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NSIMA EKERE: BENEFITTING FROM THE SWEAT OF OTHERS

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NSIMA EKERE: BENEFITTING FROM THE SWEAT OF OTHERS

By Bassey Solomon

Without any tinge of doubt, Mr. Nsima Ekere, Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, could be said to be one undeserved beneficiary of the Buhari administration. He is an epitome of a square peg in a round hole “food is ready politician.”

He never labored, campaigned, supported or voted for either Buhari or the APC. Until he was appointed, he never openly declared support for Buhari administration let alone had APC membership card but cruised through the backdoor for the appointment as the head of the multi billion naira commission even ahead of the likes of Umana Umana who gave his all to ensure that APC, at least has a wobbling foundation in Akwa Ibom

Going back in time, Ekere was a governorship aspirant on the platform of the PDP and failed leader of the defunct G22 governorship aspirants that Governor Udom Emmanuel roundly defeated at the primaries to clinch the PDP ticket.

Though the strength and number of the group depleted after a futile forty days sojourn on the streets of Abuja to secure the nullification of Emmanuel’s ticket, Ekere, who by all known description expressed a naked hunger for power and intemperateness continued to hold on to the straw even as some members had thrown their weight behind Emmanuel

Pundits within the APC in Akwa Ibom are still harbouring resentment how Ekere who they see as usurper and stranger that never suffered for the party to become the greatest beneficiary of the largesse while those who suffered to give the APC a name in a PDP dominated state are starving and if fortunate reduced to picking the crumbs

Political observers opined that Ekere is today riding on the popularity of garnerd by Umana, Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority and APC gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 general election

Umana defected to APC in 2014 after seeing the writing on the wall that the zoning of the governorship seat to Eket Senatorial district did not favour his ambition to flying the PDP flag.

Pundits say the only contribution made by Ekere was his occasionally allowing supporters of Umana to use his campaign facility along Edet Akpan avenue, Uyo for meetings and solemn assemblies when Umana’s governorship petition was in court.

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A chieftain of the party said ‘ Ekere may have been lucky to become MD of NDDC, using his relationship with Rotimi Amaechi but the extent to which the luck will take him, I don’t know because some of us are not fools. He thinks he can cajole everybody in the party with money.” The silent complaints about Ekere among the ranks in the APC are believed to have started few months after his appointment in 2016.

It was gathered that early last year, Ekere, ambitiously hijacked the party by allegedly bribing and inducing the immediate past state Exco of the party, led by the former Chairman, Dr. Amadu Attah to zone 2019 governorship to Eket senatorial district and restraining other senatorial districts from seeking nominations.

Such atrocious and desperate move did not go down well with some chieftains of the party. For instance Solomon Johnny, APC Chieftain wrote on his facebook wall, “I knew “APC”, Akwa Ibom State chapter, will commit this very serious blunder. I just read that the party had zoned her governorship ticket to Eket Senatorial District and by implication therefore, shall not want aspirants from any other senatorial District to vie for the ticket”. Continuing, he wrote “My immediate question to them is this:

Does APC constitution provide for or recognize zoning? If it does, why did the party set aside such provision and nominate Obong Umana Okon Umana ( from Uyo senatorial district) in 2015 as her gubernatorial candidate?

He has promised to address these points and that when he is done, “it would have been seen that those who sat to purportedly zone the governorship ticket of the party to Eket Senatorial District are not seeing beyond the wads of Naira notes and the contracts Obong Nsima Ekere has promised to give them if he gets the ticket of the party.”

According to him “The decision to zone the ticket to Eket is not well thought out. It is very shallow and will make APC a prey to the PDP in 2019. APC cannot sing the same tune with the PDP while she hopes to sack the same party in the next election”,

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“Zoning is a PDP ideology unknown to the APC constitution and the rule cannot change mid- way possibly because some new intake into the party are jaundiced in their assessment of the founding members of the party, noting “I don’t think that Eket Senatorial District will dump Governor Udom Emmanuel who they already have on the seat, to chase after another candidate.”

