Thousands of Christians in Akwa Ibom State, last Sunday, converged at the Banquet Hall grounds, Government House to thank God for ushering them into September, the anniversary month of the State.
The event which was preceded by a one-day fast declared by the government, signalled the commencement of activities to mark the State’s anniversary celebration.
In his remarks during the event, Governor Udom Emmanuel expressed appreciation to God for his benevolence to the state and its people.
According to Gov Udom, “Akwa Ibom has several reasons to be grateful to God as the state clocks 32, pointing to landmark achievements including infrastructure, security and industries to create employment and generate wealth and boost the state economy.
The state chief executive stressed that it has been by Divine Grace that Akwa Ibom is reckoned as the most peaceful state in the country.
“At Thirty-two, the state has attained adulthood and could cater for itself and that calls for the celebration of the state’s creation anniversary on 23rd September with pomp and ceremony.
” The anniversary will feature the commissioning of Digital Electrical sub-station, a first of its kind in the country, the king’s flour mill and the plywood industries as well as inspection of some secondary health centres equipped with high definition digital facilities”.
Gov. Udom said that the commissioning would be performed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, while some of the road infrastructures will be inaugurated by President Mohamadu Buhari.
He said by the grace of God Akwa Ibom would become a destination of choice with the Ibom Air the state-owned Airline, dual carriage roads and many other infrastructures scattered across the state.
These reasons, he maintained, justifies the thanksgiving and noted that the theme, ‘For I believe God’, taken from Acts 27 verses 25 is very apt because God has lifted the state from economic doldrums to an economic hub and with the coming on stream of the Deep seaport the youths would be gainfully employed and the businessmen and women would have what to do to earn a living.
Gov. Udom thanked the fathers of faith for their sacrifice of love by waiting on God to give guidance and blessings to the state and the people.
He said he believes that the same God who made the vision of state creation in our forebears actualized their dreams with the creation of Akwa Abasi Ibom state and urged the people to close ranks against dissenting voices but to focus on Only God who according to him is not an Author of confusion.
Earlier, during a Special Leadership Summit held at Banquet Hall, Government House, Uyo, the Governor remarked that initiative for the development of the state to its enviable height is not the responsibility of the government alone and called on all critical stakeholders to collaborate to change the narrative and make Akwa Ibom a state with distinction.
The Summit had in attendance members of the State Executive Council, members of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, Local Government chairmen, Leaders of Local Government Legislative Councils, youth and women groups, religious and traditional rulers.
The State chief executive said that he was highly impressed by the turnout and thanked the Guest Lecturer, Pastor Gbile Akanni, for the knowledge imparted.
According to him, everybody has a part to play ranging from the family, the society, the schools and the churches in the orientation of the people to embrace positive values with the fear of God.
Gov Udom frowned at the new wave of vandalism and theft of electrical equipment across the state with the connivance of some security operatives who take the equipment to other states thus frustrating the genuine intentions of the government to provide electricity to all nooks and crannies.
He said some of the thieves have been caught and they are helping the police track down the stolen items.
He also took a swipe on those who abet theft of hospital equipment in some of the remodelled hospitals, describing the perpetrators as enemies of the state who for greed and selfishness mortgage their conscience for ill-gotten wealth and stressed that the full weight of the law shall be meted on the culprits.
Gov. Udom also reiterated that the ban on a masquerade is a sequel to acts of violence perpetrated by the masquerades to unsuspecting members of the society.
He, therefore, called on parents, church leaders and all stakeholders to be vigilant and to carry the message of righteous living to all parts of the State and to report any unruly acts to law enforcement agencies for deterrence and possible apprehension.
In a related development, at the Thanksgiving and Reception Service in honor of the Head of Service, Elder Effiong Essien and family at the Lutheran Church Nigeria, Obot Idim,Ibesikpo Asutan local government Area, Gov. Udom Emmanuel announced that government will construct a pedestrian bridge across the Aka-Nnung Udoe Road to aid pedestrians to cross the busy dual carriageway.
He acknowledged the contribution of the Lutheran church Nigeria to the development of humanity through the establishment of schools, hospitals and other humanitarian services, which has helped in raising men who have impacted the society posit.