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A programme codenamed ‘The Akwa Ibom Conversation’ has been launched by the Oro Nation Leadership Roundtable (OLR), to deepen the culture of accountable leadership and promote good governance in Akwa Ibom State.

At the maiden edition of The Akwa Ibom Conversation in Uyo, Sunday, the Convener of the event, Omen Bassey Esq. explained that “just like the Roundtable, the programme is non-partisan, and designed to provide opportunity for every government official, political aspirant, political or business leader who is willing to share his ideas for the betterment of the State and its constituent areas, to do so.”

Speaking on the topic, ‘The Akwa Ibom of the Future’ the pioneer guest speaker on the programme and International Coordinator, 1001+ Voices Initiative for People Empowerment, Obong Ide Owodiong-Idemeko bared his mind on a wide range of developmental issues, from social inequality, education, to blue economy, housing, and what he proposed as e-governance.

Emphatically, Obong Idemeko insisted on the need to review the State’s basic education curriculum, to allow for the infusion of entrepreneurship culture, practical work experience and ethics, among other things, into the learning processes in primary and secondary schools.

According to him, the education policy in Akwa Ibom State should be altered from the industrial age policy, to the that of the information age, which would afford children early exposure to computers, considering the fast pace of digital development globally.

Upon proposing partnership with organizations and donor agencies to improve the agricultural and maritime sectors of Akwa Ibom economy, the Ibesikpo Asutan born politician and human resource expert called on the federal and state governments to ensure adequate provision of security for fishermen in the State waters, and encourage maritime activities by providing ferry services, to enable the State realize the full potential of its seafood products.

“We must consider how we could solve the problem of insecurity in our waters and make the region safer for our fishermen. How do we attract trawlers to come in and encourage our people to also procure those trawlers? We need to provide a processing hub where we could process our seafood products for our own consumption and exports. These are areas we need to give serious consideration, because there is a huge potential there,” he said.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the event, the Convener, Oro Nation Leadership Roundtable, Omen Bassey while disclosing the essence of hosting The Akwa Ibom Conversation, stated that the aim is to afford the citizenry the opportunity to discuss public policies, preview and analyze the blueprints of aspiring office holders, especially as the country approaches another electioneering season.

“This programme has come to stay, and we are set to engage all gubernatorial aspirants, senatorial aspirants, House of Representatives aspirants, commissioners, local government chairmen, and all other public office holders who deem it necessary, to appear on this platform and propagate his or her ideas on any sector that is relevant to our growth as a State.

“One of our primary objectives is to bring to the front burner, issues that affect the generality of Akwa Ibom State. I must emphasize that this is not political consultation, because this platform shall never endorse any political party, aspirant or candidate. The event is about providing a platform for aspirants, office holders and entrepreneurs who have the courage to say ‘this is what I want to do for my people,’ because if your promises come from your heart, we believe that you can defend them in a public Forum where intelligent questions are asked”, he concluded.

The session was intellectually robust as members of the Roundtable made important observations and asked Obong Ide Owodiong Idemeko critical questions to ascertain the depth of his knowledge on the presentation he made.

John Ntekim
Publicity Secretary, Oro Nation Leadership Roundtable

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