Members of the party are also wary of Ekere’s deceptive antecedents and desperation to capture power at the slightest opportunity. Some who were closed to him during the tenure of the then governor Godswill Akpabio, lamented how Ekere as Chairman of AKIICORP used his relationship with the governor to blackmail his brother, then Deputy Governor, Engr. Patrick Ekpotu. Ekpotu is from Edemaya in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.

Observers disclosed that Ekere through serial deceit and blackmail succeeded Ekpotu as the Deputy Governor at the 2011 general elections. Ekere on assumption of office then, it was gathered started moves to set up structure to take over from Akpabio in case the subterranean moves to impeach Akpabio met a stone wall.

It was gathered that in less than two years of becoming a Deputy Governor, Ekere’s official responsibilities suffered fatal blows as he engaged himself more on personal interest of taking over power in 2015.

Close watchers recalled the cold war of attrition between Umana Okon Umana, then SSG who was also seeking to succeed Akpabio and intolerant Ekere came to a head few days before Ekere resigned his position as the then deputy governor. In fact, when the news of Ekere’s resignation became public and a journalist called Ekpotu to air his opinion on the matter, Ekpotu could only retorted “ he shouldn’t have resigned, I thought he knew how to become a better Deputy and hung up the line.

It is perhaps owing to the consummate distrust that has enveloped Ekere’s personality that Johnny posited recently, “If Obong Nsima Ekere cannot honor a simple agreement to allow the 2014 exco at the ward and chapter levels of APC to continue, how shall he honor a more weighty agreement with Uyo Senatorial District not to run for a second term?”

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The party Chieftain further queried “If Obong Nsima Ekere is using known criminals and security aides, (sic) is in the know of how same security aides are running guns in the Niger Delta against the federal government, How are we sure he shall not return kidnapping, Armed robbery, politically motivated assassinations in Akwa Ibom State if elected as governor.”

Corroborating, another APC Chieftain and 2019 governorship hopeful, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe said recently on a radio programme monitored in Uyo, “Governor Udom Emmanuel is not killing people; those who killed people are now in APC.”

Speaking further he said “who is Nsima Ekere to become MD of NDDC? Did he even vote for President Buhari?

Continuing, Akpanudoedehe told his listerners “ Nsima Ekere is the enemy of Akwa Ibom, Akwa Ibom people, these are your enemies, people who opposed me yesterday, today they want to be Governor. How can I give my support to Nsima when my vision is to deliver Akwa Ibom from the people who destroyed it?” , adding “ they said Nsima Ekere has signed agreement to do four years as governor… a man who cannot keep a secret before you and among themselves cannot keep agreement.”

Admitting the belief that Akwa Ibom is dominantly a PDP state, the APC governorship hopeful maintained “APC can’t win elections in Akwa Ibom, we are just doing business.

The battle within the APC in Akwa Ibom is brewing, the fragile peace enjoyed during the congresses has been broken into pieces, two Chairmen are now heading the party, Nsima Ekere and Senator Akpanudoedehe are struggling to get the governorship ticket of the party, things are already falling apart and it is doubtful if the center will ever hold again.

Bassey Solomon, a public affairs analyst writes from Uyo

Opinion

THE CHANGE THAT CHAINED US By Toyo Jimmy

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THE CHANGE THAT CHAINED US

Toyo Jimmy, Esquire

Angered by monumental corruption, incompetence, insecurity, impunity, cabalism, and the crass arrogance of the then ruling party (PDP), Nigerians yearned for change. Compelled by this yearning, they sought for a different pilot in 2015. In our estimation, the pilot needed to be someone who is firm, credible, incorruptible, competent, and with a good grasp of governance. ‘Candidate’ Buhari fitted perfectly into this mould. Tales of Buhari’s integrity and no-nonsense demeanour were highly seductive to sedate our memory against his ‘misdeeds’ as a military ruler. Groan with patriotism and exigency of saving Nigeria from being run aground, most Nigerians were ready to abandon, and indeed abandoned, their traditional, ethnic and religious ties to root for Buhari. In the end, Buhari won. The air was filled with joy and some sense of fulfilment. A strong statement was made that, power belongs to the people and that change is inevitable.

At his swearing-in, President Buhari famously and tastily declared that he belonged to nobody. The media were awash with such bold statement. There was a great feeling of satisfaction among Nigerians – our hopes were alive that we have snatched power from the establishment and given to the masses. ‘We now have a nation where considerations for appointments and employment will not be based on ethnic, religious or political lines,’ retorted some.

