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Text Of A Broadcast By The Executive Governor Of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, On The 26th Anniversary Of Akwa Ibom Creation September 23, 2013

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TEXT OF A BROADCAST BY THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, CHIEF GODSWILL OBOT AKPABIO, CON, ON THE 26TH ANNIVERSARY OF AKWA IBOM CREATION

My dear People of Akwa Ibom,

My wife, Her Excellency, Ekaette Unoma Akpabio and I extend our warmest greetings and, indeed, that of the Government of Akwa Ibom State to all Akwa Ibom people at home and in the Diaspora on this special occasion of the 26th Anniversaryof the creation of our dear State.

Let us commemorate this day with a celebration of the men and women of vision who dared to dream that we could take our destiny in our own hands, in a State named after God. Let us pay tribute to those who believed in that dream and pursued it relentlessly and doggedly until that dream was realised on September 23, 1987. Let us pay tribute to everyone, including all our past Governors, who in the course of our history, laboured to turn that dream into a promise for every Akwa Ibom person.

More importantly, let us use this occasion to also reflect on the values and principles, which were in the minds and hearts of these our forebears, who fought and sacrificed for the dream we are living today. As a tribute to their faith, in the last six years, we have witnessed an uncommon transformation of our dear State along the lines of their values and principles.

As I address you today, I am fully conscious that we would have just one more Anniversary together before my mandate as the Governor of our dear State would be vacated. You would therefore understand the need for me to use this occasion to restate the need for us to recommit ourselves to our ancestor’s aspirations, principles and values. This address is, therefore, as a prelude to next year’s final Anniversary address.

Let me begin this prelude by acknowledging with deep appreciation all those whose hard work, productive prowess and enterprising zeal have been the building blocks of our uncommon transformation of our State. Together, we have made our State first among equals in the comity of States in our nation. Together, we have broken the chains of tribalism and built a critical mass of unity for progress and development. Together, we have redefined the Akwa Ibom promise and made our State a reference point in transformational governance.

Therefore, as we celebrate the faith of our fathers and the dream that birthed our State, we must recommit ourselves to protecting the legacies we have built together in the last six years. This is the tribute we owe our forebears, the duty we owe to this generation, and the debt we owe our posterity.

We have many reasons to be proud of this day. We have proved that anything founded on God can never see decay. The anchor of our bid to serve this State in 2007 was that God’s will should be done in our state. The proof that His will has been done abounds in the many transformational projects embarked upon by this Administration.

With God on our side we have bent the arc of destiny and etched our name on the positive side of history. The wind of development, which is blowing across the State, has become the toast of our nation. The esteem of the Akwa Ibom man has increased.

In the course of this celebration we intend to leave mementoes in the sands of time by commissioning some projects. These projects include the New VIP Guest House in Government House Uyo; the internal roads and buildings at Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua; Urban Roads measuring 13.1km in Mkpat Enin LGA; a Cottage Hospital at Urua Inyang, Ika LGA; and a Cottage Hospital at Okorette, Eastern Obolo LGA.

We will remain dogged in the implementation of the Free and Compulsory education programme to guarantee a better and brighter future for our children. We will continue to invest in the free healthcare programme to ensure we keep our citizens healthy and rid our State of diseases. As you may be aware, work is at advanced stages of completion in our other turnkey projects like the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, a one-stop hospitality complex, which comprises a Galleria, cinemaplex (already functional), shopping mall, wet and dry pack, International Conference Hall and a 250-roomfive-star Hotel; the Ibom Specialist Hospital; the Uyo Township Stadium and a lot more.

Our other projects like completing the second phase of Ibom International Airport, which we met at site clearing level, is on-going. The first phase had since been completed and the Airport had been functional since 2009. In this regard we are building a Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility, constructing Aprons and a parallel runway. Already our work at the airport, which has one of the longest runways in the country, has made it to be rated as one of the best airports in Nigeria. Ibaka Deep Seaport is slowly gathering momentum as the requisite memoranda preparatory to the commencement of work are being tidied up.

We are proud that other components of our uncommon transformation are assets our people are still enjoying. These include the Pipe-jacking drainage system, the first of its kind in Africa; the IbomE-library with over 70 million e-documents including downloadable e-books; the Ibom Independent Power Plant; the electrification of over 87 per cent of communities in the State, while we are working assiduously to ensure that all our communities are linked to the national grid before the end 2014. All other projects, which by now are public knowledge, are on going. Permit me not to mention them because they are too many to fit into this address.

Let me inform us that as the build-up to electing the man or woman who would carry the collective mandate of our State after my tenure begins, I share your anxiety. But I urge us to place the interest of our State above our personal ambitions. We must go to God in prayers and ensure that we do not compromise our collective gains and we do not mortgage our peaceful co- existence and future on the altar of narrow, parochial interests. Patriotic feelings must supersede sectional interests.

We must ask ourselves honest questions and provide honest answers. We must remember that what is morally wrong cannot be politically right. We must play politics of inclusion instead of politics of exclusion. We must ensure that we sell the Akwa Ibom dream to every Akwa Ibom person and make every one worthy of the name of an Akwa Ibom person an equal stakeholder in the Akwa Ibom project. Above all, we must love one another.

This was the dream of our forefathers when they started the Ibibio State College in Ikot Ekpene, and provided us with an example of unity and brotherhood, which has become the key fabric in our garment of unity and brotherhood. That garment of unity, we in this generation should not tear, instead let us decorate it with love, sacrifice and brotherhood. That is our moral obligation today, and I have faith that it is an obligation we would not shirk away from.

Thank you and Happy Akwa Ibom Day. God bless Akwa Ibom State.