By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
At 31 years of statehood, Akwa Ibom people on Sunday rolled out drums in thanksgiving to God for the development thus far, especially the enduring peace, unity and infrastructural renaissance despite all odds that characterized global economies and politics.
At Uyo Township Stadium, venue of this year’s anniversary celebration, the people of state from all divides adorned in Akwa Ibom colour (orange) attire gathered and sang praises to God while they also prayed for continued peaceful coexistence and development in line with vision of government to make the state an industrial hub in the gulf of Guinea.
The people also paid special tributes to their forebears whose struggled for statehood, gave birth to the creation of the state on 23rd September, 1987 by the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida.
They were led by the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel who read the 1st Bible reading while past governors military and civilian, captains of industries, friends of the state mostly of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family, joined to grace day with souls searching renditions.
Prominent among them, pioneer military administrator, Sen. Tunde Ogbeha, Group Capt. John Ebiye, Senate President, Sen. Olusola Saraki, former Speaker, House of Representative and Governor Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Tambawa and Senator Dino Melaye.
A renowned Ghanaian cleric, Arch Bishop Nicolas Duncan Williams who officiated the service and drew his text from Isaiah 45:2, preached on the theme: “I Will Go Before Thee” and blessed the people of the state.
He also blessed Governor Emmanuel for his second term ambition, anointed him with oil and charged him to go and conquer in 2019 governorship race.
Speaking, Governor Udom Emmanuel urged people of the state to always acknowledge God in all their dealings, while also determine to take their destinies in their hands, stressing that with God on their sides no man shall rubbish their future.
He said that at 31 years, Akwa Ibom has made progress and attributed the feats to the visions of past leaders whom he noted made sacrifices to ensure the development in the state.
In their separate goodwill messages at the event, Sen. Saraki and Alh. Tambawa commended the people of the state for believing in God and for turning out in large number to reference His goodness upon the state.
They urged people of the state continue to queue behind governor Udom Emmanuel in his drive to develop the state, just as they described the Governor as an asset to the state and Nigeria.
They also advised the people to vote for his re-emergence as governor in the next year general election as well as support to PDP, stressing that the result of Osun State election showed a reflection that the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership has been rejected across the country.