Cleanliness they say is next to Godliness. Perhaps, that is why in Akwa Ibom, the monthly environmental exercise is taken seriously. In this report, UMOH-OBONG KINGSLEY, examines the efforts of Gov. Udom Emmanuel to keep the state clean and concludes that it is yielding results.
The November edition of the environmental sanitation exercise in Akwa Ibom State took another dimension, in a bid to maintain and sustain the status of the cleanest state in Nigeria, as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Marketing and Brand Management, Mr. Sam Edoho, joined the monitoring team to ensure indigenes of the state took full part in the exercise.
Mr. Edoho, who accompanied the Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr. Iniobong Essien, together with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimoh Nwoko, as well as other members of the environmental sanitation monitoring unit in the state, stated that the action of Gov. Udom Emmanuel in introducing the monthly sanitation exercise has been justified with the formal recognition of the state as the cleanest in the nation.
He particularly commended the Governor for introducing the exercise upon assumption of office in 2015, saying that it has placed Akwa Ibom in the global map as the cleanest state in Nigeria, according to a recent report released by a non-governmental organisation, Clean-Up Nigeria (CUN).
“I want to thank Governor Udom Emmanuel for introducing the monthly environmental sanitation exercise. When he introduced the exercise, a lot of people criticised it, but today his action has been justified with the formal recognition of Akwa Ibom as the cleanest state in Nigeria.
“The level of compliance is very high as every Akwa Ibom son and daughter came out to clean his/her immediate surrounding and environment. That is a testament to the character of the average Akwa Ibom person who is a clean and decent individual, as found in some of the qualities that we preach in Dakkada – hard work, decency, integrity and excellence in everything we do.
“The fact that we are number one in Nigeria in terms of cleanliness is a testament to what the Dakkada philosophy has done in Akwa Ibom State.”
He noted that it was not an accident that under Gov. Udom Emmanuel Akwa Ibom was rising from one level of greatness to the other including being the most peaceful state and the 1st after Lagos in attracting FDI into Nigeria.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uwemedimoh Nwoko, on his part, said he was impressed with the level of compliance at the exercise, adding that Akwa Ibom people have exhibited the character that sets them out as very clean people.
According to him, when cleanliness becomes part of character and tradition, there will be no need to force people to obey it, and that is what is being witnessed in the lives of Akwa Ibom people.
“As of today, Akwa Ibom remains the cleanest state in the nation Nigeria and we are very happy to maintain that credential and want to do everything to ensure that it is sustained.”
Nwoko thanked Gov. Emmanuel for setting the pace in terms of cleanliness, crime fighting, character and conduct of the Akwa Ibom people, saying every Akwa Ibomite knows that it is necessary to return the Governor for a second term come 2019.
On the issue of street trading especially around the Plaza axis, the Attorney General disclosed that there is a synergy between the Transport and Environment Ministries working with other agencies to ensure that street trading around Ikot Ekpene Road axis and other locations in Uyo is completely terminated to restore sanity and cleanliness of the environment within the Uyo metropolis.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr. Iniobong Essien, thanked the people of Akwa Ibom State for taking part in the exercise to keep their environment clean, saying that the level of participation was quite encouraging and satisfactory.
He said that some uncompleted buildings where hoodlums use as haven where they run to when they dispossess the general public of their valuables, have been discovered, and would be converted to move some of the street traders to sale their wears.
The Commissioner also hinted that there would be a competition in the month of December to look at the cleanest streets around the Uyo metropolis, and that some prizes and gifts would be given to the first, second and third cleanest streets, courtesy of the State Gov., Mr. Udom Emmanuel.