More than three years down the line, our hopes have been dashed. President Buhari appears not to be the beautiful bride we all celebrated. The iniquities that the past administration was accused of have been committed by the present administration and even more.

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Insecurity is still pervasive in the North East. The promise to decapitate Boko Haram has not been fulfilled. Some weeks ago, the Governor of Borno State while on a visit to President Buhari helplessly broke down in tears as he narrated the ordeal of his citizens in the hands of Boko Haram.

Corruption, which forms the main policy plank of this administration, is fought selectively and dishonestly. Corruption is defined by the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (9th ed.) as dishonest or illegal behaviour especial of people in authority. Many instances of dishonest behaviour of the President Buhari abounds, but a few will suffice. It amounts to dishonest behaviour by the President Buhari for a minister who allegedly served the country without having her NYSC certificate is escorted out of the country and not made to face the law. It is dishonesty when President Buhari turned a blind eye to collection of bribe by a governor in his party and even went ahead to defend the governor, while other governors still under immunity are investigated and their state government accounts froze by the EFCC.

Impunity is the order of the day under President Buhari’s administration and court orders are flouted at every turn. It is unconscionable that Dazuki and El Zakzaky are detained for over two years even in the face orders of court granting them bail. President Buhari acts based on his whims and caprices, the very attitude legal scholars feared when they decided to propound certain theories – rule of law, separation of power, checks and balances – which have now been adopted as being part and parcel of democracy. The President has suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria in the most brazen manner without recourse to the law. President Buhari has exhibited behaviour characteristic of a despot.

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President Buhari has displayed the highest level of incompetence. The President does not understand questions asked and cannot give rationale answers to them. At law, the President would have been called an ‘incompetent witness.’ The President has committed faux pas and blunders of unpardonable proportion.

Cabals have taken over President Buhari’s administration. Many plots have been hatched without President Buhari knowing about them. The National Assembly was laid siege by the State Security Service (SSS) without the knowledge of the presidency. The incident totally embarrassed the government which led to the sack of the then Director General of the SSS. It is alleged that the presidency did not know of the proposed arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria before the Code of Conduct Tribunal until few hours to the arraignment.

President Buhari’s party – the All Progressives Party (APC) – has acted with crass arrogance exhibited by the repented PDP. This arrogance reached its nadir when the Chairman of the Party declared to the whole world that the sins committed by politicians are wash away when they join the ruling party.

Moving forward, Nigeria deserves better. A nation so blessed with human resources deserves to be competently represented. With hindsight, this is not the change we bargained for. To be clear, the problems enumerated above existed before President Buhari took charge of government, but Nigerians expected that things would be done differently with Buhari being in charge. Under President Buhari, our situation has become worse and the change seems meaningless. To worsen things, the economy has degenerated and there is high rate of unemployment in the land.

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In the forthcoming election, our options seem limited. We have Moghalu, a young and vibrant Nigerian, capable of turning things around. But does he have the necessary political base to win election in Nigeria? Pragmatically, the answer is in the negative. Even in the most civilised clime, it will still be difficult for Moghalu to win a national election given his lack of base. What option do we then have? Atiku seems to be the only expedient option. He is not without baggage, but he appears to be the lesser of two evils. Though he has been accused of corruption, it is over five years since he left office and no charge has been brought against him. And he has a formidable base that sustain his ride to power.

President Buhari needs to be voted out if Nigeria is not to be plunged into abyss by Buhari and this men. The change we voted for has now become a chain that has tied our hands and feet. We must cut it free and embrace a new era. The options may be limited, but we have a choice.

Toyo Jimmy is a legal practitioner and an advocate of good governance, rule of law and civil liberties.

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Dementia: How Prof Uduak Archibong is expanding the frontier

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Dementia: How Prof Uduak Archibong is expanding the frontier

Prof Uduak Archibong

Prof Uduak Archibong

By Edidiong Udobia

According to Alzheimer’s Association, “Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia”. It further notes that dementia is not a specific disease but an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. There is a common misconception about dementia where it is often referred to as senility and this is why most dementia patients are subjected to stigmatization.

