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Sammy CHARLES

When Deacon Udom Emmanuel birthed on the political soil of Akwa Ibom state, not many had faith in his capacity to deliver.

Some rallied round for purposes of political expediency, others thought he will put on the lens of his predecessor by erecting his own white elephant projects and other abracadabra roads construction and very few, who were very close to him knew he has the midas touch and they campaigned for him with zest.

Some persons may have supported the aspiration of Deacon Udom Emmanuel for the wrong reasons but they have decided to stick with him to 2023 and beyond for the right reason.

As we enter into another phase of full blown campaigns where an incumbent seeks reelection as it happened in 2002 and 2010 we should let our score cards speak for us. Not scorecards of violence.

It could be recalled that activities leading to the reelection of ex Governor Godswill Akpabio in 2010/2011 witnessed an unforgettable era of brigandage, bloodshed and death. Among others, Group Captain Sam Enwang and wife, Engineer Iniekong Udonwa and mother, General Edet Akpan and church members and even Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe and scores of supporters at Ikot Ekpene are yet to recover from such traumatic and tragic episode.

Fast-forward to 2018 where Deacon Udom Emmanuel has been allowing the opposition to use state facilities for rallies and campaigns unlike what obtained in the past where government officials in the era of former governor Akpabio denied opposition political parties the use of state facilities for their campaigns and rallies, citing order from above.

Let us leave brigandage and state sponsored anarchy and lawlessness aside and market our achievements for it is only when one has nothing to offer that there is a recourse to simulated anarchy.

From my personal assessment, and from the opinion of majority of Akwa Ibom electorates, including Senator Ita Enang, who had said on so many platforms that governor Udom’s achievement is premised on the funds he gets from President Mohammadu Buhari, it is apt to conclude that even the leadership of APC shall vote for him.

Below are some (sectoral) achievements of Deacon Udom Emmanuel;

ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE Over 1700km of roads (including Information Drive, Uyo), 35 bridges, Completion of the State Secretariat Annex, Construction of 2nd airport Runway, Upgrade of Airport main runway to category 2, Only state to own & maintain an airport independently, Flood control at Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo, ongoing 21 Storey modern Office Complex.

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EDUCATION, Free & compulsory basic education in public schools, Take-over of 7 community secondary schools and others are being processed for take – over, Construction and Renovation of more than 62 school blocks, Strategic interventions in tertiary institutions – roads, equipment, academic blocks, etc, Procurement & distribution of free text books & other educational materials, Subventions to public primary & secondary schools, Over N600 million WAEC fees for indigenes in public secondary schools annually, Upgrading of Akwa Ibom state college of Arts & Science, Nung Ukim, Ikono to College, of Science and Technology.

INDUSTRIALIZATION, Syringe Manufacturing Factory (Largest in Africa), Pencil Factory & Toothpick factory, Electric Digital Metering Solutions Manufacturing Factory, Resuscitation of Peacock Paint Industry, 153+ mw Ibom Power Plant & 3 sub-stations, ongoing Flour Mills and Coconut Refinery, ongoing Ibom Industrial Park/ Jetty, Plastic Manufacturing Factory, Fertilizer Blending Factory is also ongoing.

MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT AND WORKERS’ WELFARE:, Payment of outstanding pensions and gratuities to retired workers, Regular and prompt payment of salaries and entitlement to public servants, Release of backlog of promotions from 2012 to 2014 affecting 10, 352 public servants.

Implementation of immediate switch –over from salary payroll to pension payroll system for retirees as well as training of public servants for effective service delivery.

Recruitment of 4, 761 Teachers into the Education Sector Spanning through Primary, and Secondary School Teachers, Polytechnic and College of Education Lecturers as well as into other critical areas.

AGRICULTURE
11,000 hectares coconut plantation, 1,600 hectares cassava plantation in 15 LGAs (FADAMA), 4,920 registered rice farmers, 450 youths trained on cocoa maintenance. Subsidized fertilizers, oil palm & cocoa seedlings.

Akwa Prime Hatchery – 10,000 day old chicks weekly. Free Improved Corn seedlings. Vegetable Green houses, Cultivation of about 2,100 hectares of cassava in partnership with World Bank under.

FADAMA III Additional Financing Project, using farmers co-operatives. Ongoing construction of 33No. Cassava Micro-Processing Mills.

Training of 300 youths under the Graduate Unemployment Youth Scheme (GUYS. Each will be empowered with one million naira to embark on any agricultural enterprise. Construction of 1No. Tractor Hiring Enterprise (AEHE) Centre with 4 No. tractors, and 14 No. implements delivered. So far 75ha of farmland has been ploughed, harrowed and ridged through the Centre.

Refurbishing of Cassava Processing Factories located at Ikot Okudom, Eket LGA; Nung Udoe, Ibesikpo/Asutan LGA and Ikot Ekang in Abak LGA and leased to private operators for the production of high quality garri, odorless foofoo and cassava flour.

