SPEECH BY MR. UDOM EMMANUEL, GOVERNOR, AKWA IBOM STATE AT THE DOMINION MANDATE CONFERENCE, IBOM HALL GROUNDS, UYO-MARCH
Thursday, March 15th, 2018 | Events, Speeches
BEING THE SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. UDOM EMMANUEL, GOVERNOR, AKWA IBOM STATE AT THE DOMINION MANDATE CONFERENCE, IBOM HALL GROUNDS, UYO-MARCH 15, 2018.
- I am deeply moved and honoured by the outpouring of love and appreciation you have shown to me today and indeed since my inauguration on May 29, 2015. I want to commend the Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly for organizing this two-day event, tagged Dominion Mandate Conference and for finding me worthy of your resounding endorsement. I am sincerely grateful and humbled.
- It was the Late President of the United States- Ronald Reagan, a man who was never afraid to profess his faith who shortly after clinching the Republican Party Presidential nomination in 1980, stunned the members of the MORAL MAJORITY who had gathered to formally endorse him by flipping the script and telling the audience that as a man of faith himself he wanted them to know that he would rather endorse them.
- President Rogan then went ahead to pour encomiums on the religious leaders and told Americans never to lose sight of the fact that their nation’s foundation was based on the Judeo-Christian values. Ronald Regan it must be recalled went ahead to have a landslide victory over the Democratic Candidate,Jimmy Carter and the MORAL MAJORITY or the Christians community played a key role in ensuring that victory. They adopted Reagan because they saw in him a reflection of their values, beliefs and moral grounding.
- And so today, in the Reganite fashion, I stand here thank you my dear Fathers of Faith from the bottom of my heart for buying into my vision for this State and pledging to work for my re-election to a second term.
- I am a man of faith and I make bold to say that, I am not afraid to show or profess my faith anywhere, anytime. I believe it is about time people of faith embraced politics and with one voice and one body change the layers of engagement in governance. When God-fearing people keep saying they don’t want to get into the murky waters of politics then I am afraid the waters would become even murkier and we would all be the losers.
- Countries that have held God aloft as the symbol of their authority and the fulcrum upon which governance revolves have prospered beyond words. I am emotionally and psychologically dedicated to ensuring the prosperity of all Akwa ibom people and with God as our guide, we are right on track to achieving that Divine mission
- I believe that my mission and assignment in this State is divinely inspired, little wonder we called our successful 2015 campaign Organization Divine Mandate. Akwa Ibom State is a decidedly Christian State and as such, we must demand and expect from our leaders a reflection of Godly values in their governance style.We must not be shy to use our strength and beliefs to effect change; we must not sit idly by, and allow certain entities who have relegated God to the background come to convince you that they are the right people to lead you; we must look through them, the friends they keep, the values and strength of character they exhibit and the way they feel towards the poor and the needy. These are fundamental issues that the Christian community must not overlook.
8. A God- fearing leader will not allow power to mystify him, he will rather in Christ-like fashion, show extreme humility, his conduct will demystify power and bring the issues and concerns of the people on the front burner of his decision-making style. A God fearing leader will understand acutely the concept of right and wrong and will subsequently allow that critical value to shape his character and how he runs the Government.
- I came here in 2015 and proclaimed in my inaugural speech that I will lead this State as a Servant- Leader and with the fear of God. So far, my dear Fathers of Faith, those elements have become the articles of faith in my daily governance style. As the bible enjoins, you must show compassion and humility. The first set of task I performed when I assumed office was to settle a ten-year backlog of pensions and gratuities that dated back from 2001. It wasn’t because we had a lot of money or that we couldn’t deploy the same resources to other equally pressing needs, no, I needed to put smiles on the faces of our mothers and fathers who had served our State very well, and were now depending on their gratuities to get by. I recall the depth of gratitude they expressed through the letters of appreciation they sent to me. Since then I have not relented, we have been paying pensions and gratuities regularly in spite of the lean resources available to me.
10.The other day, I got a text message from a very influential person in this country and he asked me how I am able to pay salaries and other entitlements every month and on time given the fact that a number of states owe salaries in some cases up to eight months. My simply response was that the bible enjoins us to do unto others what you would expect others do unto you. The notion that I will go to sleep every night knowing that our workers have not been paid, is against my Christian values, so I go to any extent to ensure that their welfare is taken care of.
- A God fearing leader knows that you must create opportunities for all to aspire and dream and education is the surest way out of poverty. A friend of mine once told me a story of how he went to the village and saw his secondary school mate who was possibly the most brilliant person in his class. Because the said friend’s father couldn’t pay the WAEC fees, his education was stopped. Today, that brilliant Akwa Ibom son who could have been anything in life is wasting away in the village, unfulfilled, just because the father couldn’t pay the WAEC fees. My friend whose father paid his WAEC fees later went to the university, graduated and today is a successful professional. And so, to create opportunity for all, I decided right from when I was inaugurated to create a level playing field for our people by earmarking 600 million Naira to pay WAEC fees for our students yearly. We have received praises from parents for this great intervention. Our education still remains free and compulsory.
- Health they say is wealth. My Administration has robustly continued and expanded the free medical services given to the elderly, children from 1-5, their pregnant mothers. We have refurbished and equipped hospitals across the three senatorial districts with equipment that can match the best in the world- from Etinan General Hospital, to Ituk Mbang, Ikono General Hospital, and Ikot Okoro etc. As I speak, we have brought in 25 container loads of state-of the art medical equipment, we have through FEYReP, my wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel’s Signature Pet Project, undertaken the screening and treatment of over 15,000,00 people with various eye ailments. Just two days ago, I went on an inspection of the dialysis machinesthat we have just brought in at the Ibom Specialist Hospital.
