Express Satisfaction With The Performance Of The Senate President

The Campaign Ward Coordinators for Godswill Akpabio in the 2023 Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District election recently came together to pray for Senator Godswill Akpabio to mark his one year as the Senate President.

In a solemn assembly held on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District Constituency Office in Ikot Ekpene and attended by all the 108 Campaign Wards Coordinators from the 10 Local Government Areas of the Senatorial District, the group thanked God for the successes recorded by the Senate President in his one year in office and prayed God’s guidance, protection and boundless grace upon him to continue to pilot the affairs of the 10th Senate as President and Chairman of the National Assembly.

The group also expressed satisfaction with the Senate President’s successful and impactful one year in office and thanked him for justifying their support and that of the electorates by living up to the expectations of the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and Nigerians.

According to the group’s Coordinator-General and anchor of the Solemn Assembly, Prince Bartholomew Ekpenyong, the decision to meet was in recognition and celebration of what God used them, as foot soldiers, to do during the 2023 Senatorial election and to also pray for the Senate President, Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio.

“We decided to come together as a group to pray for our dear Senate President and to foster unity and togetherness amongst us as the closest people to the grassroots, and to strategize further on ways and means of expanding the support base of the Senate President”, Prince Ekpenyong said.

Also speaking at the event, the group’s Adviser, Hon. Oscar Udom, enjoined the Coordinators to believe in the group’s unity and always remember to pray for the uncommon Leader, the Senate President. He added that God’s blessings await them as the Senate President is a promise keeper and transformational Leader who will remember their unflinching steadfastness by rewarding them through employment, appointment, or empowerment.

Other Key officers of the group who were part of the Solemn assembly include Hon. Anthony Tom – Deputy Coordinator, Dr. Emaitoro Nseyo – Secretary General,  Aniefiok Ogwu – Publicity  Secretary and Akanimo Sam – Director of Mobilization.

It is noteworthy that these Campaign Ward Coordinators are the men, who did not only mobilize votes from the units and up to the Ward collation centers but also stood firm to defend the votes that ensured the victory of the Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio in the 2023 Senatorial election.


