BEING BRIEF REMARKS PRESENTED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. UDOM EMMANUEL, GOVERNOR, AKWA IBOM STATE, THROUGH HIS DEPUTY, HIS EXCELLENCY, MR MOSES EKPO, ON THE OCCASION OF THE MAIDEN FLIGHT OF IBOM AIR AT THE VICTOR ATTAH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, UYO ON JUNE 7TH, 2019.
1. Let me start by congratulating the good people of Akwa Ibom State for recording this feat of historic proportions.
2. Today’s occasion is a watershed moment for us as a people. Never in the history of this nation or indeed anywhere else in Africa that I can recall, has a State Government gone into airline operations. Akwa Ibom State is therefore, the first to achieve this, and we should all collectively give ourselves a pat on the back.
3. The launch of this maiden flight by Ibom Air is a testament to the vision of rapid industrialization based on the three gateways: Land, Sea and Air that I have been emphasizing. The massive and interlocking network of roads – over 1, 700 kilometres either already commissioned or currently on-going, the Ibom Deep Seaport project also currently on-going and now, the launch of Ibom Air commercial airline operations will open our State to endless opportunities. Investors will continue to flock into our State, given the ease of traveling the launch of this airline will engender; the peace we enjoy and the hospitality of our people. We are all winners in this!
4. Let me commend the immediate past Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties and Aviation Development, Akan Okon and indeed the entire Staff and Management of Ibom Air ably led by one of our illustrious sons in aviation industry-Captain Mfon Udom for the painstaking and professional manner they went about securing all the certifications for the commencement of this operations. We also thank the regulatory agencies for working with us to achieve this great feat.
5. Finally, let me use this opportunity to appeal to some of our people in the opposition; it is not everything about us that should be coloured by, or be seen through the prism of politics. We should learn to separate development from politics. Ibom Air is a huge achievement for us all. When we board these aircrafts to either Lagos or Abuja and back to Uyo, the Cabin Crew will not ask you whether you are a PDP or APC card –carrying member, rather you will be greeted and be told “welcome on board” as a proud son or daughter of Akwa Ibom State. Sponsoring articles in the newspapers aimed at dismissing the great works we have done such as this, or telling the world, Ibom Air will never become a reality is highly unfortunate and sad. We are better than this!
6. It is therefore to the glory of the Almighty that I bless the operations of Ibom Air and speak success, safety and glory to this enterprise in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Bon Voyage, Ibom Air! God bless our people, God bless Akwa Abasi Ibom State.