Freed from the distractions of election petitions and other political intrigues, Governor Udom Emmanuel seems to be now fully focused on his agenda
By Chioma Onuegbu
THE commissioning and inspection of projects across Akwa Ibom State was the major activity that characterised the celebration of the 2016 Democracy Day by the Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration.
The commissioned and inspected projects included those initiated by the current administration as well as those inherited from the immediate past administration.
Among those commissioned within the period were 6.6 kilometer urban roads/outfalls in Oron, 1.1 km Information Drive, Atan Offot Uyo; internal roads at Cornelia Cornelly College CCC, Uyo; Medical Emergency Operation Centre, Ikot Ekpene; and the 3.5 km Ikot Udo Road, Ibiono Ibom LGA.
Also commissioned within the period were Akwa Prime Hatchery, Mbiaya Uruan; State Secretariat Annex, Staff Medical Clinic and Government Mechanical & Electrical Workshop, Uyo as well as Sports Centre at West Itam Secondary School, in Itu.
Ongoing projects inspected by the governor and his team include the second runway at the Akwa Ibom International Airport, Idiba-Nda Nsit-Nung Udoe Road; Sports Academy Ikot Mbong, in Onna LGA; 5km Ikot Usop-Ikot Edeghe-Ikot Ekpuk Road with 30 m span bridge; 6.6 km road in Attan Offot; 6.4 km Nto Edino-Ekwerre Azu Road in Obot Akara; dualization of Eket-Ibeno Road with four bridges; dualisation of Uyo-Etinan road and the 1.2 km underground drainage along Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo.
Akwa Ibom indigenes and stakeholders have expressed optimism that the current administration led by Emmanuel is committed towards fulfilling his electioneering campaign promises and 5-point agenda as demonstrated in the milestones in the last one year.
In the opinion of Barr Uwemedimo Nwoko, Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General, the greatest achievement of the Emmanuel administration is winning 95 percent of the people’s confidence.
He observed that political inclusion by the current administration is one milestone that has contributed to a large extent in reducing the negative agitation that had characterised the political atmosphere of the state especially just before and after the elections.
He said, “If it were to be in a country where you have reliable public polls, you would have found that the governor’s rating from day one up to now has risen up to 95 percent and that is a mark in the light of a new government. The first thing a government has to do is to work in such a way that you can earn the confidence of your people and the governor has earned the confidence of Akwa Ibom people.
“The governor has been able to bring non-friends of the government into the fold. And if you notice the voice of negative agitations has reduced to the barest minimum between the time that we were at the tribunal and now.
Attitude of the people
“Now when you go into the streets the attitude of the people is different towards the governor. To me that is good for governance, because it allows for stability and concentration. That to me is a milestone achievement of this government.”
Nwoko further explained that the current administration has consolidated and improved existing infrastructure inherited from the previous administration in terms of road infrastructure and expansion of urban character of the state.
“The last government picked Ikot Ekpene LGA as centre for development in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district. This government has picked Eket in Eket senatorial district as an urbanized centre. There is massive road network and urban activities going on in Eket District now. You have the dualization of Eket-Ibeno road with about three bridges; you have construction of roads and major intervention in erosion menace within Oron area.”
The deputy governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo recently at a public event had disclosed that the current administration has singularly promoted the enthronement of mass prosperity through its industrialization and poverty reduction policies.
According to Ekpo, “Such policies have found expressed manifestation through the various financial empowerment (packages) to several vulnerable groups who have benefited from micro and medium scale enterprise loans as well as the provision of wealth creation tools to our people.
“As a practical step in this direction, the state government had offered N200,000, each to women NGO’s in the state while the Governor also flagged-off interest free loan facilities to the first batch of one thousand traders in the state.”
On his part Obong Sunday Okon Akpanowong, stakeholder of the People’s Democratic Party in Ibeno local Government Area could not hide his excitements over the interventions by the Emmanuel government in his area in terms of location of industries and completion of one side of the dualised Ibeno-Eket Road abandoned by the last administration.
According to him the current efforts of government have not only endeared the people to the governor but have given them reason not to feel aggrieved and marginalised anymore.
He said, “Udom’s administration has given my people hope to look forward to a brighter future. We have hope in the industrialization that he has brought into our communities, and with all that we now have reason to embrace peace and encourage his government to succeed.”
Oliver Cromwell, a security expert in Uyo, said he has no doubt that Emmanuel will perform beyond the expectation of the people, while arguing that PDP governors still has the aces in terms of good governance following their long years of experience in the country.
The anniversary celebration provided an opportunity for Governor Emmanuel to reaffirm and reassure the people that not even the current economic realities would deter him from fulfilling the promises he made when he declared his intention to run for the governorship race in October 2014.
In his anniversary broadcast he said: “Lord take us where we belong” Emmanuel noted that several efforts have already been packaged towards the actualisation of his vision and agenda for the state.
“By God’s grace in each of these five areas we have scored monumental successes in just one year. Look around you and the evidence of enlarging our tents abound in what we have achieved in one year. My prayer today as we mark this anniversary is that God will continue to lift us up where we belong” , he said.
Former Governor Gabriel Suswam, and former military governors of Akwa Ibom state were among the dignitaries that were in the state to mark the democracy anniversary.