Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel, yesterday at a colourful ceremony held at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo formally declared his intention to run for a second term in office as the governor of the state.
The governor who used the occasion to present a scorecard of his three years of ‘servant leadership’ in the state, based on his 5point agenda that had won him the mandate in the first instance, scored his administration high across all sectors of the economy.
He noted the giant strides he had made in the area of industrialisation and the enormous benefits that has delivered to the people, noting for instance, “things we used to import from China and other places, today we produce them here.” Among the industries the administration has established in the state so far, include: the multi-million-dollar Jubilee Syringe Factory in Onna, reputed as the largest producer of disposable syringes in Africa, the Toothpick and Pencil factory, the fertiliser blending plant in Abak, The Metering Solution Company, the Coconut Refinery, Flour Mill and the plastic factory, amidst a host of others.
Emmanuel equally acknowledged the gains he has made in the area of power supply, noting that his administration has invested heavily to upgrade power infrastructure and development of new ones such as the substations in Uyo and Ikot Ekene and the first digitalised substation in Ekim, Mkpat Enin Local Government Area which he said, would reconnect some long forgotten communities to stable electricity supply, once it is commissioned. The governor noted with satisfaction, “these investments have seen a steady increase in electricity supply throughout the state”, adding “Akwa Ibom people currently enjoy 18 -22 hours of electricity supply daily.”
Governor Emmanuel listed other live-changing programmes his administration had embarked upon in the last three years in the areas of healthcare, education, and human capital development especially in the specific areas of youth and women empowerment such as the micro-credit scheme for traders. All these, the governor said, his administration has achieved even amid dwindling allocation from the federation account, adding that he has placed the welfare of Akwa-Ibomites above all else such that salaries, gratuities and pensions are given prime attention. His words: “I have oper ated a Christ-centric government, I have led a people-centric government. I have worn humility as a badge of honour, believing that power comes from the people.” Based on all these, Emmanuel said, he has decided to surrender himself for a fresh/renewed mandate from the people, noting that if he could achieve so much in three years, there was need to use the next four years to consolidate on the gains of the first tenure.
“I am here to say that we are going on a second term to surpass superior performance.” Speaking earlier, the first indigenous Military Administrator of the State and Director of the Divine Mandate, the governor’s electioneering machinery, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd) who set the tone for the day’s event said, “All that we have is Udom Emmanuel. Democracy is about choice. This is our choice.” In his goodwill message, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke said, “Akwa Ibom is PDP and PDP is Akwa Ibom. There’s nothing anyone can do about it. Udom is the people’s and God’s choice”, warning those who say election is war and plotting to capture the state; “We will resist it with the last blood in our veins”.