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Procurement of 600,000 bags of fertilizer to farmers in the State. Planting of 500 citrus seedlings, 600 hybrids plantain suckers and 1,000 pineapple suckers at the Horticulture Garden, Wellington Bassey Way in Uyo LGA.

Rural Development
Over 300 rural development projects across 31 LGAs. Over 400 inter-ministerial rural intervention projects. Ongoing rehabilitation/construction of over 500km of rural feeder roads.

HEALTH
Free medical services for children below 5 years, pregnant women & the aged and over 25 Containers of state-of-the art medical equipment for our hospitals.

Construction & upgrading of secondary healthcare facilities across the state. Reconstruction and equipping of General Hospital, Etinan. Reconstruction of Ituk Mbang General Hospital. Reconstruction of Ikono General Hospital.
Reconstruction of Ikot Okoro General Hospital and ongoing reconstruction of Awa Cottage Hospita.

Relief for over 4,000 mal-nourished children. Free screening & treatment of over 15,000 people for various eye diseases.

Training of 20 Biomedical Engineers. Provision of residential quarters for 48 House Officers in the State Hospitals and 50 in the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH).

Accreditation for Schools of Nursing, with 272 Registered Nurses. Training and Certification of 100 Doctors and Nurses in Basic Lives Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Lives Support (ACLS) with Medical Emergency Experts from the USA.
Procurement of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and Electrocardiograph (ECG) Machines for use in Emergency Response (now fitted in all our ambulances).

YOUTH EMPOWERMENT & CAPACITY BUILDING
Over 20,000 youths trained in various skills• Ongoing Construction of 10 Modern Sports Centre• N2bn interest free loan for small scale entrepreneurs and traders. First and Second Akwa Ibom State Youth Sports Festival.

Through sound financial planning, investment and management; Akwa United won Nigeria FA Cup twice in 3 years. Ibom Angels emerged runners up 2017 Nigeria Female FA Cup (The first time a female team from the state has ever qualified for the finals of a major national competition).

Team Akwa Ibom finished 2nd on the medal table at 2017 National Sports Festival. Akwa Ibom received three Excellence Award on Sports Development from the Federal Government. Renovation/reconstruction of Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Eket and other Sports Stadia in the State.

Promotion and sponsorship of 4 state football teams namely; Akwa United, Akwa Starlet, Ibom Angels and Ibom Youth FC.

SOCIAL WELFARE:
Care for over Eight Hundred (800) Orphans and less privileged children in the five (5) Government Homes. viz:
– Special Children’s Home, Uyo, Divine Children’s Home, Uyo, Correctional Centre, Uyo, Shelter Afrique Transit Camp, Uyo and Government Children’s Home, Ikot Ekpene. Some of them are presently in higher institutions.

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Provision of N200,000.00 grant each for about 500 women organizations across the 31 LGAs to enable them leverage on the public-partnership Initiative of the State Government.

Provision of N50,000.00 grant each and wrappers for about 600 widows across the 31 LGAs to boost their businesses and alleviate poverty.

Provision of N50,000.00 each and wrappers as well as food item for about 350 mothers with multiple births across the 31 LGAs in collaboration with the office of the wife of Governor of the state.

Implementation of the Child Rights Law through prosecution of Child’s Rights offenders in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Judiciary and Ministry of Justice, Security services, Police etc. the cases include: Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Child Abandonment and Trafficking, Maternal/Paternity issues, Rape, Baby Factory Operation and Disinheritance.

Over 200 cases have been recorded since 29th May 2015 and about one hundred and twenty (120) have received judgment while some offenders had served their jail term.

Yearly Evacuation, Rehabilitation and Re-integration of street Lunatics. Sensitization Campaign against Child Abuse, Child Trafficking, Child Abandonment and Baby Factory in the state.

Donation of over two hundred (200) wheel Chairs and one hundred (100) Special Writing Desks for physical challenged persons in tertiary institutions and secondary schools.

Training of 20 visually impaired persons (the blind) in different skills at the Nigerian Farm Craft Centre, Lagos and subsequent empowerment for them to start up their businesses in the development trade learnt.

Sponsorship of 155 widows to Jerusalem (Pilgrimage) led by Her Excellency, the Wife of the Executive Governor. The Women thanked God for the State as well as prayed for the development of the State.

Donation of wrappers to over 2,000 members of Market Women Frontline and Financial Empowerment to widows registered with the Ministry.
This writer cannot exhaustively feature the comprehensive achievements of governor Udom Emmanuel since they are avalanche in conception, execution and commissioning.

Yes, let us campaign on achievements and not on propaganda, for our people are enlightened and educated enough to know the difference between a performer and a gangster and our people are aware that the great and uncommon teacher is still afraid of his former deputy and his former SSG that were disgracefully hounded and hunted out of their offices like common criminals.

Sammy Charles is the Chairman Consolidated Chapel of the NUJ AKS Council and can be reached at sammi_charles@yahoo.com

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