  … TC Members Accuse Chairmen Of High-handedness, Poise For Showdown   The last has not been heard of the recent visit of the projects verification team set up by the Akwa Ibom governor, Pastor Umo Eno,  to ascertain the level of development in the respective Local Government Councils.   Even though the governor has extended the tenure of the local government transition committees, following a resolution by the House of Assembly to that effect, recently, tongues are still wagging on the discovery by some of the committee members.   Members of the team to Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, led by Hon Otobong Bob, deputy leader of the State Assembly and member for Nsit Ubium State Constituency, to Local Government Councils, were shocked to their bone marrow, when they met face-to-face with the chairman of Etim Ekpo, Mr Ekpuk Eshiet and his transition committee members.   Things were going on smoothly with the chairman, Eshiet, reeling out the numerous projects and programmes he has done within the past six months.   The  various projects and programmes were catalogued in a book form and distributed to all present. But the bubble bursted when the committee members sought to also hear from the transition members.   Pentecost Paul,  a member of the transition committee, representing INEC Ward 2, now AKISIEC Ward 3, could not pocket what he termed, “the lies and falsehood put down by the chairman as his scorecard.”   There were attempts by the chairman and his “boys” to shut him down but the chairman of the verification committee said, in a democratic setting, such as what is being practiced in Nigeria, everybody has the right to speak on any matters of public interest.   Paul, who is also the supervisor for information, said he was not opting to speak to disparage the council chairman but to put the records straight to free his conscience and that of a vast majority of members of the transition committee on one hand and the people of Etim Ekpo, on the other hand.   He told the verification team that, since their inauguration,  the TC  Chairman has never mentioned the actual amount of money coming to the Local Government Council to them as critical stakeholders in the local government system.   Paul also told the bewildered verification committee members that, contrary to claims by the chairman of a very united house, things were not well in Etim Ekpo Local Government Council. He said the chairman was running an autocratic government, sidelining members of the TC in the planning and execution of some of the projects and programmes he had listed.   Paul told the verification committee that, the council boss, Eshiet does not get approval from the transition committee for any project or activities, as demanded by law.   “Members of the TC do not know how much is being appropriated for any project, how much has been released and what is the balance.   “The Chairman conceives the projects, he is the contractor, in cohort with the vice chairman, Mr Aniekan Dan. They are chairman, vice chairman, the supervisors and everything,” adding that, “There has not been any appropriation for anything in the council since they assumed offices six months ago.”   “Some of the projects in the scorecard are false eg. The Police station road and the market road which was graded by the secretary of the transition committee,” Paul continued amidst thunderous ovation and nods of approval by most of the committee members and Etim Ekpo people, who were in the Council Hall.   As if he was doing “his job” as the supervisor for information, the youth activist told the verification committee that, even if he leaves the TC because of his vocal disposition, he will be happy that he was not part of the “fraud and charade that is going on in Etim Ekpo Local Government Council.”   He further said that, members of the TC including the secretary just sited the scorecard for the first time and that a critical look at the scorecard, shows that the pictures of the people commending the chairman were “his personal assistants (PAs) and cousins,  who have technically taken over the powers of the transition committee members.”   Other observations by Paul were: “That the youth corps members lodge was not necessary and even if it were, less than 10 rooms would have been enough.   “That the chairman does not have a cordial relationship with his members and does not support the committee members to bring dividends of democracy to their respective wards.   “He shouts at members during Finance and General Purposes Committee, (FGPC) meetings and also threatens any member, who dares to ask questions especially on finances.”   Paul, while commending Gov Umo Eno for being a transparent, upright and compassionate leader, said Etim Ekpo would have been better if the council chairman understands that, the TC members also have a stake and responsibility in the day-to-day running of the council.   “The people  of my ward nominated me and the governor graciously announced me as a member of this committee. All of us members of this committee are critical stakeholders because as we are here, we have individual and collective responsibilities to ourselves, our wards, our people and our consciences,” the information supervisor stressed.   He appealed to the chairman and members of the verification committee to use their good offices and remove them from the “fangs of a dictator, selfish and greedy chairman.”   The council chairman, Eshiet, apologized to the chairman of the verification committee and promised to turn a new leaf.   The verification committee chairman, Bob, commended Paul for bringing to their knowledge the “other side of what is happening in the council,” and promised to make his inputs in the report the committee will present to the governor.   Bob emphasized the need for council chairmen to carry their committee members along, unite and bring development projects to the people, adding that, “a house divided against itself, cannot stand.”   It was the same story in Eastern Obolo Local Government Area. The verification team led by the commissioner for information, Mr Ini Ememobong, was shocked to hear from the committee members that the council chairman, Mr Bills Nango was running a One-Man affair.   Our correspondent report that, members of the TC including the council secretary said, they were not carried along in the day-to-day running of the council.   They appealed to the committee to come to their rescue.   Ememobong commended the TC members for being vocal and advised the chairman to put his house in order.   The council chairman, pleaded with the TC members to forgive his “excesses,” promising to make amends.   More reports on other local government councils will come in our subsequent editions.


  In a heartwarming display of gratitude, four constituents, recently, stormed the Osongoma residence of the Member representing Eket/ONNA/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal Constituency, Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, to express gratitude to him. Hon. Etteh facilitated their employment as registered Nurses and Midwives into the University Teaching Hospital. The constituents are Idorenyin Otu Eshiet (Ibeno), Florence Clement Jackson (Esit Eket), Martha Cliff Bassey (Ibeno) and Grace Okon Jeremiah (Esit Eket). Hon. Etteh is the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on University Education.

