February 9, 2019
Ekete ~ The Paramount Ruler of Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Etim Abia, has hailed the ambition of the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State, Obong Nsima Ekere.
Speaking when Obong Ekere led the APC campaign team to pay him homage at his palace in Idua, Eket, on Saturday, Obong Abia said, “This is not the first time you are coming here and I am sure it won’t be the last. You can be sure we will always support you in all your endeavours. We thank you for coming. God bless you.”
The monarch said he was very proud when Obong Ekere became the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), noting that the APC candidate had the qualities to be the next Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
“This state has a lot of resources. One can safely say that 60 per cent of the resources of the nation come from Akwa Ibom State, not only just oil. In fact, many of our resources are not even tapped. So we need energetic people like Your Excellency there. We are happy that people like you are contesting. Indeed, when you left Akwa Ibom as Deputy Governor, we were very sad, and you know that, because you have something to offer. You have been successful. You are energetic. You are young. People like you are the kind of people that are necessary to turn, not only this state, but Nigeria around,” he said.
The monarch expressed the belief that “your party will work hard enough to ensure that you succeed and other candidates in APC also succeed. As far as we are concerned, it is the voice of the people that matters and we respect that.”
He went down memory lane to recall the glorious days of Eket as a port city and one of the four towns where the British colonialists first introduced telephone and lamented that “since Akwa Ibom State was created, little or nothing has happened in Eket.”
Obong Abia stated further, “So, Eket has a lot of potentials and history. And we are dying for the development of this place. And if APC can do better than PDP, well it is to the delight of our people and we welcome it.”
He called on all concerned to ensure peaceful, free and fair polls, adding, “the people have a choice. What is important to us as traditional rulers, because they all belong to us, is that everybody goes about this thing peacefully because at the end of the day, there will be a Governor elected who will rule over us. It doesn’t matter which party he belongs to.”
In his remarks, Obong Ekere promised to restore the dignity of the traditional institution, grant financial autonomy to local governments and revamp and complete the poorly done Eket urban renewal programme of the present State Government.
He recalled the iridustrialisation strides of Obong Abia through the Dr Pepper Bottling Company and Strabag Construction Company and pledged to bring real industrialisation to the state in contrast to the failed efforts of the present State Government.
Obong Ekere said going round to campaign in 28 local government areas, so far, the common complaints of the people against the State Government were non-performance, failed promises and false hopes.
“But I gave them a promise: dry bones shall rise again. I have a track record of service. If I can complete 13 projects in Eket in two years, I don’t see how I cannot affect Eket more in four years. I studied estate management and urban development. If anybody is well-versed in urban renewal, it is me, not a banker. Construction is in my spirit,” he said.
The Eket monarch later led a prayer session by his chiefs for Obong Ekere and his running mate, Dr Amadu Attai.