The ancient city of Ikot Ekpene was Thursday brought to life with the 2017 Constituency briefing and empowerment scheme by the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Governor Udom Emmanuel, representative of the Senate President , were among several stalwarts from around the country who stormed the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium to grace the occasion convened by Senator Godswill Akpabio, immediate past Governor of the state.

The colourful event witnessed the empowerment of several people from the constituency with items worths several millions of naira in fulfillment of the promise of the senator to change the narrative and bring about an uncommon representation.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Udom Emmanuel said he was pleased to host the great crop of Nigerians at the occasion and commended Senator Akpabio for bringing succor to his people.

Governor Emmanuel said “the people of Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district are very lucky, a man who as Governor of this state for 8 years tackled infrastructural renaissance with messianic zeal and in the process entered a structure for the future Akwa Ibom State as a sky scrapper which my administration is determined to work to see its completion.”

The Governor described the crowd as a clear manifestation that Senator Akpabio, was a leader well loved and treasured by Akwa Ibom people.

He said that while Akpabio was putting smiles on the faces of his people, there were some senators who have never called stakeholders meetings in their constituency.

Mr Emmanuel re-echoed the unity existing among the political class in the state, saying that, “we are all dedicated to walking together to build a greater and more prosperous Akwa Ibom State.”

The Governor also tasked the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the opportunity the empowerment programme afforded them to better their lot and grow in whatever field of endeavour, and augmented the cash amount for bursary beneficiaries by N50, 000.

The host senator Godswill Akpabio said the programme was his own idea of giving back to the society in appreciation of the overwhelming support of his people.

“ We have not come to mobilize for war, because we don’t believe politics is war, we believe that politics is about servitude and service to humanity”, Akpabio said.

“We are trying to set a record that this is how it should be. When we send you to Abuja or anywhere, come back and give us a report…and I want to set this as an example that this is the way it should be, when you go out there come back and give report.”

He said with the level of support enjoyed by the PDP, Ikot Ekpene senatorial district will produce over 500, 000 votes in 2019 for his re-election as senator and that of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second term in 2019.

“We don’t want absentee representatives, we don’t want absentee senators; we want senators who come back to the grassroots because the power belongs to you. Nobody will carry ballot paper and run, it is you that will vote for the people,” the former Governor enthused.

The senate president Bukola Saraki reiterated that “as selective representatives of our people, it is part of our sole mandate and responsibility to legislate laws that would protect and empower our people to make them resourceful individuals that can add value to our community and the nation as a whole.”

Speaking through Senator Philip Aduda, he commended Senator Akpabio for his statesmanship and stewardship to his constituent describing his gesture as timely in view of the downwards trend in the economy.

“This is an economical trying time for our people, especially the teaming millions of our youths, therefore, any programme geared towards entrepreneurship and skills acquisition empowerment for our youths, is timely.

“This project is laudable and it would benefit your constituent across all the 106 wards in your senatorial district, it would also go a long way in providing capacity development, thereby reducing poverty and align for peaceful co-existence amongst the people.”

Speaking on behalf of the APC caucus in the senate, Senator Dino Melaye lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for his excellent record of performance in the state.

“I went round yesterday and I asked civil servants all over, una don collect alert for June and all the civil servants said yes we have been paid, and I started crying for my own state Kogi. I say ehh so your Governor does not owe, in fact, God bless you round about, we in Kogi we need anointing from you.”

The fearless senator also commended Senator Akpabio for setting the pace in effective representation.

“The truth is that Senator Akpabio is doing well and it is also a fundamental truth that the Governor of Akwa Ibom is doing well.”

I am very happy to be in Akwa Ibom state and on behalf of the APC caucus in the Senate, we are here to appreciate one single Nigerian with multiple competences, highly intellectually sagacious, politically great, Senator Godswill Akpabio .

Akpabio good teaching, good product, wetin good no get another name, na good them dey call am.

Melaye described Akpabio as “a Legislator per Excellence,” and added that, “we saw yesterday gigantic projects embarked upon by his Government and we can see the continuation by the current Governor.”

He said irrespective of party affiliation, the APC caucus in the Senate was strongly in support of Governor Emmanuel and Senator Akpabio, and urged the people of Akwa Ibom to support the duo.

“We are asking that you continue to support him, we know that God is already supporting him, because the Governor is doing well, because Akpabio has done well and is still doing well,” he added.

Items given out included 11 (6.5KVA) Generators; 24 (5.5KVA) Generators, 69 (2.5KVA) Generators; 55 Block Moulding Machines\Listers; 113 Computers/Printers; 194 Sewing Machines; 154 Grinding Machines; 58 Tricycles(Keke); 10 Cassava Processing Machines; and 30 Home Grinding Machines.

Other items dished out included 40 Industrial Sewing Machines; 20 Cars; 10 Buses; 4 Tractors; Scholarship to 250 Beneficiaries; Bursary Allowance to 22 Beneficiaries and 40 Cargo Tricycles.

The beneficiaries who were carefully selected from the 25 wards of the senatorial district by a central planning committee headed by Sir Emem Akpabio.

In a message sequel to the event, the committee had released a statement saying the beneficiaries’ selection process was and fair and truly very representational, while beneficiaries for the scholarship programme had to go through an aptitude test.

Ndifreke P. Akpan(Govt. House)

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