By; Patrick Titus, Uyo
Days after Supreme Court had validated the election of Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of April 11, 2015 governorship poll in Akwa Ibom state against his opponent, Mr. Umana Okon Umana of All Progressive Congress (APC), thus put paid to the over eight months legal battle in the state, the joy of victory has continued to lingered on as the thanks giving organized pulled crowd from across the nation.
The state government Wednesday declared a work-free day in the state to enable civil servants alongside others in the state to participate in the special interdenominational thanksgiving service to celebrate the verdict.
New Nigerian in Uyo observed that as early as 9.00 am, the Nest of Champion a.k.a. Chief Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, venue of the thanksgiving service was filled to capacity by people from all divides of the society, especially PDP members and supporters who came out in their best apparel to thank God for the victory which they described as a divine mandate to recreate new Akwa Ibom .
The service was coordinated by the State Chairman of Christians Association (CAN), Arch Bishop Cletus Bassey who led other renowned clergies including Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel; Arch Bishop Margaret Idahosa of Church of God Mission, Rev. Uma Ukpai of Uma Ukpai Evangelical Outreach and Bishop Sunday Mbang, the Prelate Emeritus of Methodist Church Nigeria as well as Arch Bishop Elijah Mboho of Goodnews Gospel Community among others.
Speaking at the event, Governor Udom Emmanuel who spoke on the theme of the thanksgiving; “It is the Lord’s doing who am I, O Lord God” praised God for the victory which he noted would have eluded him and his party if God had not made it so.
Governor Emmanuel, who alongside his wife, Martha led the enthusiastic crowd to a moment of praises, also thanked God for His enabling mercy which he described as the pillar of strength by which he and his party were able to survive the antics of the opposition and rumour mills who cooked propaganda to incite the people of the state against truth and justice.
“I stand here emboldened by God’s love and mercy because He has given us the reason to say thank you to Him for the victory otherwise who is he that says a thing and it came to pass if God had not commanded”, Governor Emmanuel stated.
Governor Emmanuel however applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for respecting the Principle of Separation of Power where each arm of governments functions without interference by the executive.
He commended the judiciary for being alive to the need of the society, adding that the recent ruling by the Supreme Court which affirmed him as the governor of the state has brought a stabilizing effect in the political landscape of the state for meaningful development to take place.
Warning those who cast aspersions on the integrity of the judiciary where their expectations did not come forth to desist, Governor Emmanuel also called on everybody in the state to team up with his administration to help build the state, just as the platform for development is cleared.
Delivering a goodwill message, Ekiti state governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose also gave glory to God for giving the people of Akwa Ibom state the reason to celebrate His love among them and congratulated Governor Emmanuel for the victory both at the poll and courts which he added, was the victory for democracy and PDP nationwide.
Fayose who spoke on behalf of the governors present at the event which included the governors of Rivers, Bayalsa and Abia states, assured that the present generation of PDP governors would make the difference in governance and sued for support.
Earlier, the guest preacher and founder of Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo stressed the significance of thanksgiving to God, and commended Governor Emmanuel for setting aside the day for people of the state to give special thank to God for His faithfulness and love toward them.
According to him, whoever gives God thanks for what God has done for his or her life increases his or her blessings from God, besides being preserved for the next level of promotions.
He advised Governor Emmanuel not to let down the confident repose in him by the people of the state but to ensure quality lives of the people through enduring democratic dividends in the state which foundation he noted have already been laid by previous administrations in the state.
The special thanksgiving service which featured special praises and intercessory prayers for the state and the country, had the former governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Acting National Chairman of PDP, Mr. Uche Secondus, former deputy governors of Benue, Anambra and Enugu states, captains of industries, state and national lawmakers as well as other party stalwarts among other dignitaries in attendance.
By; Patrick Titus, Uyo