Investments in CNG, LNG infrastructure critical for Nigeria’s energy security – Ekpo

  Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo on Friday said investments in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities are pivotal for Nigeria’s energy security soliciting the partnership of private sector investors in developing these critical infrastructure. Ekpo stated this at the commissioning of the 3.1million metric tonnes standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) CNG and groundbreaking of 5.2MMscfd Liquefied Natural Gas LNG facilities undertaken by Tetracore Energy Group in Ogun State. The Gas Minister commended the management of Tetracore Energy Group for committing funds into CNG and LNG projects saying their investment are “essential steps in enhancing Nigeria’s energy security.” Ekpo states, “the development of CNG and LNG facilities are critical components of Nigeria’s strategy to diversify energy sources, promote cleaner fuels, and ensure energy security for our people.” Continuing he said: “Natural gas is a pivotal element in the global transition towards more sustainable energy systems, providing a cleaner alternative to traditional fossil fuels, while supporting the integration of renewable energy sources. The use of CNG in transportation will reduce our reliance on imported fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with our commitments to the Paris Agreement and our national climate goals. These projects will drive economic growth, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for our citizens.” Ekpo restated President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the creation of an enabling environment that encourages investment in the gas sector. This includes implementing favourable policies, providing incentives for infrastructure development, and ensuring regulatory frameworks that promote efficiency, and sustainability. He expressed the optimism that Tetracore Energy Group’s projects will serve as a catalyst for further investments in the gas industry, fostering innovation and enhancing the country’s energy infrastructure. “It is through such initiatives that we can achieve our shared vision of a prosperous energy future for Nigeria,” he said.  


… Celebrates Staff and Learners   It was a celebration galore, Wednesday, at Sumscript Schools, a Daycare, Nursery, and Basic education school, located at number two Phenson Street, Off Esuene Street, Federal Housing Estate, Abak Road, Uyo.   The board and management of the school, rolled out the drums to celebrate their staff and learners, for emerging victorious, beating several other long-standing schools at the highly competitive just concluded AKBC Children Quiz Competition for over forty schools drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state, to clinch the third position.   The school, known for its core strength in teaching mathematics to learners, was represented by Daniel Benson, Emmanuel Eyo, Deborah Ime, Eleanor Umoh, Samara Smith, Jenny Owen, and Destiny Idongesit.   The head of the school, Mrs. Anyanime Ernest, congratulated the teachers and learners for the feat, saying, in line with the qualitative education demand of the Arise Agenda of the Akwa Ibom governor, Pastor Umo Eno, Sumscript Schools has positioned itself, using best practices and methods to simplify and demystify Mathematics to learners, piquing their interest and understanding of the subject.   While commending the school staff for their efforts in getting the learners prepared for the competition, Ernest lauded the state governor on his commitment to improve education in the state. He appealed to him to extend such gesture to private schools.   She advised parents to enroll their treasured children in Sumscript Schools and enjoy the privilege of a sound, qualitative and standard education. The school head encouraged all present to strive for excellence in all their endeavors.   The Chairman of the board of directors of the school, Mr. Ernest Akpan, who presented certificates of recognition to the learners that represented the school and cash prizes to deserving teachers, said he was proud to identify with them on the success.   Akpan stated that he was not, however, surprised at the feat, because Sumscript Schools prides itself on learners who are both knowledgeable and confident, with topnotch presentation skills.   One of the teachers, Miss Linda Williams thanked the board and management of the school for recognizing their input and celebrating their performance at the competition.   Williams promised that, with the regular payment of their salaries, including other incentives, as well as the provision of the needed academic facilities and amenities, they were determined to inculcate in the learners sound and quality education.   A parent, Mr Emmanuel Umoh said he decided to send his child to Sumscript Schools because it runs an infused Nigerian – Canadian curriculum with hands on and concrete lesson delivery.   Umoh said his child and other learners have been  exposed to coding and robotics, Abacus mental Mathematics, music lessons, language, vocational studies and lots more.


