Stop Beating War Drums
Gov. Umo Eno Warns Groups Against
Inflammatory Statements Over Lands
- Explains why he flew Ibom Air, revoked C of Os at Industrial Park
- FG’s Palliative Funds Not Yet Received
Against the backdrop of threats and counter threats issued by some coastal communities in Akwa Ibom State, as observed in the media last week, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno, has sued for calm, warning that such threat statements were capable of fanning the embers of war.
The Governor gave the warning on Saturday August 19, during the monthly Government House prayer meeting held at Later House chapel, Government House, Uyo, Akwa ibom State. The prayer meeting, attended by top government functionaries, the leaders of the Christian community in Akwa Ibom, political leaders and security apparatuses, featured praises, prayers and homily on the theme, “Be of Good Cheer; It’s I, be Not Afraid,” delivered by Rev’d Dr. Samuel Ebukiba.
In his remarks, the Governor who acknowledged God’s benevolence for the peace Akwa Ibom State enjoys, warned communities in the coastal areas against making inflammatory statements that could easily cause communal conflicts, which would be inimical to the peace, economic development and growth of tourism potentialities of the State. Here are the excerpts of the Governor’s remarks at the occasion.
“Let us continue to keep the peace we have in the state. Our state is known as a peaceful state. You don’t know the number of people that come in daily for events, Akwa Ibom is now the place everybody want to go. Seriously we don’t have a week that people don’t come in here for event and |I think we have to do everything we can to maintain that status and I want to plead that all our leaders wherever we are to maintain peace.
Don’t be provoked to hold press conferences and issue threat statements to heat up the system. People are very hungry, people are extremely hungry and all it takes to light up flame is just one little thing you say and then we cannot control it. When you issue those threats, you may know how to start trouble, you may not know how the trouble will end. So we need to be extremely careful. I’m begging everyone, let’s maintain the peace that God has given to us.
For our brothers and sisters in the coastal areas, I don’t see any need for trouble, the matter is in court and we all know that when a matter is in court, you let the court decide. But for you to now begin to issue statements that are inflammatory, it is not fair; please I’m begging, because these things have effect on our state and the economy. So no group will meet again and issue any threat statement on anything, whether land, ocean or forest; all lands in the state are vested in the Governor’s office. The Governor has the authority, please don’t issue press statement again on land. If anybody issues press statement again on land, the security will go after you, because we think you deliberately want to cause the breakdown of land and order.
I’m trying to be as simple as I can, but please don’t try stretch us to go too far, let our communities be in peace, please I beg you, not just in the coastal areas only, even the upland too. I just plead that we maintain please, let’s try and maintain dignity in what we do please.
The palliative committee has been meeting and will submit their reports next week. We are trying to address hunger as much as possible. The challenge to us is how we can really get the palliative to the people that really need it; that’s the real challenge. Whether we will do it village by village…but we will try to get it down to the real people. All need have to do is to try to be a little bit patience.
I hear the Federal Government has released 5 billion naira; I just read it on the news, we have not seen 5billion naira yet. When they give us, we will know; but because they have announced it, they must give us. And then they will now let us know whether it is a grant or a loan, we need to clarify all of this.
It is easier to say something in the air and people expect it but when we get it we will let you know but because they have said it, they will give us and then we will be able to do the best we can to support our people.
I’m waiting for the report of the committee and then we will look at the best way to distribute what we’ve gotten and what we intend to add.
REVOCATION OF C OF Os AT INDUSTRIAL PARK
Last week we had to revoke C of Os around at the Industrial Park. The industrial park supposed to be a place we should have some industries. Since 2015, people have gotten lands there and they’ve not done anything. We really want to make it and industrial park. Yes, we have revoked the C of Os, but if you have something you want to build, bring your proposal to the Ministry of Trade and AKICORD to work with you and you will give us timeline, and let’s know what industry you want to build, when you will start and how many people you’re engaging. And then we will monitor you but to just take the land there, use the C of O to go take loans and do something else, we will not allow it. It is an industrial park and we need to get our people to work.
When people say, ‘I have revoked C of O, please let them understand this; let them come up with what they want to do. There’s no guarantee that we will give you back the land but we will give you something else. We will give you a temporary C of O and monitor what you will do first. We want to create jobs for our young people.
