1.Fellow Akwaibomites

2.My wife, Her Excellency, Pastor (Mrs.) Patience Umo Eno, and I join you in celebrating the joy that Easter represents.

3.Easter is an important event in Christendom. It signifies the trial of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the pain and suffering he experienced leading to His crucifixion, and His ultimate victory over death through resurrection, which has brought salvation and redemption to mankind.

4.It is also the ultimate display of sacrifice and of love as aptly captured in Ephesians 5:2 (KJV) “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us as offering and a sacrifice to God.”

5.This is my first Easter broadcast to you my dear AkwaIbomites, since you massively elected me on March 18th, 2023, to be your Governor. My gratitude to you for the love and faith you displayed on that day will forever, be deeply appreciated and ingrained in my heart. I will do all I can, to live up to the faith and trust you had reposed in me on that day.

6.We are living in a moment and time that mirrors what Christ went through over two thousand years ago, a period of trial and tribulation, of economic pains and anxieties but conditioned by hope that, just as Christ overcame death, we, too, will overcome this period and victory will be ours eventually.

7.We remain dedicated to turning the challenges and anxieties of today into opportunities for growth and expansion tomorrow. That, explains the intentional manner we have gone about tackling the harsh economic realities we are currently facing.

8.When nations or subnationals are confronted with dire economic circumstances, leaders devise means of addressing the needs of the people – short, medium and long term. That is precisely what we have done by showing compassion, love and attention to the most vulnerable and the neediest amongst us.

9.The headwinds of harsh economic atmosphere arising from the removal of fuel subsidy has affected us all, especially those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. Thankfully, it was as if we knew this moment would come, as the key focal point of our governance blueprint, the ARISE Agenda, places huge premium on agricultural revolution, aimed at ensuring food security for our people.

10.This is not my score-card speech, I will reserve that for my First Anniversary Speech coming up on May 29th. But it bears repeating that, in ten months, we have focused our attention on our most vulnerable population.

11.Since we came in, we have paid serious attention to social issues or providing palliatives to the most vulnerable.To date, we have released close to 15 billion for the payment of gratuities to our retired workers- primary school teachers, local government and civil service retirees. These compassionate interventions have made our elderly take care of their needs, especially medical. We will continue to release funds for this program regularly.

12.Last week, we successfully launched our Arise food security program, where vouchers were given to the vulnerable people to go and get free staple food items: Garri, rice and beans at designated redemption centres in designated markets across the 31 Local Government Areas. We had earlier flagged-off the program at the state level on tuesday 26th March, 2024. The remaining Local Government will follow suit on tuesday 2nd April, 2024. This program is currently ongoing. At the event, I also, had announced a 1.5 billion
Naira interest- free loans ( 500 million Naira each to the three senatorial districts) to our traders.. I was touched by the pain our market women and other traders go through to borrow money at high and unserviceable interest rates. This scheme, to be managed by Ibom Fadama and Micro finance Bank, is yet another intervention by us, because we care about our traders.

13.Let me thank our dear people for the love you have shown us for undertaking these compassionate and people-centric interventions. You elected us to serve you and as long as I remain your Governor, I will strive and endeavor to sacrifice my time and the resources God has blessed us with, to serve you, Remember, I came from your stock, so I feel your pain and anxieties.

14.We have undertaken free medical outreach programs in Uyo, Oron and Ikot Ekpene, with Eket scheduled next. Over five thousand surgeries and various other critical medical interventions and procedures were performed free. Let me again thank you for the outpouring of love you have shown for this program. Permit me to also thank Hensek Integrated Services for partnering with us, as part of its corporate social responsibility. We hope other corporate organizations will follow the lead of Hensek. We will continue to undertake this exercise because as the saying goes, health is wealth.

15.The Arise Initiative for the Elderly where we give 50 thousand Naira monthly assistance to 600 elderly drawn from all the wards in the state has commenced. The first set of recipients were paid a little over three weeks ago.

16.The construction of the Arise Compassionate Homes for the most vulnerable has started in several local government areas of the state. My heart broke, when pictures of shanties and dilapidated structures that passed for the homes of some of most our vulnerable were shown to me. I thereafter, took the immediate action to help some of the neediest spread across all the wards in the state, build decent homes for them. By the end of our first term, in 2027, we hope to build homes for the poorest in each of the wards in the state.

17.We will continue to pay bursary to our students at tertiary institutions alongside the 100 million Naira grant to students living with disabilities. The first tranche of 250 thousand and 350 thousand Naira respectively, have already been paid to undergraduate and graduate students respectively.

18.So my fellow Akwaibomites, as we celebrate Easter, let us remain hopeful that the future looks great, our collective dreams for prosperity across all layers of the society is realizable.

19.I am dedicated to serving you well, bringing governance closer to you, applying the resources we have been blessed with, to affect you positively and give our youths a reason to remain hopeful.

20.This is a season of trial and victory. Our nation and our state may be going through a period of trial and tribulation, but just as Christ overcame death with victory at His resurrection, we too, will overcome our economic challenges with growth and abundance. I ask for your continuous support and prayers and unity and love amongst our people.

  1. He arose, that we may ARISE

22.Happy Easter to us all! God bless Akwa Ibom State, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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