Studies reveal that lack of awareness is the biggest challenge to the fight against dementia especially in Africa which has the highest prevalence. For instance, the 2015 World Alzheimer Report showed an increasing evidence of dementia in sub-Saharan Africa, but unfortunately, despite the magnitude of the situation, awareness about dementia remains low within the population and older people are rarely the target of specific health policies. Another report indicates that lack of awareness further contributes most dementia associated deaths in the African region. Citing Prince et al., (2012), the Alzheimer Report further states; “This higher mortality risk in people with dementia in sub-Saharan Africa is consistent with what has been observed in other low and middle income countries of Asia and Latin America in the 10/66 Dementia Research Group studies, where mortality hazards were 1.6 to 5.7 times higher in individuals with dementia at baseline. Those results support the fact that dementia was found to be a leading contributor to mortality in older population of countries with low or middle income”.

Perhaps, it was on the strength of this sad reality that Prof Uduak Archibong; an indigene of Ibiono Ibom local government area, decided to launch a dementia awareness campaign in Akwa Ibom State. Prof Archibong is a professor of Diversity, and Director, Centre for Inclusion and Diversity, University of Bradford, United Kingdom. She recently visited Nigeria and she used her brief stay in the country to create awareness about dementia. “We started out with a reach-out campaign and looking at how we take the message to our communities about what dementia is and how likely we are to live with dementia and what we need to do as a people to support those who live with dementia. So we went to three Local Governments starting with Ibiono Ibom (I’m from Ibiono Ibom), Mkpat Enin and Abak. Then on Friday, we launched the dementia project, the dementia schools project and on Saturday, we had a walk around Uyo and today my colleagues have joined me to see how we can work with Nigerian Universities to advance economic development in our two countries”, she said.

The Dementia Schools Project Awareness Campaign, which was launched on the 13th of July, 2018 at Ibom E-library, brought together participants across different fields including secondary school students, medical experts and caregivers. In his keynote address, the state commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong noted that globally, dementia is recognised as a public health problem associated with loss of mental ability. “Memory loss is usually the first symptom noticed. There may be impaired abstraction and planning, loss of ability to perform familiar tasks, plan activities and draw sample conclusions from facts. Language and comprehension disturbances are not unusual and may be associated with poor judgement, impaired orientation ability, decreased attention and increased restlessness behavioural and personality changes and psychosis”, Dr. Ukpong said.

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Dr. Ukpong further revealed that there is poor understanding of dementia among the lay population in the country and unavailability of epidemiology data on prevalence and incidence of dementia which both pose serious challenge to the fight against dementia, adding dementia experts can only depend on studies conducted in other countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. He listed some brain diseases are the common causes of dementia, to include Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which he said is the most common cause. Others, he said, are vascular or multi-infarcts of the brain; AIDS, brain tumour, prolonged abuse of alcohol and other drugs; vitamin deficiency, thiamine, niacin or B12; hypothyroidism; hyercalcemic among others. While highlighting some common symptoms of the disease and possible treatments, the health commissioner commended Prof Archibong and her team for their thoughtfulness, assuring that he will bring the attention of the governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to the laudable initiative.

“On my own part, I promise to bring this subject and effort of Professor Archibong to the knowledge of His Excellency, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, who is very concerned about the plight of the handicapped in our state. Let me therefore use this opportunity to appeal to health care providers, teachers and indeed everyone entrusted with the care and rehabilitation of those with dementia to do so with compassion and enlist the support and cooperation of their parents as well as members of their extended families. Collectively, we can make the best out of an unfortunate situation. Once more, let me appreciate Professor Uduak Archibong for her pioneering role in this daunting task”, he added.

According Prof Archibong, the school intervention project will be in stages. “The first stage is extra curricular. We want to look at how we can use Arts, Music, Sports in dementia education then the curriculum. It’ll take a lot of time to convince the Education Minister to include it in the curriculum so you can see it’s not a one-off”.

