Indigenes of Akwa Ibom State resident in Lagos rolled out the drums on Saturday, August 25, 2018, to declare their support for Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second term bid.
Mr. Udom in a grand style declared his intentions to run for a second term in office at the Godswill Obot Akpabio Stadium (The Nest of Champions), in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom Ibom Capital City on Friday. The event was witnessed by unprecedented crowd.
Defying an early morning down pour, the supporters of the governor gathered at Ojuelegba from where they matched and danced to the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos chanting Udom’s praises.
Addressing journalists on the reason for the walk, Mr. Emmanuel Ime Ekong, International President, Greenlight for Udom 2019, one of the conveners of the event said Gov. Udom had industrialised the state and was poised to do more hence, their support. “We have a passion for our governor, His Excellency Udom Emmanuel, who declared yesterday his interest to run for a second term. We have this passion because of what he is doing in Akwa Ibom. He has turned Akwa Ibom to an Industrialised state.
“We are gathered to support that man who has made Akwa Ibom State peaceful, who has been able to keep to the promises he made when he was campaigning in 2015. Today, a lot of people have seen that he has been able to fulfill all the promises he made during his campaign in 2015. We see him as a young, dynamic youth carrying everybody along, that is why the three senatorial districts residing here in Lagos decided to give him our support to continue with his good work in 2019. He is the kind of person we need in Akwa Ibom. We need the peace and unity he has brought in the state.
“If you go to Awka Ibom State now, all the small roads that had been forgotten and abandoned have been fixed by the governor in a very short time of three years. That is why we are so passionate about him. Greenlight for Udom 2019 is keen to ensure that Udom gets a second chance in 2019.”
On how much electoral value the group can bring to table with their demonstration of support in Lagos, Mr. Ekong said; “Most of us in Lagos have our Akwa Ibom PVCs and one of the messages we are preaching today is for our people to go home and collect their PVCs. Those who do not have should go home and register.”
He disclosed that his group has assisted a lot of people to go home and register in preparation for 2019 general elections and some of them have collected their PVCs.
Co-convener of the event, Mrs. Nsikan Ukpanah, aide to the wife of the governor, in Lagos, was also full of praises for the governor whom she said was doing well. “His Excellency Gov. Emmanuel Udom is doing well and we are proud of him. That’s why those of us in Lagos are out here to show our support. He has not disappointed us. He has kept to his word and his electoral promises. That’s why we are here under the rain to let the people know that we are ready to go home and vote.”
Throwing more light on the reason for the event she said; “The event is about telling Akwa Ibom people in Lagos to prepare to go home and vote when the time comes. We want them to transfer their PVCs to Akwa Ibom. Everybody is saying they are supporting his Excellency to come back in 2019, but you cannot stay here in Lagos and tell him to come back without going home to vote. Your vote is your power, as you are talking, you are doing it, so we are not only doing the talking we are going to walk the talk now.”
Asked if Gov. Udom has performed creditably to deserve a second term, Mrs. Ukpanah said; “Gov. Udom has done more than enough to deserve a second term. In the last three years, Akwa Ibom has been so peaceful. In terms of security, he has done so much. In the next two three years, we are looking at Akwa Ibom people in Lagos going home to settle down because we will have enough companies to employ them. For those still looking for a means of livelihood in Lagos, it will be a matter of choice, not because there’s no job, because then, the governor would have put everything in place for all of us to have something to do at home.”
Reiterating the message for the day, she called on indigenes of the state “to go home and get your PVC or transfer it so that you will be able to choose who you want to be your leader.”
The Personal Aide to the Govenor on Protocol, in Lagos, Mr. Anthony Ukpe, said the show of support was necessary because of the giant strides the governor had taken in the past three years. “Akwa Ibom is the only state in Africa that has the largest syringe factory. It is the only state in the whole of Africa producing toothpicks and pencils. There are so many other benefits we have had in Akwa Ibom through the immeasurable performance of Gov. Udom Emmanuel in the areas of roads, hospitals, education and other infrastructure. That is why we are clamouring here for a second term in office for Gov. Udom,” Mr. Ukpe said.
In addition, he said “If Udom, can do all these things we have enumerated, in three years, for the next four years, we are sure of more developmental strides in Akwa Ibom state. May I mention here that Deacon Udom Emmanuel was given the name Mr. Integrity by the Presidency for his integrity in the area of governance. We know that Akwa Ibom will be better than what he met and what it is today.
“Our message to Akwa Ibomites is that they should not be intimidated by what is happening in the state now. Just as we saw in the Bible when David was to become king, he was intimidated by Saul, but that did not stop the hand of God from placing him on the throne. In as much as the hand of God is on Udom and the affairs of Akwa Ibomites, no force, no Jupiter from anywhere can stop the moving train and that moving train is Udom Emmanuel. 2019 is sure, a year of consolidation for Akwa Ibom and for Udom Emmanuel,” he added.
He charged those who have not gotten their PVCs to utilise the extension to do so even as he acknowledged that many indigenes of the state have already transferred their PVCs to Akwa Ibom. “Eighty per cent of the people you see here have their PVCs in Uyo, just waiting for the time to come so that we can all migrate to Uyo to practicalise our support for Udom Emmanuel,” he said.
For Mrs. Idara Okon, wife of the Uyo Local Government Chairman, their support for Gov. Udom is hinged on his “impressive call card and performance record in the past three years.”
Speaking further Mrs. Okon said: “His performance has been good and we have no choice than to say, you have to do more. He has our support for a second term for fairness, for justice and for equity.
“We remember even at this point his achievements in the agric. sector, medical sector, academic and for women in particular. We have mobilised women in Lagos and Akwa Ibom to ensure they are registered to vote. Udom has been very supportive to women with his pregnacare, the empowerment programmes for women in general and market women in particular. We know that he’ll do more if given a second term and he even confirmed during his declaration on Friday that he would supersede the performances of the past three. We are positive that we will see more work done when he comes back for a second term,” she said.
Among other groups that came out to declare their support for Gov. Udom were, The Pacesetters Organisation of Item (THEPACO), Mboho Ndito Akwa Ibom, Lagos and All Akwa Ibom Indigenes in Lagos.