  By Ndueso BENSON   Socrates, in one of his philosophica postulations once states that, “A man is justified in embarking on a political career, if he posseses knowledge of moral values, capable of changing the characters of people that he seeks to lead.”    This postulation, indeed, has also been amplified by Plato who notes that, “The best, rational and righteous political order, leads to a harmonious unity of society, and allows each of its part to flourish.”   Socrates used the pronoun “he” because there is no word that depicts masculine, feminine or neuter and until recent times, the male pronoun dominated and controlled the most aspect of life, including politics and law.   Hon Emem Ibanga, the transition chairman of Nsit Atai Local Government Area, has fitted squarely into the descriptions of the two renowned philosophers, when one undertakes a logical insight into the happenings in Nsit Atai for the past eight and a half years.   History is replete with incontrovertible facts and proofs that, before the emergence of Hon Emem Ibanga as the chairman of Nsit Atai Local Government Area, the area was a hot bed of problems and a serious red flag zone for security in the state. But since Hon Emem Ibanga assumed the leadership throne of the Local Government Area, insecurity and other threats to human lives and property, have been thrown to the dungeon because like Socrates says, she “posseses the knowledge of moral values capable of changing the characters of people that he seeks to lead.”   For the past eight years, Nsit Atai has incredibly worn a toga of distinction in development, representation, change and responsible leadership, courtesy of Hon Emem Ibanga. The Amazon has not only broken the jinx but has departed from it. She has brought to bear a leadership that is seen, felt and enjoyed by a vast majority of the people of Nsit Atai.   Her towering height in rural development, passion for change, compassion for her people and the communities, have inadvertently pitch her against a few individuals, who, at one time or the other, have had the opportunities to steer the ship of affairs of the council.   But like the Biblical Esther, Hon Emem Ibanga has committed herself to rebuild the ruins of her fatherland and give her people a new lease of life and a breath of fresh air.   Of course, one is not oblivious of the fact that,  changing an old order is not a mince-meat affair. One is bound to step on toes and even receive opprobrium. That is why, Hon Emem Ibanga has been at the centre of various unfounded allegations, name-calling, mudslinging and calculated tactics to diminish her records and bring her low in the eyes of right thinking members of the society.  She has a penchant for truth and does not believe or allow herself to be entangled in dirty deals. Many have said, her vocal posture when one of the stakeholders allegedly used the party Exco list of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to bargain for sex with a girl, which culminated in the list being leaked to the public, has added to her pounds of hatred.   Her uncompromising mien and demeanour towards sharing the Council’s money to a few self- acclaimed leaders against providing quality life for a vast majority of Nsit Atai people,  have again become her greatest crime. Every well-meaning citizen of Nsit Atai are aware that Hon Emem Ibanga speaks truth to power. She has resisted and vehemently so, the notion of conducting the Council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee, FGPC, in a private residence of any stakeholder, which was the order of the day by past administrations.   Several threats to her life and development of the local government area, have failed. Only recently, the account of her Council has been garnished through the handiwork of “a few detractors and those, who, no matter what she does, can be recommend her. People close to her said, “Mma does not entertain anything that distracts her attention. She is focused on writing the story of Nsit Atai on gold plates.”   On several occasions, attempts have been made to assassinate, maim and or remove Hon Emem Ibanga from the seat by these few individuals but providence, forthrightness, discipline, pragmatism, always available to her people, have made the voice of the majority, cutting across the youth, women and elders, to always prevailed. Records on ground have shown that the local government chairman has keyed into the Arise Agenda mantra of the Gov Umo Bassey Eno administration, even before the administration came into power, and littered development projects across the length and breath of Nsit Atai Local Government Area for the past eight years.   Suffice it to mention some of the programmes and projects that have made Hon Emem Ibanga the most “hunted” and “taunted” local government chairman Nsit Atai has ever had. She has within her stay in the council provided standard boreholes at Afahabang, Ikot Nyoho Edong, Ikot Ubok Udom and even the Traditional Rulers Council, TRC, in the area; sponsored surgeries for children with cleft  palates and lips; donated hospital equipment to the Primary Health Centre, Odot; graded a good number of roads yearly; donated food items, cash and clothing to rural and vulnerable women;donated vehicles to key Council Officials, the paramount ruler and some private citizens of the area;gave business grants to some youth as well as yearly Christmas packages to youth, women and party members.   Hon Emem Ibanga also built and inaugurated an ultra-modern office complex, code-named *Peace House;” empowered persons living with disabilities; assisted wives of ex-servicemen; invested in sports development; caused the demarcation of the boundary between Ndon Ikot Itie Udung and Ikot Edong in Nsit Atai LGA and Ekpene Ukim in Uruan LGA to end over eight decades of boundary feud that claimed so many lives; trees were recently planted at the new boundary to signify peace.    In line with the agricultural development of the Arise Agenda of the Gov Umo Eno administration, she has also  established  demonstration farms at Odot and Okoro Nsit villages; renovated the council block;  paid compensation to land owners within the Stadium site and went ahead to open up the stadium for use. It was first used for the last Children’s day celebration;  empowered members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, on passing out; gave premium to the development of culture and tourism in the area;  financed the rebuilding of a collapsed bridge at Odot 2,  to connect the village with neighbouring communities; built the first ever abattoir in Nsit Atai; she is an  instrument to the building of an ultra modern market at Ikot Akpabio.   So, who is afraid of Hon Emem Ibanga? They should let Nsit Atai be! Providing an answer to this question is not far-fetched. A former councillor in the area, Hon David David told yours truly that, “those who are afraid of the towering political profile of Hon Emem Ibanga; those who have been shamed by Hon Emem Ibanga to the extent that, a local government chairman can be close to her people and also meet their needs; those who are enemies of peace because their means of survival was always to stoke problems and corner Council’s money in disguise; those who have refused to embrace light over darkness in Nsit Atai Local Government Area; those who are yet to come to terms with the new socio-political cum economic order that Hon Emem Ibanga has brought to Nsit Atai Local Government Area.    “Nsit Atai politics has camps; those who hate her have never and may never say anything good about her. They sponsored the late Smart Ben who was rusticated from University of Uyo to contest against her in 2017 and the whole local government rose against them. Every other person or groups are applauding Hon  Emem Ibanga for doing well. Recently, she was given a leadership award from the Presidency for doing well. Another organization, The Rootswatch also honoured her with  award in Abuja recently.   A youth activist and first legislative leader in Nsit Atai, Hon. Owodimo George poured encomiums on the Chairman for leading the people in such a superlative and rewarding manner.   Hon. Mercy Robson, a woman activist and a former Councillor said, she was in love with the Chairman for her excellent showing.   The traditional institution and even the elders are with her. Please, let Nsit Atai be!   … Benson is an Uyo-based journalist.


