LET US MARCH TO GREATNESS

TEXT OF BROADCAST OF HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. UDOM EMMANUEL GOVERNOR, AKWA IBOM STATE ON THE OCCASION OF HIS SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE

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 times 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 our 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. Relationship 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. We chose
not to be distracted by wrestling with pigs. 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 Edouk 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 suspicion
are worn like badges of honor, but to build a State where oneness of
spirit binds us in a symphony of love and oneness of spirit.

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 us 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.

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