By James Ezema
Ibiono Ibom people of Akwa Ibom State have endorsed the state governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio, for a second term in office, even as Chairman, Rules and Business Committee in the House of Representatives, Mr. Ita Enang, said Ibiono Ibom people have had its share of dividends of democracy under the Akapio administration.
This was the resolution at the end of its 2009 Ibiono Ibiom Day celebration and Town Hall Meeting with their representative at the House of Enang, weekend, at the Federal Civil Service Club Ikoyi, Lagos.
The annual event was hosted by the Ibiono Ibom Welfare Association, IWADA, Lagos branch, just as the occasion offered the people an opportunity to interact one-on-one irrespe-ctive of status with their representative on a number of issues bothering them both at home and in Lagos.
Present at the gathering were, Mrs Fath Bassey Isangedighi, Head of Administration, Akwa Ibom Liaison office, Lagos, representing the state governor; Mr. Samuel Ekanem, AVP, Bank PHB; Mr. Ise Akpaso, former press secretary to former governor Obong Victor Attah; Mr. Ubon Akpan, among other dinitaries.
past president and Editor-in-Chief, the Beam Magazine; Chief Emmanuel Otu, Mr. Tom James, Chief Uwem Ankak, Barr Cletus Eyo-Udo among others.
High points of the get together included the unveiling of Ibiono Ibom Welfare Associationâ€™s publication, â€œIbiono Ibom Bulletinâ€ and their 2010 Almanac as well as the establishment of a N10 million IWADA Members Initiative for Self Employment (IMISE) micro-credit scheme to carter for members of the Association.
The president of the association, Akparawa (Engr.) Anthony Udoekong said the scheme cover those members in petty trading, craftsmanship and skill acquisition as well as other self employment opportunities.
The group took time at the Town Hall Meeting session to pay for the quick recovery President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua who is currently undergoing medical treatment in a Saudi Arebian hospital even as Hon. Enang maintained that the president like any other human being can get sick.
On those clamouring for official hand over to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan by the president as well as on the House position on the presidentâ€™s health he said: â€œIâ€™m one of those who addressed the press as a member of the Integrity Group and said the president cannot resign. The president, like any other person can have health challenges and he is entitled to go and treat it.
And when the president is out in a just course as in this, there is only one presidential villa occupied by the president and the vice president, the vice president is still there in the presidential villa. So, the presidential villa is not shut down.
â€œThere is no question of the president handing over and it is out of that concern we started this meeting by praying for the health of the president as Ibiono Ibom people.
And if the president stays long, the country is still running that is why weâ€™re calling for institutional building and not personalisation of institutions. So, nothing is wrong with the country, the president is okay. We should all join and pray for him.
According to him, the occasion proved that he was representing his people well.
Hon. Enang said: â€œI take this as a vote of confidence because if they did not have confidence in me the will not tell me come and tell us what you are doing otherwise they will not come and subject me to questioning. I hold the view that as a servant of the people I should be humble. It is I that will respond to my call and not them responding to my call. So, when they called me I had to comeâ€.
He said he had to be at the event because he represents members of his constituency irrespective of their place of residence, whether at home or in other states, saying â€œI attend when they call me Port Harcourt, in Calabar or Abuja. Iâ€™m here, not as favour to them but as part of my constituency relations function.â€
On dividends of democracy to his people under Governor Akapbio administration, Hon. Enang said: â€œThis is the best time for Ibiono Ibom. The governor really loves us. The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, the number three citizen in the state is from Ibiono Ibom, the commissioner for Finance who releases funds when the House approves and the approval of the governor is also from Ibiono Ibom and other personal aids of the governor are from Ibiono Ibom.
Right now, the road contract the governor has awarded in Ibiono Ibom alone is N9 billion and in my entire constituency, the governor has awarded N33 billion road contract. So, any person that says that the governor has not done anything in those area is not patriotic.
The chairman, organising committee for this yearâ€™s event, Barr. Cletus Eyo-Udo said â€œthe forum is significant because this is the only forum where can tell the world how we feel about the government.â€
He extolled the virtues Hon. Enang who, he disclosed, has always identified with the group annually.