Fellow Akwa Ibomites,
My wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, and I share the joy and hope of Easter with all Akwa Ibomites at home and in the Diaspora.
The death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which Easter commemorates, marks the essence and substance of our Christian faith. Easter is therefore, the foundation of our faith as well as a celebration of love, sacrifice, hope and spiritual renewal.
In this season of renewal, let us in Akwa Ibom State find new strength in our shared resolve to make our State a great specimen of God’s faithfulness, and find hope in our mutual aspirations to stand together and lift our State to the next level of development.
With this resolve and aspiration, we would fulfil our promise and give vent to the words of the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Symington, who, impressed with what we have been able to do with the lean resources available to us, declared that AkwaIbom is the future of Nigeria. Together, we can work and claim the fruits of that assured and glorious future.
As we use this celebration to benchmark our faith in an Almighty and ever-loving God, let us be reminded that the victory of Jesus Christ was obtained at great cost.
Our Lord and Savior knew anguish. In the Garden of Gethsemane, with his death impending, He prayed until droplets of blood came out of his body as sweat and He said to his disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” He knew fear. He cried to God saying, “If it is possible, let this cup be taken from me.” But ultimately, He accepted the challenge because of love, and surrendered to God’s will. He knew the final moment had come and said, “If it is not possible…let your will be done.” He was crucified and he died. But on Easter morning he rose again from death.
Let the lesson be to all people, whether they wish us good or ill, that the promise of Akwa Abasi Ibom State will and shall be fulfilled. Let the lesson be to all people, that though the world may have laid us in a servile tomb, but through God’s faithfulness we, as a people, have come out of that tomb of servitude and have risen to claim the faith of our greatness.
Let the lesson be to all people, that like our Lord and Saviour, we are no more where fate and circumstance had placed us. We have moved from zero to heroes and we haven’t even started yet. We have become a shining light upon a hill. We have become a lamp in our nation - a loadstar that constantly leads and directs.
Those who, in pursuit of certain interest, may have failed to follow our Lord Jesus and submit to God’s purpose for this State should know that you cannot be celebrated except you accept God’s work. It is only by so doing, that God’s honour comes to you.
Let us, in this season of love and sacrifice, reach out in love to those who, like the muckraker in the Pilgrim’s Progress, blinded by anger, animosity and hatred, had failed to see God’s on-going wonderful works in our land. We urge them to refrain from destroying the bricks of development and join us in building a greater Akwa Abasi Ibom State.
Dear compatriots, the greatest commandment Jesus Christ gave to us before his ascension to Heaven was “feed my sheep”. We proudly have made that exhortation an article of faith. All our programmes have been tailored towards feeding the good people of our State with the dividends of democracy.
My dear compatriots, we have achieved a lot in the past 23 months. On May 29, 2017 during our 2nd anniversary celebrations, we will give a detailed account of our stewardship.
Fellow Akwa Ibomites, no man has had a greater effect on mankind than Jesus Christ. His teachings and life inspired our present civilization. His words have inspired billions throughout the checkered history of mankind and set the parameters for ethics and morality. Let his life, death and resurrection inspire us to decide that as He died to make us holy, we should live to love each other. Let our chords of brotherhood never be broken and let us never forget that the peace of this State, the development of this State, the progress of this State lie in the unity and love we show to one another. God bless Akwa Ibom State, God bless us all!
Ami mme Dakkanda, Akwa Ibom Dakkada
I wish all of us a Happy Easter.
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