I will not waste my time embarking on White Elephant Projects – Gov. Emmanuel

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has said he would rather embark on life-touching projects than on monumental projects which have no direct impact on the people of the state.

He stated this at the wake of criticism from the opposition in the state that he has never executed a monumental project since he became governor in 2015.

In his Christmas Broadcast on Tuesday, the governor said, “I will like to make this profoundly fundamental point: we are not engaged in building monuments that have no direct impact or meaning to our everyday lives; we are not grandstanding with the construction of white elephant projects, we are not on a course for fleeting applause.

“We are not here to create a cult of personality or to play God or to define ourselves as the sole repositories of knowledge and power; we are not here to sell our State on bended knees or to cut deals that will imperil the future of our State or our children. We are not here sorely to protect our selfish interest while sacrificing the collective good.

“We are here because we genuinely care about you, your children’s future, the place of our State in the socio-political calculus of our Nation. We are here, because we believe the resources God has so generously endowed our people with, should be used to develop Akwa Ibom State and empower our people to rise further to the faith of their greatness.”

Emmanuel said he would remain focused in fostering development projects for the benefit of his people and never to feel deterred or intimidated by the antics of the opposition.

“I will not be intimidated, I will not bend, I will not give in to blackmail, lies or attacks on my person or my administration. I will not cut deals to sell our State to the highest bidder neither will I sacrifice the elements that define us as a people simply to further a political goal,” he said.

He also explained that his administration had done much for the past three and half years despite the election litigation the government was bedevilled with at inception.

“Three and half years ago when we came in, we were bogged down by issues of election litigations but we nonetheless kept our eye on the ball, because we came in here with a bold agenda predicated mainly on the need to rapidly industrialize this State and engender in our people’s psyche a new attitude, a new mind-set predicated on the dakkada philosophy and nothing, I mean nothing was going to derail us from pursuing that path of sustainable development,” he added.

Giving insight to his sectoral achievements, the governor said, “Our public education system is one of the best in the nation. We have improved the free and compulsory education by insisting on recruiting over 3,000 quality teachers to teach our children, we have provided modern tools and a conducive environment for our children to learn, preparing their future and getting them ready to compete fairly with their counterparts all over the world. This has been an abiding article of faith that I am dedicated to pursuing.

“Health is wealth and this critical positive right is key to our developmental strides. From the remodelling and equipping of the Methodist Hospital, Ituk Mbang, to those of Etinan, Ikono, Emmanuel Hospital, Eket, the General Hospital, Ikot Okoro, the General Hospital in Iquita among others, to the great works my wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emanuel has done through FEYReP, we will continue to invest heavily in this sector.

“Electricity has improved tremendously across the State because of the huge investments we have made in the power sector; most of our major streets are well illuminated at night. Our investment in agriculture is yielding results. Staple food prices have dropped significantly compared to what was obtained at our advent. We will be flooding the market with our locally produced rice from Ini Local Government, whose mill we had commissioned about two weeks ago.

“My fellow Akwaibomites, these are what in the Western world form what is called Kitchen table issues: issues that form part of the positive and negative rights and which directly affect the people, not monuments, not white elephant projects. Any responsible government must provide these critical services and I make bold to say here, that we have done well in providing these drivers of development and in my second term by the grace of God and your support, we will continue to provide these services to you my dear people.”

On the Infrastructural development, the governor said, “Our infrastructural drive is moving steadily and assuredly, in spite of what the naysayers may say, the roads we have built are all there for everyone to see, and these roads cut across the entire three senatorial districts. The strategy of the other side is to lie to you that what we have achieved are all lies. In their hurry to lie to you, they forget the fact that Akwa Abasi Ibom people are smart and can see things for themselves. Ibom Deep Sea Port is moving steadily, soon, IBOM AIR, the only State owned, State run and State operated airline in the whole of Africa will be in operations. I think we should all be very proud to be Akwaibomites and shame those who only traffic in lies and have nothing to offer you.”

He also said that his government has attracted close to 15 verifiable industries to the State.

According to him, “if you go to the Coconut Refinery, you will see a gigantic project that should bring joy and pride to us all as Akwaibomites, yet the other side say it doesn’t exist, which leaves me wondering why a few mischief makers should take delight in lying to cover up their lack of plans to move our people forward? The Flour Mill will soon be commissioned, yet the opposition say it doesn’t exist, do they think you don’t have eyes to see good things that are happening in our State? The Syringes Manufacturing Company occupies a sprawling space and is producing syringes that are being used in hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities, yet the opposition say they don’t exist; do they think we are all so gullible? The Metering Solutions can hardly keep up the demands for meters nationwide, yet the opposition say they do not exist.

“Do they think we don’t have eyes to see the good things that are happening in our State? Two weeks ago, we commissioned our Rice Processing Mill in Ini yet the opposition say the mill does not exist, do they think our people are so gullible? The AKEES Mini Industrial Park is helping interpret our vision of encouraging small scale enterprises, yet the opposition say they don’t exist, same with Fertilizer Blending Plant and other industries.”

The governor, however, prayed that those fanning the embers of war and violence in the state shall be put to shame.

His words “The future of Akwa Abasi Ibom people is very important to be sacrificed at the altar of those who want to return us to the days of slavery and servitude.

“A few years ago, we lived in the inglorious world as captured by Thomas Hobbes- a society where life was nasty, brutish and short, you are all living witnesses to those dark years when our people were kidnapped, murdered or brutally killed for holding different political opinions; you are all living witnesses to a sick and inglorious times when old men and women were not spared the horrors of politically motivated killings.

“Three and half years as your Governor, no one has been kidnapped for political reasons, no one has been assassinated for holding a different political view point; no one has been harassed for speaking his or her mind. I have been insulted, called all manner of names but I have taken it all in the chin, knowing full well that our people who enjoy the peace and security in this State are with us. Do you, my dear Akwa Ibomites want to go back to the days of horror, of killings and of kidnappings? The same people who brought you those years of horror are back together and they have promised you and the entire world that they will unleash violence upon you in the fashion of Warsaw saw war.

“As we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, may their plan to unleash violence on our peace-loving people never come to pass; may the peace and progress we currently enjoy continue to be our portion in Jesus name, and you my dear people say Amen!

“We are not arming people and sewing fake army and police uniforms to unleash terror on our innocent children just to win elections, we are here, because we genuinely care about you, your children’s future, the place of our State in the socio-political calculus of our Nation. We are here, because we believe the resources God has so generously endowed our people with, should be used to develop Akwa Ibom State and empower our people to rise further to the faith of their greatness.

“My dear Akwaibomites, when they tell you these politically motivated lies, tell them that you have seen what Udom Emmanuel has done in three and half years and that you are satisfied and you will go with the train of peace and security; of development and industrialisation.

“Politics will come and politics will go, but Akwa Abasi Ibom State will remain non-negotiable and sacrosanct. May we have a peaceful and violence-free electioneering campaign and elections come 2019 and may the might and the will of the people supersede every other “might” and our people say ‘Amen’.”

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