh colt to be untied and taken to Christ, it is expedient and logical that Akwa Ibom people should allow God's Divine direction to answer the puzzles on their minds.

The state government after due consultations with the people and following series of activities of seeking God's face has proclaimed that in 2015, the direction of the mantle is Eket Senatorial District; therefore the few people still enmeshed in uncertainty should cease asking questions and find assurances in the Book of Isaiah 9:6 which says that unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and he shall be called Emmanuel which means God is with us in Akwa Ibom State.

As firm Christians, Akwa Ibom people should desist from being bystanders, passive watchers, and media critiques, and be active to the clarion Divine call that every hand and support is required, if we must truly realize our dream of the Akwa Ibom project.

Written By Essien Ndueso

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