From Joe Effiong, Uyo

Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel has used his Christmas broadcast to regale the people of the state with his achievements in office.

Running through health, agriculture, infrastructure, industrialisation, education, Ibom Air, peace and even a Christmas carol, Governor Emmanuel said what his administration’s “Sustainable Growth Paradigm” would create in a few years a new Akwa Ibom people would be proud to be associated with.

The governor said that the Christmas season is full of hope and his administration’s ‘determination to continue to forge ahead and deliver on our campaign promises, ‘to leave this state better than we met her, and to proclaim with certainty that the Akwa Ibom story, will not be reversed; that the things which had hitherto defined us negatively as a state and as a people shall be permanently cancelled and erased, and it will be “forward ever, backward never!”

‘This is a season where we should banish all ancient animosities and celebrate our oneness and unity, our development and the strides we are collectively making as a state and as a people.

‘It is a season of joy and thankfulness to God for holding us together as a people and as a state, in spite of the economic difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which unfortunately has now mutated to the Delta and Omicron variants respectively.’

The governor, who disclosed the existence of the omicron variant in the state, reiterated the need for people to follow the simple but effective protocols aimed at curtailing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

‘At a time the world thought we had turned a corner with this virus, this omicron variant has returned the world to the starting point. Travel restrictions are being imposed all over the world and some countries have painfully considered another round of lockdowns.

‘Here in Nigeria, and in our state, in particular, we have discovered some cases of this omicron variant and it is incumbent upon us, to do all we can to curtail its spread. The simple protocols of social distancing, regular washing of hands with liquid soaps, the wearing of facemask, use of hand sanitisers etc, plus the robust healthcare facilities we have provided, had helped us a great deal in stemming the spread of this virus when it first appeared on our shores.

‘We should remain committed to doing the same with this new variant. We do not intend to impose another round of lockdown. This will however, depend on how we obey the protocols. This is a serious matter and should be treated as such,’ he said.

The governor enthused over the peaceful conduct of the last state government sponsored Christmas carol, which thousands of people attended and departed peacefully without any ghastly or fatal incident.

‘My dear AkwaIbomites, these are not issues we should take for granted. Our people have found peace amongst themselves. Peace has seen us tap into our creative wells and the entrepreneurial culture is being embraced by our people, especially the youths. We must maintain this peace with every fibre of our beings.

‘Any one, and I repeat anyone, who, for selfish political purposes, wants to reverse this peace, must, and will be rejected, anyone who aims to grab power through the instrument of violence must be stopped and rejected. And let me even add, anyone who aims at getting power by using violence against his or her people will end up ruling with violence. May the season of peace which Christmas represents, never see our State go through such politically-motivated years of violence again.

‘This is not a speech to talk about our achievements, as there will be good enough time in the coming months to continue distilling and projecting or document what God has used us to achieve collectively for our dear people.

‘We will, however, continue to ensure that issues concerning education, agriculture, health care or the social infrastructure are given the prime attention they deserve. We owe our children the responsibility of preparing them to be competitive in an information technology-driven world; we owe them the right education to make them future employers of labour, as opposed to being job seekers,’ the governor declared.

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Source: news