The school project was immediately followed by the street walk around the state capital in furtherance of the dementia awareness and sensitization. In an interview with journalists, the Ibiono Ibom born scholar disclosed that the public awareness campaign was very successful because people showed the willingness and desire for information, knowledge and enlightenment on dementia. She noted that the public awareness campaign was necessitated by the fact that lot of people are ignorant about what dementia means and that people have been ostracising those living with dementia and sometimes due to lack of knowledge seem to think that when people live with dementia, they are senile or considered as witches and wizards.

“Going back from the beginning, ours is not a one-off thing. This project was launched in November 2015 and we have a centre in Eket and right from then, we’ve been coming to different places. Last year, I was in Uyo twice and I gave a lecture at Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio 20th Anniversary. And in March this year, I came back and went to six places; all the Oro local governments, Ikot Ekpene, Uyo, Onna, Eket and Nsit Ubium and this time, we’ve gone to Ibiono Ibom and all the nearby local governments, so it’s not a one-off. We have continuity. Our plan in the first year is to work with 15 secondary schools and in the second year, we extend to as many schools as possible using the pioneer schools as models and in the third year, we’ll merge the secondary schools with selected primary schools and we’re cascading as we go hoping that by the third year, we can have dementia in the curricula in Akwa Ibom state working with the state education board and it becomes a mainstream content within the primary and secondary schools”, she said.

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Perhaps, the hallmark of Prof Archibong’s initiative, was her decision to ensure that Bradford University is a key partner of the campaign. This, she did by bringing other scholars from Bradford University to Akwa Ibom and convened a university stakeholders meeting where select university vice chancellors other university administrators across the country met with the visitors from Bradford. Besides dementia, the brainstorming session also featured discussions on how Nigerian universities can partner with Bradford University in critical areas like knowledge transfer, students/staff exchange, funding of research, etc.

“But that will not be possible without the fact that Bradford University has a very big presence and reputation globally around dementia. So we have a very big distant learning program on Dementia studies. We’ve won many awards including the Queens Award on Dementia Care and this has now led to interactions with other universities. The bigger picture is that University of Bradford is doing business internationally and I’m helping them access as many party of Nigeria as possible but I wanted us to have this meeting in Akwa Ibom State. Already we have a very large Nigerian student population in Bradford, about 1200 alumni students. Many of our alunmi are in very key places. We have the best Peace Studies department in the world, so the program is renowned. It’s really important that we key into these things and show that it’s not just some thing we talk about without delivering. So one thing about the exchange is that in University of Bradford, the Vice Chancellor has set up a network of technology universities, so we run the world technology universities network.

“When we were here in April, we signed 8 universities in Nigeria into that network. The beauty with the network is that it’s global, we have Universities from all over the world who are happy to join our vision. We’ll all agree what kind of student exchange and who’ll fund what aspect of the exchanges. So with the world technology university concept, we have a collection of universities all over the world who define themselves as technology universities and by technology universities, we’re not talking about engineering and all that. We’re talking about any university that use its position to impact the world around them. That’s our definition of technology university which means every university can fit in if they want to. As a member of this network, every university will be expected to say how they’re going to support student/staff exchange. So this is a global activity and its less likely to fail. Whereas, if we came here as a stand alone university, we might struggle. But through the world technology university concept, we are also able to sustain our activity.”

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Speaking with journalists shortly after the university stakeholders meeting in Uyo, the deputy vice-chancellor (Academics), Bradford University, Prof Shirley Congdon said that the major focus of the meeting was to think about the relative strengths of the institutions and see whether there are some common areas to collaborate in order to find solutions to some of the world’s problems which will be different in different countries too. She noted that at the meeting, the stakeholders decided to use the global Sustainable Development Goals to try and find where they might have strength. “For example, we’ve heard that one of the universities is trying to specialize in War Zone Management and Sanitation. That would be an area we can contribute to. I think the other big thing is that students across the world have got to be more global, we need to be producing global success and students that are very inquisitive and want to be entrepreneurial and want to think about what opportunities might exist. So what we think we could do is possibly collaborate, we can expose students to the experiences that would make them much more effective in a way they can think about their future careers and how we might also work together to get a strong pipeline into Universities, from primary school all the way through and into the universities so that we can continue to raise aspirations of students”, she said.