I know some of us who have the land there have been calling me and some have even threatened that, ‘you don’t start Government like this, and that you will not get second term.’ Friends, let’s work first and let the people do decide whether they will give us second term, I will not live in fear. We will do the right thing. You can get a land and leave it undeveloped and people are looking for land to develop and we don’t find them; it won’t thrive that way, please.
IT’S FUN FLYING IBOM AIR
Matthew 11:18…I’m trying the best I can to simplify government. I play with people, run around in keke, go to enter Ibom Air, and the next thing is…leave a man who has finished his work alone. Our Governor Deacon Udom Emmanuel has finished…’Oh Udom has taken the private jet, that’s why he is flying Ibom Air…when someone hates you, he just hates you, even if you give your blood to the person, he will still hate you. The only thing you can do is to be yourself.
I stand here on God’s altar to say that not one day has Governor Udom Emmanuel called for private jet, not one day. These are things they can call for, it is not out of place but not one day has Udom Emmanuel called for the jet. There are things he runs around for the state, and I’m the one who will even send it, and he said, “Pastor, Akwa Ibom will come after you, don’t send this jet here.”
Ibom Air is part of our business and I’m to support businesses. During my campaign I said I will go through Ibom Air, and going through Ibom Air is to see how the operations is and meet people at the airport. It was all fun meeting those people at the airport, as they all came out…I was able to ask how the staff are doing. Flying Ibom Air is fun for me. This Governor you’re talking about, when did I even become it? After my tenure I will still go back to Ibom Air, I will keep flying Ibom Air.
Do you know what it means for a governor to stop by a business place and patronize that business? The value of that business just goes up. If Ibom Air were a public quoted company, which we are soon going to be, the shares would have just gone up. And yet people are saying, “He’s flying Ibom Air because Governor Udom Emmanuel has collected the private jet.” Please, there are some things you say that may boomerang negatively against you. I know where I’m coming from, so nobody will make me who I’m not.
FLAGGING OFF-ROAD PROJECTS
Next week we’re flagging off some road projects. Why we didn’t do so before now is that the amount was more than what I could approve as a Governor. I am a very procedural person and I wanted to put the State EXCO in place and constitute the FGPC, so the amount will go first to FGPC to get the approval before the award of contracts. If you award before you go through FGPC, the State House of Assembly will go after you; so I’m also careful. But now that the FGPC is in place, we constitute FGPC on Tuesday and hope we get approval, then we will go to flag off roads in Oron, Ikot Ekpene and then we take care of the erosion sites. I have visited the place and already houses are beginning to cave in, so we need to work quickly at that site.
POLITICIANS AGHAST, AS PLOTS TO GAG UMO ENO FLOP
Meanwhile, politicians are at their wit’s end, as the old narrative of coercing a governor to do their bidding seems to have been shockingly altered with Pastor Umo Eno.
Pundits had expected that with the return of all former commissioners, the Governor would not be able to run his own programmes but would be caged by politicians. But the surprising thing now is that the Governor is one detecting his own moves.
An academia and a party stalwart who preferred anonymity, said the Governor has vehemently resisted plots by politicians to gag him and detect how the government should be run.
The source further stated that, aside the Governor taking full lead and detecting the pace of his administration, politicians are awed by his administrative savvy which is unexpected of a greenhorn in politics.
Already, political gladiators have begun to tinker over second term plan of the governor. They saw the move of the governor to recruit personal assistants from each ward of the state as a strategy to suffocate politicians. They reason that once the Governor succeeds in appointing ward leaders as his personal assistants, they will no longer exert control of the political space.
A source hinted that what surprises pundits more is that the Governor has resisted attempts to be “compromised.” Though he didn’t expatiate on this but another political heavyweight who weighed into the issue noted that as a pastor, the Governor has not left anyone in doubt that he meant business when he told some of the re-appointed politicians that they must follow and implement the template of this administration to the letters.
He, however, observed that the Governor’s stance requires a lot of prayers, while making a passionate appeal to the church, particularly some Christian bodies to uphold the governor in prayers, as gang-ups by affected political leaders begin to brew over the second term.
“Please, let the Fathers In Faith people not rest because elections are over. The Governor needs much more of their support now to enable him carry out his plans for Akwa Ibom State, ” he said.