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ACTING PRESIDENT’S VISIT TO AKWA IBOM STATE, A HARVEST OF GAINS

-EKONG SAMPSON

 By: Edifon Abasi-obot

The visit of the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN to Akwa Ibom State has been described as a harvest of gains for State.

Special Adiviser to Akwa Ibom State Governor on Political, Legislative Affairs and Water Resources, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Ekong Sampson while interacting with the media after the visit, reflected on a statement he made earlier in that day of the visit, on a Planet FM live radio interview, that the Acting President took Nigeria to Akwa Ibom and then Akwa Ibom to Nigeria.

The Acting President, according to him, was impressed that the State is making giant strides in industrialization and diversification.

Barrister Ekong Sampson also said the visit showed that Akwa Ibom could be one. He pointed that people put aside their political differences, hugged freely and demonstrated a pan Akwa Ibom outlook. “It was on occasion when policy triumphed over politics,” Ekong Sampson added.

The Special Adviser said Akwa Ibom took advantage of a critical encounter with the power valve to come together and posed Akwa Ibom question.

Enumerating on concerns that were articulated, he recounted issues like relocation of ExxonMobil Headquarters to Akwa Ibom State, ALSCON, Ibom Seaport, reimbursement of State Government funds spent in fixing Federal roads, federal opportunities for Akwa Ibom people, upgrade of Maritime Academy in Oron among other issues having a lot of bearing on the Akwa Ibom milestone, well beyond the party matrix.

It could be recalled that the Honourable Special Adviser had earlier set the tone for reception of the Acting President by saying that Akwa Ibom people are known for their warmth and best of behaviours, and that the visit was not a political rally, but a State visit and ought to be approached from a pan Akwa Ibom perspective despite Political Party identities. In the statement, he also said His Excellency the Governor of Akwa Ibom State had put in place enough measures to ensure a smooth and rewarding visit.

Scoring the visit on the whole, Barrister Ekong Sampson described it as one of the most welcoming, fruitful and worthwhile for the State, as the Acting President Osinbajo was taken through Akwa Ibom and Niger Delta issues without unfruitful, party-based distractions.

 

By the visit, the acting President took Nigeria to Akwa Ibom and took Akwa Ibom back to Nigeria. The visit was a critical encounter to the power valve and a harvest of good result for Akwa Ibom. The Vice President came face-to-face our range of concerns.

The visit of the Vice President to Akwa Ibom State was a good state visit which opened a lot of opportunities for the state. What really emerged during the visit was that as a people, we could speak with one voice, putting aside political differences. What we found was a pan-Akwa Ibom perspective. Principally, the state came together to articulate common concerns that will advance the fortunes of the Akwa Ibom person. What played out during the visit was the triumph of policy over politics. It was victory for Udom Emmanuel, Victory for Akwa Ibom and victory for Nigeria.

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