Also speaking, the director of External Affairs, Bradford University, Mark S. Garratt disclosed that they were in Nigeria for three major reasons; to build their profile in Nigeria as a university that can help students, to develop collaborative partnerships with some Nigerian universities, and to explore ways of doing joint research and collaborations. He noted that there are observable challenges to achieving the goals, but was optimistic that with the right attitude, the goals will be achieved. “There are challenges. What I tend to find is that if people have got the right attitude, then those challenges could be broken down. I came here 3 months ago and we’ve got the same people. They recognise me and I recognise them and we’ve had a very welcome conversation. So I think we’ve got the opportunity to collaborate. Where we’ve got to really work hard is to find the funding sources to be able to make the projects work but I get the sense here today that people collectively have different ideas what to do, either the funding from our government, or the Department”, he assured.

Prof Uduak Archibong’s laudable effort in dementia awareness creation and the betterment of the Nigerian university education through collaboration is already yielding results. So far, there have been relative improvements in the way people treat those with dementia in the few communities she and her team visited during awareness campaign. Therefore, it is pertinent for the government, relevant stakeholders and the general public to give this initiative the needed push for it to succeed.

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Day Use Abat Edem,Urua and Ikpa Celebrated Their Son

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Day Use Abat Edem,Urua and Ikpa Celebrated Their Son

By Edidiong Obot

The joy in the hearts of the people in Use Abat Edem Urua and Ikpa all in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area knew no bound when their illustrious son visited the community to give back to the people. Indigenes rolled out their drums, neighboring communities trooped out in their numbers while men, women, youths, children and even in-laws all stood out to appreciate the son of the soil, Barr Ini Ememobong and wife, Chinonyerem (Sandra-emejuiwe Ini Ememobong), for coming back to give to the community.

Among projects executed and completed were a mini-water project in the community which will deliver water to the inhabitants of the village and its environs. This project was demanded by women in the community when Chi, Ini Ememobong’s wife, went on village tour in Ward 4. She decided to donate this project to the community in honour of Her Excellency, the First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Deaconess Martha Udom Emmanuel.

The people of Use Abat, an agricultural vibrant community in Ibiono Ibom, are therefore removed from both the populations of Nigerians who lack access to safe drinking water and those who have to walk long distances to get clean and safe drinking water as they now have a water project inaugurated for them in their community.

Also, the community of Use Ndon did not miss out of the 2018 World Cup match at the Udom Emmanuel free viewing centre. The project was donated by a social development advocate and Publicity Secretary of PDP in Akwa Ibom State, Comrade Ini Ememobong, as part of his support for the rural development drive of Governor Udom Emmanuel was there to watch the matches with the people. The viewing centre was opened every matchday throughout the duration of the World Cup and will be open for other matches as well.

Ememobong stopped at nothing to touch the children in the community, hence, the provision of School uniforms and note books to all students of Ibiono Community High school, Edem Urua. This is to help boost the morale of the students, according to him, “as I observed during my last visit to the school, many students had stitched uniforms. Some of them were lacking sufficient notebooks.”

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The publicity secretary stopped at nothing to build Udom Emmanuel IWADU House. This secretariat project was conceived to provide an administrative base for one of the foremost sociocultural organizations in the state, Ibiono Ibom Welfare and Development Union (IWADU) formed in 1932. In his words: “this facility has a meeting hall, an exco conference hall and offices. The building is donated in honour of Governor Udom Emmanuel to mark his 52nd birthday in appreciation of the fatherly care and love shown to me.”

Early this year, he donated improved variety of cassava stems to the women across his ward. He had also recently hosted a thank you dinner in honour of his university lecturers across the Departments of Linguistics and Law.
Several sons and daughters from his community are currently undergoing training in different skills. Those who have completed the training have been given tools to enable them to practice their skills.
The Akwa Ibom PDP Publicity Secretary, Comrade Ini Ememobong, recently held a dinner in honour of veteran journalists in Akwa Ibom State.
The state PDP image maker, who acknowledged the important role of the media in the development of the state, seized the occasion to appreciate the renowned journalists for their significant contributions to the media industry in the state.
Considering his selfless sacrifice to his people, the Ibiono Ibom Welfare and Development Union (IWADU) considered their son, the publicity secretary of the Akwa Ibom State PDP, Comrade Ini Ememobong worthy of an award.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Udom Emmanuel IWADU House, Ememobong maintained: “we should humanize politics and not politicize humanity.”
This is to specially thank everyone who attended the donation of the community development projects to use Abat, Edem Urua and Ikpa.
In her reaction, the wife of the governor, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel, appreciated the gesture from Barr Ini Ememobong to the community, stating that if everyone does as such, the workload will be less on the state. She urged all to contribute positively to the growth and success of the state.

