IN THE NEWS: GOV UDOM EMMANUEL REDEDICATES AKWA IBOM TO GOD
Evelyn-A. B. Ibanga
………It was a spiritually uplifting moment as Governor Udom Emmanuel led his wife, the leadership and people of Akwa Ibom State in a Solemn Assembly to rededicate the state to God and usher in the new year 2019.
The Solemn Assembly, which is an annual event in the state, had thousands of worshippers in array of colours, delightfully dancing and singing praises to God, at the Ibom Hall Grounds, IBB Way, Uyo.
Addressing the mammoth crowd of Christian faithful, Governor Emmanuel said he was well pleased at the theme of the solemn assembly, ‘You Are God, You Alone’, drawn from 2 Kings 19 : 19, noting that it reflects Akwa Ibom as a state named after God, being the only one who manages and shapes the affairs of the state.
The Governor, who took the only Bible reading drawn from 2 Kings 19 : 1 -19, stressed that by the collective Will of gathering for the service, there was strong confidence that no instrument of man can change the plans of God for the state, adding that the much chanted war songs and lies by “naysayers”, shall never come to fruition in Akwa Ibom State.
The Governor noted that the year 2019 will usher in continuous prosperity, peace and unity occasioned by total rejection of divisive tendencies in the state, maintaining that the year would also mark the outright “repudiation of violence and evil plans to mortgage the commonwealth of the state” to the highest bidder
Emmanuel regretted that a few selfish leaders of the state extraction, have taken to negative actions with the view to gain power at all cost, cautioning that such actions are targeted at ruining the future generations of the state.
He advised the people to shun evil plans that are contrary to the efforts of his administration to secure a better future for Akwa Ibom Children through divine direction, stressing that only God will allow the right individual to continue on the path of providing good governance.
The State Chief Executive pronounced the new year as a critically important year for consequential decisions, indicating that the people have a task of separating light from darkness by choosing a path that will ensure the state retains its pride of place as against returning to the dark era of destructive vices.
While thanking God for the successes of the past year, Governor Emmanuel stated, “I want to bless God for all of you and thank him that as we go into this year, be bold, be courageous . . . Only God is the source of our power and to him alone we commit ourselves as a state as we seek your support to continue the good works we started together three and a half years ago”.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Barrister Onofiok Luke, who led members of the Assembly on a thanksgiving to God, said they were appreciating God for his protection in 2018, acknowledging that “it was only God who did not allow any soul to be lost or any blood to be shed in the House of Assembly”.
Speaker Luke, on behalf of his colleagues in the sixth Assembly, announced a donation of One Million Naira, to support the ongoing construction of the International Worship Centre in the state.
Earlier, the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Reverend Ndueso Ekwere, remarked that the assemblage of Christian faithful, was to seek divine intervention in the affairs of the state, appreciating the Governor for sustaining the initiative.
Reverend Ekwere noted that in view of the critical period in the country, it was imperative for every well-meaning citizen to pray for the progress of the state, pointing out that the Interdenominational service was a great opportunity for Akwa Ibom people to worship and pray together.
The CAN Chairman, who led other Ministers in prayers to rededicate the state, said that prayer is a powerful weapon in the lives of individuals who call upon God and surrender their affairs into his hands, attributing the success story of the state in the last three and a half years, to the mercies of God “through the ingenuity of Governor Emmanuel”.
He urged all Christians in the state to unite in prayers, seek the path of peace, love and care for each other, commending the Governor for increasing the number of Jerusalem Pilgrims this year and expressed hope that with improvement in the state economy, mope people would be accommodated.
In his sermon, the Guest Preacher, Archbishop Idem Ikon, admonished Christians to willingly accept divine guidance to attain their destinations, drawing Biblical examples of Joseph, Moses, Joshua and Gideon, who at different times attained victories through divine directives.
Archbishop Ikon, who is the President of The Revival Valley Ministries International, asserted that the major battle confronting the state, is to re-educate the minds of the Akwa Ibom person, charging the people to rise up against mediocrity and reach out for greatness, dignity and self esteem.
While stressing that challenges and tribulations are leverage to raise people higher, the cleric remarked, “It is God we need, leave the conclusion of the elections, that is foregone. There is no devil that can wrest this state away and take it into chaos anymore, it is absolutely impossible”.
The Solemn Assembly featured Praise and Worship, Ministration by CAN Mass Choir, Prayers of Thanksgiving, Intercessory Prayers for the Governor, his Cabinet members, leadership and members of the State Assembly, Judiciary, Permanent Secretaries Security Agents, all Government Apparatus, the people of rhe state and Country as well as prayers for free, fair, peaceful and credible elections.