- I have always said that no nation worth its name can be called a nation if it cannot feed its population. As part of our strategic plans to move away from our over-dependence on oil, we have invested heavily in agriculture. We are currently cultivating over 2,000 hectares of cassava under the World Bank assisted FADAA 111 scheme, our vegetable green house project is producing tomatoes that have been acclaimed to be of a very high quality, 4,929 rice farmers are currently at work in the State especially in Ini Local Government Area; our dakkada garri is available and at an affordable price. We have procured 600,000 bags of fertilizers for our farmers. All these, are geared towards making our State food sufficient.
- We will not be discouraged by the antics and the selfish wailings of the naysayers- a tiny percentage of our people who perpetually play politics with governance and would demonize even projects that have redeeming value in their lives. This State deserves a befitting International Worship Centre and we will give our people, that befitting worship centre. I want to thank our Christian community for the support and prayers since we broke grounds for the construction of that edifice. We have undertaken over 300 rural development projects across the 31 local government areas as well as over 400 inter-ministerial direct labour intervention projects across the 31 local government Areas.
15.Akwa Ibom State remains one of the safest States in the nation and we will continue to tackle the issue of insecurity with every resource available to us. Earlier this week, I proscribed cult groups and certain societies and just yesterday, I had a security summit in Etim Ekpo. We want to have a State that remains safe, secure and one where people can legitimacy pursue their undertakings without having to look over their shoulders. Protection of lives and property is possibly the most critical components of the Social Contract and we will not abdicate our responsibility in this area.
- Our youth empowerment programme is robust. Over 20, 0000 of our youths have been trained in various skills acquisition programmes and the enabling environment is being created for them to deploy these acquired skills for personal development. We had just concluded the 2ndAkwa Ibom Youths Sports Festival to a resounding success. Our State has become the sporting capital of Nigeria and through our support and investment, the Nigerian Super Eagles qualified for Russia 2018 World Cup with a game remaining. We are building sports faculties across the 10 Federal constituencies as a way of discovering talents early. Our State team in the Premier League, the Akwa United is doing very well in the on-going Confederation Cup and we are hopeful they will continue to make us proud. Our investments in sports and youth development have not gone unnoticed. I was last year voted the Best Sports Governor 2017 and our stadium was also adjudged the Best in the nation.
- In the areas of social welfare we have provided grants to widows and through FEYReP, homes have been built for a number of them. We have strengthened and enforced our Child Rights Law and have shown zero-tolerance on incidence of rape and other abuses of our children
- People all over the nation wonder how we are able to fulfil our recurrent expenditures and at the same time execute numerous capital projects, and my answer has always been that when you go on your knees in prayer, God will direct your steps. In spite of the lean resources, we have to date constructed over 1202 kilometres of road, 35 bridges most already completed while others are on-going. I am sure you have seen the massive internal roads we are currently undertaking in Ewet Housing Extension and Shelter Afrique Estates respectively.We have upgraded our main Runaway at the Ibom international Airport to Category 2 and the construction of the 2nd Runaway is on-going. The flood control on Nsikak Eduok which had previously rendered that area impassable has been fixed, our State Secretariat Annex was completed and commissioned and we are currently constructing 21 Storey Modern office complex in Uyo.
- Good road network is a major driver of industrialization or economic growth. In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower of the United States created what today has been hailed as possibly the best road network in the world. These are economically viable roads that link the entire 48 contiguous states of the union. America has never looked back since then. We are replicating same here.
- The main plank of my campaign was predicated on the need to urgently industrialize this State as a way of creating job opportunities for our people. We are right on course. Our Syringe Manufacturing company is running and the naysayers who said it couldn’t be done have been proved wrong, our Metering Solutions company is in full production and again our critics have been proved wrong. The Peacock paints is producing and expanding its operations, the Flour Mill is in the offing, as well as plastic manufacturing factory and fertilizer blending factory to be located in Abak are also in the offing.
21.Our investment in power sector has drawn national attention and no less a person than the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola gave us kudos earlier this week at the 25 Power Summit that took place here in Uyo.
- And so the question remains:if by the special grace of God we were able to achieve all these given the lean resources available to us, should the train stop in 2019? The resounding answer is No, the train must continue and so when the silent majority- the moral majority, the Christian body of which you all are leaders speak with one voice and one body, who then can be is against us? I want to thank you for this wonderful endorsement and I pledge to you today that I will continue to work for the advancement of our people, to run a Christ -centric Government, to show compassion to the poor, the infirmed and the downtrodden while creating the atmosphere for all to strive and dare.
- I will not be distracted by the noise of the naysayers; I will not give in to the blackmail, lies and the machinations of those who do not wish me well. We will continue to the Right thing for our people because the Right Hand of God is upon us, praying, directing and leading us to the path of growth and development.
- Let me end this speech by quoting the immutable words of the late President of the United States, Ronald Regan who having been endorsed by the Evangelicals told the audience that “if we trust Him, keep His words and live our lives for His pleasure, He will give us the power we need- power to fight the good fight, to finish the race, and to keep the faith”.
25.May Christ our Lord and Saviour continue to give us the power to fight the good fight and win big for our people, our children and generations yet unborn. Thank you and God bless Akwa Ibom State, God bless the Christian faithful, and God bless Nigeria. It is well with us all!