“We Must Work In Akwa Ibom, Grow And Eat Our Own Food” – Sen. Udoedehe

The Evangelist edition,
December 16, 2022

The NNPP (New Nigeria People’s Party) family in Ibiono Ibom Central Wards 9 and 10, received Senator John J. Akpanudoedehe, Ph.D., in their LGA, today, in continuation of his Ward Town Hall Meetings across the State.

At the Meeting which held in Primary School, Ikot Uneke, were: Party Stakeholders; Chapter and Ward Officials; loyalists of the NNPP Governorship Candidate; prominent indigenes; and others.

Comrade Godwin Asuquo (the Chapter Chairman) in his Opening Remarks welcomed Senator Akpanudoedehe “home”, saying he had always referred to Ibiono as his “second home”; and assured him of the people’s support.

Senator Akpanudoedehe, in his Response, recalled the hostile reception he had been treated to in Ibiono Central when he ran for the Governorship in 2011, as against his rousing reception in Ibiono South.

He was however thankful that the overall votes of Ibiono Ibom won him election into the Senate twice (in 1997 and 1999); and listed some of his later contributions to Ibiono, including electrifying the LGA from Ayadehe.

Senator Akpanudoedehe was consistent in his call for the revival of industry among the youths, and the promotion of the dignity of labour, while reeling out his proposed Programmes from 2023 as Governor.

“Youths have lost the passion for work and wages. They are no longer interested in industry. These have been replaced by opposing values; and must be reversed.

“During my administration, I will ensure that people work; that farming is encouraged; and that we produce the garri; yam; and rice we eat, which we presently buy from others!

“We will request for land from the Clans, to plant an improved specie of palm seedlings, which will mature in 18 months; and give free loans to women to trade and contribute to the upkeep of their families.

“We will even open portals for unemployed people to register, so we can address unemployment and poverty squarely and reverse the damning statistics of 51% Unemployment and 75% Poverty, registered against the State.

“In furtherance of the objective also, we will introduce our “Signature Programme” to employ 31,000 people directly, and more, in a spill over; through a Social Investment/Economic Stimulus Plan.

“1,000 indigenes in every LGA will be provided soft loans and grants of N1,000,000 each; trained; and sent out to China, India and other manufacturing hubs, in batches of 10, to import goods into the State.

“Government will pay all the duties and clear imports initially from Onne Port, while Ibaka Deep Seaport would be undergoing construction to take over.

“The goods will be warehoused in facilities to be built in major towns in the State, to be sold in wholesale quantity to retailers; and this will create wealth and entrepreneurs in the State, and break any unfair trade monopoly against its people”.

To address insecurity, Senator Akpanudoedehe also outlined several key measures, which would also tackle Unemployment.

“We will recruit a 10,000 man strong Community Policing Outfit from volunteers in the villages; train them with the Police; and pay them special renumeration to assist regular law enforcement agents provide security in their respective villages.

“Another batch of 1,000 volunteers would be recruited and trained to man waterways alongside the Navy and Marine Police, as marine security agents.

“To add to my plan to end insecurity, we will introduce an Amnesty Initiative tagged ‘Money for Guns’, which will seek to divest militant youths of their weapons in exchange for training and other opportunities to pursue noble livelihoods.

“Youth reorientation will be a primary focus of my government, because I want to see our youths engage in wholesome industry. Many of them that are willing will be enlisted into the Community Policing outfit; and be paid by government.

“But then, beneficiaries of the Amnesty benefits who return to crime, will not be spared, but will face the law squarely, as security agents will be strongly mandated to arrest and prosecute them. I will not tolerate any form of insecurity”.

Senator Akpanudoedehe also said development must begin from the bottom up; and unveiled his plan to fast track development at the grassroots.

“We will introduce an informal Fourth Tier of Government in the villages, and reorganize village administration, by employing Administrative Instruments to ensure that traditional authorities participate in government.

“We will build Healthcare Centers in every Ward; and Boards will be set up to administer them, as well as schools.

“Members of the Boards will be Village and Family Heads; Heads of the Churches; Women; Youths; Representatives of the Party; and other prominent indigenes.

“Their duty will be to report problems in such institutions to the Village Councils; and to act as ‘first responders’ to immediate minor needs of the institutions under their administration in the Villages.

“Village Councils would get N3 Million quarterly, as imprest to administer their villages; Village Heads will get Security Votes of N500,000 within the same period, and official residences; while Family Heads will be issued Certificates of Recognition.

Senator Akpanudoedehe applauded the people for their love for, and loyalty to one another, and said he is one of them (as an Ibibio indigene); while promising that their votes would count, and be best placed in his ballot box.

“The new Electoral Law has outlawed ‘Carry-Go’; and includes many safeguards against election fraud; so your votes are sure once validly cast; and I can assure you that I will be the best bet for Ibiono.

Earlier, Senator Akpanudoedehe had introduced himself to the people by reeling out his proper academic; political; business; and other records, to refute false narratives issued against him by his political rivals.

“I am a Harvard trained expert in ‘Leadership’; and a Development Sociologist with a Ph.D.; who has served as Chairman, Uyo LGA; Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and Minister, in the FCT.

“I have also served as Chairman, Governing Council of the Federal College of Education, Potiskum; Member, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Board; Member, Tripartite Committee of the Party/Executive/and Legislative organs; and former National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee.

“As a private businessman, I own John Silver Group of Companies, a conglomerate of nine companies with interests in shipping, oil, finance, real estate, etc.

“Clearly I have the educational training; the managerial ability, and experience at the apex of both the Legislative and Executive organs, to deliver on mandates within the context of effective leadership and societal development”.

Among those present at the Meeting were: Comrade Godwin Asuquo (Chapter Chairman); Mr. Augustine Inyang (Chairman, Ward 9); Ime Udo Ekong (Chairman, Ward 10); Mrs. Bridget Edem Udo (Chapter Woman Leader); other Ward Executives and Officials; Pastor Richard Jonah; and Mr. Etop Obot; among others.

In Senator Akpanudoedehe’s entourage were: Pastor (Mrs) Justina Akpanudoedehe (his wife); Chief Godwin Afangideh (his running mate) and his wife; Mr. Victor Okon; Pastor Emmanuel Usua; and members of the Glorious Mission Campaign Team.

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