COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY UYO SENATORIAL DISTRICT LEADERS FORUM FOLLOWING A MEETING HELD IN UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE ON JANUARY 7, 2018.
Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, in various national and state based newspapers and other media platforms, wherein he claimed among other things that Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District is marginalized by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel. Having objectively reviewed the social, economic and developmental realities in Akwa Ibom state before May 29, 2015 and the prevailing situation in the state occasioned by the performance of Governor Udom Emmanuel since his inauguration, we rise to declare that:
There is no truth in the allegations made by Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio: rightly, they are calculated statements of calumny, blackmail and arm-twisting. The claim by Senator Akpabio that projects he initiated in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District have been abandoned by Governor Udom Emmanuel is not thoughtful.
It heightens the growing public concern about his selflessness and offends the sensibilities of the people in other senatorial districts who live with the relics of various uncompleted yet continuing projects including, the Terminal Building at Ibom International Airport, Ibom Tropicana Hotel, Ibom Specialist Hospital, Eket-Etinan Road, ItakOkoita-Use Ikot Amama Road, etc, left by Senator Akpabio despite the favourable resources he received during the eight years he served as the Governor of the state.
Reality must admit that Senator Akpabio in the eight years as Governor of the state did not even complete and commission one kilometre of road in the core oil producing areas of the state where Governor Udom Emmanuel comes from. It is also pertinent to state that even the Four-Point Sheraton Hotel at Ikot Ekpene which was commissioned by the former governor cannot be called an abandoned project. His Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel has not abandoned any uncompleted project he inherited from Senator Akpabio’s regime; all such projects are being prudently funded and meticulously implemented as funds become available.
This is evidenced in the recent release of funds to Julius Berger for the ongoing construction of Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road project among others, despite the receding national economy and diminishing resources to the state. As a response to Senator Godswill Akpabio’s demands namely “…let us have something from the senatorial district to use in talking about election; to use in convincing the people to stand by us”, we make bold to state that in addition to ongoing genuine efforts to complete uncompleted projects and even execute new ones in line with his administration’s focus, Governor Udom Emmanuel has magnanimously given more quality and choice appointments to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District than any other senatorial district in the state.
These include; the Deputy Governor; Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice; Commissioner for Education; Commissioner for Women Affairs; Commissioner for Youths and Sports; Commissioner for Science and Technology; Commissioner for Rural Development; Commissioner for Labour, Manpower Development & Cooperatives; Commissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs; Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Bureau of Technical Services and Due Process; Chairman State Universal Basic Education Board; Chairman, Ibom Power Company; Chairmen and Members of other key boards and commissions; Senior Special Assistants on Inter-Ministerial Jobs in the state; Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and a large retinue of prime Senior Special Assistants; Special Advisers, Personal Aides and recently, the National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) etc. Even the Ministry of Commerce and Investments which was occupied by our late Sister Prof. Eno Ikpe is now being supervised by a Commissioner from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.
We note that the poser by the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom state and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in quote: “in the 2018 budget, what is the percentage for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District?”, is, sadly, less than a sincere demand for the rights of the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District which have already been appropriately accommodated in the 2018 budget. It is more a part of the well-known behind –the-scene efforts to accomplish his ulterior motives.
For the avoidance of doubt, we hereby state categorically that there is no misunderstanding or problem between Ibibio and their Annang brothers as Senator Godswill Akpabio is attempting to create. It is ironic and unfortunate that the same Senator Godswill Akpabio who is a beneficiary from the age-long unity and togetherness existing in the state that is now fanning the embers of discord and disunity to advance his selfish interests. In the interests of peace and unity For the avoidance of doubt, we hereby state categorically that there is no misunderstanding or problem between Ibibio and their Annang brothers as Senator Godswill Akpabio is attempting to create.
It is ironic and unfortunate that the same Senator Godswill Akpabio who is a beneficiary from the age-long unity and togetherness existing in the state that is now fanning the embers of discord and disunity to advance his selfish interests. In the interests of peace and unity, the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District should caution Senator Godswill Akpabio to desist from making unfounded utterances intended to create ethnic conflicts in Akwa Ibom State to serve his personal benefit. We encourage Senator Godswill Akpabio to respect conventions, values and principles that would sustain the prevailing peace in the state and allow the sleeping dog to lie.
Wisdom dictates that anyone who lives in a glass house should not throw stones. We debunk and disagree totally with the insinuation made by Senator Godswill Akpabio that “all is not well” and declare boldly that it is well with us. We are strongly persuaded that despite Senator Akpabio’s declared fears and, uncertainty in the “route” he will take in 2019, it is well, and shall, indeed, be well with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom state and His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Finally, we hereby reiterate our loyalty, commitment and overwhelming support for the re-election of His Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as the Governor of Akwa Ibom state for a second term come 2019. It is mandatory and the resolve of Uyo Senatorial District Leaders Forum (USDLF) to strongly continue to support His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to complete his two–term tenure so that the Governorship position returns to Uyo Senatorial District come 2023.
For and on behalf of Uyo Senatorial District Leaders Forum: