Abak Five area of Akwa Ibom State was on Saturday agog as the youth honoured Governor Udom Emmanuel and his wife Martha at a grand reception.
The occasion which was held at Abak Township Stadium, Abak, marked the endorsement of the governor for a second term in office in 2019.
Godswill Akpabio, the senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Akwa Ibom, was also endorsed at the occasion.
Abak 5 is made up of Etim Ekpo, Oruk Anam, Ukanafun, Abak and Ika local government areas.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, the elated Governor Emmanuel expressed appreciation to the people for the honour and support.
He announced an electricity pioneer scheme that would ensure uninterrupted electricity to a minimum of two local government areas in the region as well as boost the functionality of the proposed industrial estate in Abak.
His words: “I am going to make sure that by May 29, this year, we are going to launch an electricity pioneer scheme to ensure that minimum of two local government areas in Abak 5 would enjoy steady light and enable the proposed industrial estate in Abak to function properly.”
The governor remarked that his administration’s focus on educational development was to ensure a stable future for the youths, stressing that education held the key to achieving success in life.
According to him, “my target now is for Akwa Ibom to produce to Nigeria, the best student in the next WAEC examination and make sure our youth become captains of industries in the nearest future. We need to groom our young people for excellence.”
He announced that arrangement had been concluded for the establishment of a technical institution to be located between Mkpat Enin and Oruk Anam local governments to offer technical training for the youths.
He assured that the school would commence academic activities before the end of the year.
Emmanuel reiterated his commitment to the establishment of the first bamboo fibre factory in Africa, mentioning that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had expressed eagerness to inaugurate the project, which would be sited in the Old Abak 5 division, later in the year.
He assured that efforts were in top gear for the completion and inauguration of Ukanafun General Hospital, adding, “In the meantime, I promise you that in the next three months, the hospital in Ikot Okoro, would be fully functional.”
The state’s chief executive said his administration was consolidating on the developmental achievements of his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, explaining that the infrastructure development witnessed in the state, was to sustain the industrialisation drive of his administration.
Wife of the governor, Martha, who hails from the region, was full of appreciation to her kindred, assuring of more developmental projects in the area.
“What your in-law, the governor, did within the last three years, was only a tip of the iceberg, I promise you, he will do more.”
The State Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, also a native of Abak, described the governor as a highly detribalised individual, stating that the Annang nation was happy to identify with the achievements of his administration.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Barrister Onofiok Luke, said the large turnout of people at the event, was an indication of the wide acceptance of the governor in the senatorial district, expressing hope for continuous endorsement of the governor across the state.
Luke, who was represented by the House member for Oruk Anam State Constituency and House Leader of the State Assembly, Sir Udo Kierian, said he was proud of the governor’s superlative leadership.
He noted that with delight, his efforts at sustaining peace and security in the state and pledged support to ensure that normalcy was restored in the few communities with security issues.
He maintained that the massive development in Akwa Ibom, was the result of the cooperation existing between the Legislature and the Executive arms of government.
He assured of continuous cooperation for the overall wellbeing of the state.
In his goodwill message, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said his presence at the event was to witness the unprecedented crowd at the venue to appreciate God’s benevolence in the state through the governor.
He thanked the people for using the occasion to endorse him for a second term in the red chamber.
Senator Akpabio, who is representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District at the red chamber, remarked that his constituency projects were aimed at complementing the efforts of the governor.
He spoke about some of the projects he undertook and expressed confidence in the re-election of Governor Emmanuel, come 2019.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion and National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem, said the reception was a tradition of the people of Abak 5 to honour one of their own in position of leadership.
Enoidem, who described the governor as a worthy in-law, stated that the rally was organised to celebrate the governor and wife for their contributions in brightening the landscape of the state and Abak 5, in particular.
While commending the developmental strides of the governor in the state, the former commissioner said that the people were delighted at the governor’s zeal at implementing the five point agenda of his administration, assuring of victory in the re-election in 2019 with voting strength of over 300, 000 registered voters in Abak 5.
In their separate goodwill messages, D.I.G. Udom Ekpoudom (Rtd); a former minister, Chief Senas Ukpanah; Special Adviser to the Governor on Co-operative and Rural Development, Mrs. Ekemini Umoh and President, Abak Division Youth Movement, Prince Akpan Ikim, expressed appreciation for the governor’s good deeds in the area.
They pledged the unalloyed support of the people of Abak 5, for the continuation of the present administration to enable the completion of its developmental agenda for the state.
The mega rally which attracted top government functionaries across the state, traditional rulers, clerics, socio-cultural organisations, women and youth groups, also featured massive defection of members of the opposition party in the state, to the ruling party, PDP .
Notable among them was the former director general of the party’s campaign organisation in the state, Obong Sunny Udom.