Let Us March To Greatness
Fellow Akwa Ibomites, my wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel and I bring you our warm greetings. Exactly six months ago, you entrusted your destinies into the hands of the Divine Mandate and as the symbol of that Mandate, I had pledged to you to be your servant- leader.
Six months down the line, I am happy to address and assure you that the ship of Akwa Abasi Ibom State is in safe and steady hands. The horizon is clear, the vision rock-solid and the spirit is alive and well. A new dawn has descended upon us- a dawn of hope, of faith in our capacity to be great, a dawn of unity and brotherliness – a season of endless possibilities and we should celebrate this new spirit.
My dear people of Akwa Ibom State, as I address you today , I remain grateful for the trust you have bestowed on me, humbled by the task at hand but mindful of the sacrifices borne by our founding fathers for a great State.
As the Custodian of the hopes, aspirations and dreams of this generation of Akwa Ibomites; as the current holder of the Divine Trust which binds our destiny in eternal covenant to the God of our fathers; as an instrument of God’s plans and purposes for our generation, I solemnly declare to your dear brothers and sisters – the great Akwa Ibom people that the mandate you freely gave me six months ago rests in the Secret Place of the Most High. It rests here because it was a Divine Mandate. This solemn declaration comes because I had pledged to brief you periodically on that sacred mandate, knowing full well that power belongs to you, our great people of Akwa Ibom State.
We, as a people, are waxing stronger and greater in spite of the slew of court cases we had. These cases, which challenged how you elected, (and your authority to elect) your leaders you will not see them again tomorrow . We are not fazed or deterred in our drive to work for you, our dear people. When God ordained David King of Israel, the House of Saul rose against him. The Good Book says that David’s House grew stronger, while the House of Saul grew weaker. This has played out in our time as God has increased the strength of His people, while those who sought to truncate God’s mandate have grown weaker.
Let me restate before God and the blessed people of this State that I came with a clean heart to serve God and my State with every ounce of energy in me. Be rest assured that, by God’s grace, what you freely gave, I will protect with the God-inspired zeal. That was why when the Election Tribunal gave a judgment, which tended to exclude many Akwa Ibom people from the Divinely-inspired revolution, which ushered in this administration, we appealed. We know that in any fair contest between light and darkness, light will always win; and in any contest in our State, Divine Mandate will always triumph. Akwa Ibom people will always win and put those who collaborate with outsiders, who covet our resources, to shame. Akwa Ibomites know which side their bread is buttered. We are not afraid of any re-run, because our people are solidly behind us.
But it must be said that we do not hold anything against those who went to court. It is within their rights to do so. As a matter of fact we are both chasing dreams. The difference is that they are chasing their own selfish dreams; while we are chasing the dreams of Akwa Ibom people and our posterity.
Do not believe the satanic propaganda that those who wish to mortgage your commonwealth have been spreading in their local tabloids. I am firmly in charge of this State as your Governor and by the special grace of God, will remain your Governor for the next four years and beyond. Don’t forget, this is a Divine Mandate, and God’s own invisible hand is in control.
When the judicial process is over and our victory again, re-affirmed, we expect our brothers and sisters to bury the hatchet and come and join us to build a greater Akwa Ibom State. We must know that we do not have to see eye to eye in order to walk hand in hand. We are brothers and blood should be thicker than politics. Relationships built over decades should not be sacrificed over the fleeting impulse of partisan politics. Political foes of yesterday may become political allies tomorrow.
To the youths, I charge you to unite and rise to the faith of greatness. Think of Ufot Ekong! He solved a 30-year old mathematics puzzle and wrote his name in Fame. The same DNA, which Ufot has, is in you. We are a brilliant people, and I am proud of each and every one of us. We only need the opportunity to unleash our great potentials. I promise you this is what I have come to offer. What Ufot has done, you can do. Rise to the faith of greatness. ‘Dakkada’.
Those who oppose my administration have claimed that we are an appendage of the last administration. That is not true. We are an improvement on the last administration. The last administration took us out of Egypt to the Jordan River. This administration is taking us across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. There is no perfect administration. But to be fair to the last administration, it initiated programs, which increased our self-esteem as a people and earned us respect. We have leveraged on this and we have taken our people to new heights of superior performance. This administration is here to lift us up above those people who once underestimated us.
It is a sad commentary on our politics that people who were a part of the last administration for seven of its eight years would now turn around and demonize the administration. They claim that the administration was wasteful, irresponsible, corrupt etc. and this sound like cutting your nose in order to spite your face. You cannot absolve them of hypocrisy without convicting them of self-indictment. Such talk cannot and will not fool Akwa Ibom people because you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time. When they lie to you, ask them the source of their wealth, and what investment they made to become wealthy and super-rich.
I therefore, call on all to see the hope of our greatness and choose love over fear and unity of purpose over conflict and discord. Our forebears knew that the Ibibio, Annang, Oro and indeed, all Akwa Ibom people were of one stock and one ancestry with a shared destiny. They knew that together, walking hand in hand, no foe could defeat us, no river could be too wide for us to cross and no mountain could be too high for us to climb. Why are we not proud of this heritage? Why can we not follow their example? I challenge you to arise to the faith of unity-Dakkada.