The Member representing Eket/ONNA/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, has rejoiced with Governor Umo Eno as he marks first anniversary. Hon. Etteh, who made this known through a goodwill message to the Governor during the anniversary celebration, said “My family and the good people of Eket/ONNA/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal Constituency sincerely rejoice with amiable Governor, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, on this one-year milestone and Anniversary Celebration. The many commissioned projects, ongoing projects, and newly awarded projects across the state within the one year of the Umo Eno-led administration and leadership have given us a bigger opportunity to not only thank you but to commend you on your numerous contributions to the social and economic development of Akwa Ibom State.” The federal lawmaker, who is the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on University Education, described the Governor’s first anniversary celebration as “one year of progress, prosperity and impactful service to Akwa Ibom and its people,” lauded him on the life-touching projects across the state and commitment to youth development. According to Hon. Etteh, “Governor Umo Eno, who assumed office on May 29, 2023, has been lauded for his progressive policies and commitment to sustainable development. His first anniversary is characterized by significant strides in infrastructure, education, healthcare, youth development, economic empowerment, and entrepreneurship. These advancements are the focal point of the anniversary celebrations, reflecting the Governor’s dedication to enhancing the quality of life for the people of Akwa Ibom State.” He maintained that the Governor’s “leadership has not only been a source of inspiration to all of us in Eket/ONNA/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal Constituency, it has given us great hope that award of contracts for the construction of internal roads within the federal constituency, social stability and development tops your priority list.” Hon. Etteh further called on the people of federal constituency to give the Governor and his team a unwavering support to enable him deliver democratic dividends to the people and also steer the Akwa Ibom project to a prosperous and successful shore. Media Unit Office of the Honourable Member Eket/ONNA/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal Constituency


