Governor Udom Emmanuel’s disposition towards peace and security of lives and property as well as the focus on wealth creation through the establishment of factories would give him an edge over his opponents in next year’s general election.
Emmanuel, who is seeking a re-election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is likely to face Nsima Ekere, the managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Onofiok Luke, speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, who stated this in Uyo, the state capital, said Governor Udom has acquitted himself creditably since he assumed office in 2015 with topmost attention being given to industrialisation and the protection of lives and property.
“He came on the platform of industrialisation. You cannot develop a place without peace, without the security of lives and property. For us to have that industrialisation crystallised, we ask that he be re-elected. Industrialisation brings about prosperity and we are asking him to keep industrialising Akwa Ibom in peace.
“We have enjoyed peace in Akwa Ibom since he became governor. We were all here and we knew about what used to happen in the past. We don’t know why these things happened but we have seen change in that and we want that peace to continue,” Luke said.
According to the Speaker, “We don’t have issues of insecurity like child abduction and even the issue of militancy anymore due to the leadership disposition and grace of God upon the life of the governor and his character; he has been able to engender peace in the state. For the sake of that peace to continue, we want him to be re-elected.
“We are running our campaign based on issues. We cannot do anything without God. Our campaign is anchored only on God. It is only God who can give the grace, the enablement, and the resources to make sure that we have the development that we need.”
The Speaker, who noted that there cannot be industrialisation without security, said the governor has been working with security agencies in the state to make sure the lives and property of citizens are secured.
“For you to have an industrialised state there are basic things – one is infrastructure. You cannot have industries cited where you don’t have infrastructure and the basic amenities is the roads, where you can have access to raw materials and equally have the thoroughfare to evacuate product after it has been finished in the factory to where you have the necessary markets.
“That is why the governor is putting all efforts to make sure the roads in the mainland and hinterlands are developed, that is why he is constructing roads in the hinterlands. That is why the little funds that come to the state, he makes sure that the funds are shared to the different contractors to make sure those roads are completed,” he said.
He said plans are under way for a security trust fund to be established in the state for security officers, adding that the trust fund which will have the backing of the legislature would take off in the second tenure of the governor.
He called on the people of the state to be patient with the state governor and not judge him based on the circumstances of his being governor, stating that the economic recession affected the financial fortunes of the state when Emmanuel became governor.
He added that every government in the state after the return to democratic rule in 1999 had to struggle through its first tenure to find its feet and that it was in their second term in office that previous governments performed very well.
He lauded the governor for investing massively in the area of power supply through the different power projects built in the state to boost power and promote the establishment of factories in the state.