We are committed to industrialization and infrastructural development. We have had several ground breakings for new industries and resuscitated ailing and moribund ones. From LED factory to automobile, and fertilizer plant to others, industrialization is on its wings in our State. Peacock Paints has come alive again. But I must say here that industrialization is a process and not an event. We will spare no effort to ensure the effective and lawful execution of our industrial drive. I solicit you rise up (Dakkada) and give us your hand of support.
We gladly declare to you that our superior performance curve is rising higher. Our people are enjoying regular electricity and areas like Okobo Local Government have benefited from our intervention. I was touched when Okobo Electricity Maintenance Committee, in a letter signed by its Chairman, Chief Effiong Edak Ekong, thanked me, for “restoring power supply in Okobo after many years of blackout, which had caused socio-economic hardship and under-development.”
We are providing clean water in our efforts to stem the spread of water borne diseases. We have revamped all sectors including health. St Luke’s Hospital, Anua, and Ibom Specialist Hospital are examples. We have undertaken several road construction projects across the state. This state is now a giant work site, and we should all be proud of this.
My dear citizens, when we rolled out our first 100 days achievements, some cynics went to town to mischievously misrepresent us. From the outset, we inaugurated Technical Committees to help drive our developmental efforts. I am happy to report that they have lived up to their billings.
They have attracted high investments to our State. They have helped us evolve a second planting season. We are developing coconut plantations and hope to process coconut into over 360 uses scientifically. The actual commencement of the Ibom Deep Seaport is gathering momentum.
On road construction the 3.5 km Ikot Udom road with a 15m span bridge in Ibiono Ibom local government Area is on course. The contractors are making good progress with site clearance and excavation works at 75%, while pilling and construction of bridges are ongoing. Major progress has also been made with the emergency works on roads in Oron. The contractor is set to deliver the project within the specified time frame. The same can be said of the ongoing construction of the Nto Edino-Ekwere Azu Road with 2 bridges, measuring about 45 meters in Obot Akara.
Contractors handling the construction of 3.5km Ikot Udom Road with 15m Span Bridge in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area are fully on site and work is in advanced stages of completion. The dualization of 23.4km Eket-Etinan Road with 3 bridges is on-going, while the construction of bridges on the road have commenced in earnest.
Eket- Ibeno Road dualization, spanning 19.5 km with 4 bridges is at 53% state of completion, and the work is progressing. We are embarking on the construction/re-modeling of selected roads in Eket, which would include strategic roundabouts and junctions in Eket metropolis.
In Uyo, the construction of Uyo underground outfall drainage from Nsikak Eduok Avenue through Akwa Efak to the Tropicana is at advance stage. The dualization of Uyo-Etinan road with a flyover and water fountain at Etinan roundabout and the dualization of the 23.8km Uyo-Oron road Airport road-Okpedi-Oron Road by East West Road with 60m span bridge in Odobo are set to commence.
Other road projects of my administration include construction of 5km Ikot Usop – Ikot Edeghe – Ikot Ekpuk Road with 30m Span Bridge in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area and construction of 5km Mkpok-Okat Road in ONNA Local Government Area. These will all be completed in record time.
Other achievements of my administration include, but not limited to the following: Construction of 1.2km Underground Drainage in Uyo; Over 50 foreign investors have indicated interest in coming to setup shops in Akwa Ibom State; Emergency Intervention on Gully Erosion at Enen Atai along Calabar – Itu Highway; Emergency Intervention on Gully Erosion at Independence Hall area in Abak; Payment of ten years arrears of pensions and gratuities to primary school teachers and local government employees; Resumption of work on Ikot Ekara-Ikot Ebritam Road; Electric Meter manufacturing Plant underway in ONNA; Clay Processing Plant underway in ONNA; Establishment of Sports Academies in the 10 Federal Constituencies; 1000 Youths for Oracle Certification Program; Power Sector training for youths; Special Agricultural Training for 100 youths in Israel; Approval for the training of 329 youths in photography and film production
Therefore, as we move forward, let mischief, hatred and divisive tendencies be replaced by unity, love, and good neighborliness. We owe this to our children, not to build a society where mutual suspicions are worn like badges of honor, but to build a State where oneness of spirit binds us in a symphony of love and unanimity of purpose.
Let us all be conscious that posterity will judge us on what we did for Akwa Ibom and not what Akwa Ibom did for us. Let us choose the right side of history. Let us be enveloped in the all-embracing umbrella of love and greatness as characterized by the principles of ‘dakkada’.
My fellow Akwa Ibomites, I urge you all to be steadfast in our efforts to keep the peace and stability at all times. We must create the right atmosphere where everyone, men, women, the youths, the old and the young will have the opportunity to live out the endless possibilities that God has imbued and embedded in us all.
Therefore, I, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, your duly elected Governor, the keeper of the Divine Mandate, pledge and guarantee you that I will continue to work hard to improve your living condition. So help me God. God bless Akwa Ibom State, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Atangakpaniko Essien Ndueso
Uyo, Akwa Ibom State