In their various reactions, indigenes of Use Abat Edem Urua and Ikpa thanked the publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party for coming to their aid even when he is not holding a political office but from the little he has, he remembered home and came to share with them.
“We cannot forget this gesture in a haste. We have great people from this community we can boast of but, it never occurred to them to reach out to our needs. Today, God has given us help in the person of Ini Ememobong, we can only tell God to bless and increase him so that he can do more.”

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In his speech at the inauguration of the Udom Emmanuel IWADU House, Ememobong said “As we stand here today, we can boldly state without any fear of contradiction that our dear state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel loves Ibiono Ibom. This statement has manifest evidence as its foundation- the flagoff of the Ikot Udom road (within the first 100 days) and the subsequent commissioning (within the first year) of this administration; donation of the cassava processing factory by the first lady, Mrs. Martha Emmanuel, plus other projects spreads across the entire landscape of Ibiono Ibom. These are clear testimonies of love.
As a political and ideological son of Governor Udom Emmanuel and wife, it has become my avowed responsibility that we communicate in realistic terms, the magnitude of love the first family has for our state and the citizenry. This we have done by donating lawn mowers to schools, notebooks to pupils and students, wrappers and financial support to teachers, annual get-together with heads of public primary and secondary schools, donation of graphs board to public secondary schools, sponsorship of mathematics quiz and provision of scholarship grants to the first 4 winners of the competition, donation of computer to schools, provision of artificial limbs to physically challenged students (two of whom are females and are here today (one of them is from Ibiono- Eno-obong, while the other, Blessing Friday Uko, who is a gold medalist in dart from Oruk Anam local government area. Blessing has not walked for 15years, having lost her right leg in very mysterious circumstances at the age 3”.
But today, we are glad to announce to the glory of God that, she is walking again, he continued, “We decided to acquire prosthesis (artificial limb) for her, as part of activities celebrating the 52nd birthday of our dear Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel; payment of school fees to numerous undergraduates and post-graduate students; purchase and distribution of improved variety of cassava stems to women, establishment and funding of women cooperative societies, sponsorship of more than 30 persons to learn different skills and vocations (the most recent being scaffolding, where two trainees are undergoing training in Eket. One of the trainees is from Onna, while the other hails from Ibiono Ibom). This excludes the 75 women, 3 per village drawn from the 25 villages in ward 4, Ibiono Ibom, who will in the next few months commence training in different trades.”

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In his appreciation message, the publicity secretary thanked Her Excellency, the First Lady of Akwa Ibom state Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel, for spending her whole day touring different wards in Ibiono Ibom, inaugurating projects. “Her presence made a lot of impact on every community we visited. I thank her for being a caring and compassionate mother.
I thank my dear brother, the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barr. Onofiok Luke and wife, Dr Mrs Uduak Luke, who was chairman on the occasion and blessed us with his quality time and their esteemed presence at my village abode, we are grateful.”
He further thanked the state chairman of PDP, Obong Paul Ekpo, all the commissioners, board chairmen and members and government functionaries who attended the event, adding that they are very well appreciated. The long list which included State Assembly members thanked them for their critical advice and support which was very supportive
“The president general of IWADU, Obong Dr Effiong Inyang, secretary general, Godwin Okon and all executive members are appreciated for their support in the planning and execution of the event. His Majesty, the paramount ruler of Ibiono Ibom, Edidem Ime Udousoro Inyang, the Okuku Ibiono Ibom and all members of the traditional institution are appreciated. I thank them for the traditional recognition (not chieftaincy title) as Eti uwud mkpo Ibiono Ibom (a good example for Ibiono Ibom).
My wife, chi, deserves tonnes of appreciation for her unwavering support to our people. I’m indeed grateful, Let us lend a hand, he maintained.

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