By Kenneth Ehigiator
LAGOSâ€”Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has declared his intention to seek a re-election come 2011.
The governor, who spoke in an interview at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, last night, also said he had never, for now, nursed any ambition of seeking any higher office in the country.
He said the people of the state have prevailed on him to seek a second term in office, adding that he had succumbed to pressure from them.
â€œMy people will call on me to go for second term and have already called on me and I have agreed to go for second term,â€ Akpabio told reporters.
He said by the time he spent three years in office by June next year, he would have completely overwhelmed his people with developments and dividends of democracy.
Akpabio said: â€œIn the area of road construction, we are second to none in this country. In the area of health care delivery, Iâ€™ve stopped many pregnant womenÂ from dying. I declared free medical treatment for pregnant women in Akwa Ibom State .
â€œNow, people no longer die in churches or herbal homes. All these have been eliminated in the state and women are now safe. You can be sure now that if you have 1000 women going for delivery, they are sure to come back alive. In the past, because of lack of money, people went to churches and to traditional homes for child delivery.
â€œI also declared free medical treatment for children under the age of five. With this, I have stopped also infant mortality. Also, we have declared free medical treatment for the aged, from 65 years and above, and that has saved a lot of our retirees.
â€œ Again, Iâ€™ve built five brand new hospitals, one of them is a state-of-the-art specialist hospital sited right in Uyo. And then, with the five brand new hospitals,
Iâ€™ve addressed the issue of marginalisation and the problem of lack of facilities in remote areas that are on the fringes.
â€œTwo hospitals are constructed in areas that were hitherto could not boast of any clinic. Those two hospitals are going to be ready by the end of this month.â€
The governor said he had also re-equipped over 80 primary health care centres across the state, adding that no fewer than five major hospitals in the state had been renovated in a way that they now train health officers.
According to him, the state government has increased ante-retroviral drugs at the centres in Akwa Ibom to well over 24 to cater for the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Continuing, he said â€œI have done many bridges and repaired over N18 billion federal government roads in the state.
â€œIâ€™ve built flyovers in Uyo and completed over 208 urban roads in Uyo. As I speak now, about 49 roads have been completed in Eket. Something like that had never happened before in the state.
â€œSo, I donâ€™t know the area you want to look at. In the area of education, I declared free and compulsory education. Akwa Ibom children are no longer housemaids and house boys. They have all returned to face education.
â€œIn the state, we have tripled school enrolments. Iâ€™ve renovated over a thousand schools as I speak now and Iâ€™m building over 1, 400 classroom blocks across the entire state.
â€œToday, most of our children that were destitute and some that were carried away through child trafficking to Angola and Gabon are back and they are in school. The joy is that there is now hope for the future. My children are happy that government has given them hope.
â€œEven, in the area of education, we are paying subvention, we are paying N100 per child per term in the primary school to the headmaster and N300 per child per term in the secondary school to the school principal to ensure that education is totally free in the state.â€