  As Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State marks the first anniversary of his administration, Senator Aniekan Bassey, Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Production Services and Rural Development, has lauded the governor’s remarkable achievements in the past year.   In a goodwill message to the Governor on Wednesday, tagged “celebrating one year of impactful service and prosperity,” Senator Bassey said “It has been one year of progress and impactful service to Akwa Ibom and its people, and I am sincerely grateful that you have kept the flame of our forebears alive while remaining dedicated and committed to the progress and prosperity of Akwa Ibom State,” and highlighted Governor Eno’s numerous developmental strides, particularly in the areas of social services and infrastructure.   He commended the Governor for his unwavering commitment to improving the lives of the citizens of Akwa Ibom, noting that his efforts have significantly enhanced the state’s socio-economic landscape.   Speaking further, Senator Bassey said “Governor Umo Eno’s first year in office has been marked by substantial progress and tangible improvements across the state. His focus on developing critical infrastructure, such as roads, schools, and healthcare facilities, has brought about meaningful change in the daily lives of our people.”   While reaffirming his commitment to collaborating with the Governor to further advance the state’s agricultural sector and rural development, Senator Bassey also praised the Governor for his initiatives in social services, which have provided essential support to vulnerable, emphasized his continued support for the Akwa Ibom project and the Umo Eno-led administration.   “Governor Umo Eno’s administration has been widely acknowledged for its dedication to progress and inclusivity, setting a strong foundation for the future growth of Akwa Ibom State. As the state celebrates this milestone, the collective efforts of its leaders, both at the federal and state levels, promise a bright and prosperous future for all its residents,” he maintained.     Media Unit Office of the Senator Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District  


    By Nseabasi S. J. King   May 29 is a cycle in the political life of Nigeria’s 4th Republic.   It has come to signpost the entry and exit of many governments and successive administrations in the Nigerian political space. It is the timeline for who was, who is, and who is to come.   On May 29, 1999, a chicken farmer and retired army general, Olusegun Obasanjo, and 36 others took oaths of office, as Nigeria transitioned from military dictatorship to participatory democracy.   In the old Uyo Township Stadium, here in Akwa Ibom State, the new burden of leadership fell on an accomplished architect and a politician of fine repute, Victor Bassey Attah.   The arena wore a subdued look with the last-minute attempts at renovation coming off like paper on cracked walls. It was the vestiges of military misadventure into politics and governance.   More than 25 cycles later, the Uyo Township Stadium wears a new look. It is a beautiful sight to behold. The Udom Gabriel Emmanuel administration, within its May 29 cycles had moved in and restored the facility.   The present Uyo Township Stadium, one of the oldest sporting arena in the history of sporting events in the region, today, forms part of the Sight and Sound of the State. Akwa  Ibom is now a seeded venue and natural pick for many football competitions. Whenever, the world class Olympic size Godswill Akpabio International Stadium is not readily available for use, it comes in handy and provides an effective alternative for various events like social and recreational activities.   A lot also happened in infrastructure in the May 29 cycles of the Godswill Obot Akpabio administration. Matter of fact, this was when the media in Nigeria described Akwa Ibom State as a construction site. Akpabio was a lawyer turned civil engineer. Truth be told, he never stopped building up to his last day in office.   For many, he wears the crown in infrastructural development but for me and many more, the Free and Compulsory Education policy remains the watershed of that era. Free education? This was priceless. And this is not debatable.   But I do not see why anyone would want to debate the place of education and peace in human affairs. What can civilisation really do without these two?   This is why I am beginning to think, that the Umo Bassey Eno administration maybe remembered more for his peace initiatives than for his Arise Agenda. Hear Akpabio at a reception in his honour at the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium recently, “Akwa Ibom is a very easy State to rule and govern but also a very difficult place to unite.”   If this is coming from a man, whose i-can-do-spirit is unbridled. A man who believes that all things are possible, apologies Sinach. Then how is Governor Umo Eno getting it right with uniting us, just under one cycle of May 29?   Akpabio does not cower. This is a man who rode the horizon as a political colossus as governor of Akwa Ibom for eight years. He believes it can be done. And maybe, this is one of the reasons he keeps breaking new barriers.   If governments of the world agree to a single leadership today, and call for nominations, believe me, Akpabio would be the first African to step forward. His self confidence is to a dizzying height. So when he says uniting Akwa Ibom is a difficult task, please take him seriously.   But he went on to acknowledge Pastor Umo Eno’s appointment with fate in a rather prophetic manner, “It is a major duty bestowed on you by God to unite the whole State.” And I am tempted to believe him. Why?   Take a look at these scenarios. If Umo Eno joins a political gathering now, the attendance would soon become bipartisan. And whenever he attends a church service, the attendance becomes interdenominational instantly. And I want to give it to him, that if he were to sit as a judge in a court of litigation, it would end up as a court of arbitration. This is quite a phenomenon.   We really need this unifying force, because a house divided against itself cannot stand, and a united Akwa Ibom is already in a pole position in the scheme of things at the center.   Who ever thought that the puppy and the kitten would play in Akwa Ibom, and the mother dog would mind them both? Umo Eno is attempting what many had thought was near impossible.   In a goodwill message from Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo, to Governor Umo Eno on his first anniversary in office, the pioneer Minister of State for Petroleum in charge of Gas Resources in Nigeria, recognised the governor as, “… a natural Obongemem.” He credits him for the peace that today sweeps across the land. He might be right, or better put, he should know better, being a prized friend of this golden era.   They are always holding hands, bantering and sharing jokes. No party lines. No Abuja front. No ethnic slur but the Akwa Ibom cause. This is a clear departure from the norm, where a Minister gets to Abuja and begin to antagonise the leadership at home.   Governor Umo Bassey Eno, how do you do this?  Chief Godswill Akpabio says you’re a man of peace. And I want to believe him. Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo calls you a natural Obongemem. And who will doubt him? When the deep calleth to the deep.   We need this peace. It is so soothing. Before the next May 29 cycle, we need more Obongemem to join hands with Obongemem Umo Bassey Eno to institutionalise this phenomenon. And we would need another Obongemem in the saddle after he is gone. We need this peace. And there’s no alternative to it.   King writes in from Ekpene Ukpa in Etinan LGA.


Minister of State for Petroleum, in charge of Gas Resources, Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo, has joined thousands of friends and well wishers all over the world to celebrate the first anniversary of Pastor Umo Bassey Eno in office as governor of Akwa Ibom State. In what he described as impactful leadership, Mr. Ekpo in his goodwill message acknowledged the vision and mission of the governor in taking the State to greater heights thus, “Without any doubt, your developmental programmes speak volumes about your vision and mission for our dear State.” The pioneer Nigerian Gas Minister was generous in praise of the governor, his friend and author of the Arise Agenda, and did not hold back kind words from the man behind the Akwa Ibom golden era. In a very generous manner, he went on to recognise the governor as, “…a great Ambassador of Peace; a natural Obongemem and Champion of Unity,” whose golden strides in office have built bridges across all divide in the State. He prayed that God should grant the governor more wisdom and strength to do more in the coming years. The revered Obongemem league is for outstanding individuals, whose peaceful disposition to life has added value to other lives and impacted humanity positively, as they become beacons of stability in the society.