By The Evangelist News edition, Sunday November 26, 2023. Admin.
Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has lauded his immediate predecessor, Mr Udom Emmanuel and his Wife Dr Martha Emmanuel, describing them as a gift from God to Akwa Ibom people.
The Governor said whether people say it out openly or not, the indelible imprints the former Governor left behind are well appreciated by all well meaning people.
Governor Umo Eno spoke at a special Thanksgiving/Welcome Service in honour of the immediate past Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel and wife Martha, at the United Evangelical Church, Lagos Township Superintendency.
The Governor likened the reception ceremony to the events of the last day of humanity on earth, “when we finish here and get back home to see Jesus standing to receive us back, saying welcome home my good and faithful servant.
“They are gifts that God sent to Akwa Ibom and we thank God for that. Whether people say so or not, we appreciate you. Akwa Ibomites appreciate your work and that of your wife.
“Every week, we have people coming to Akwa Ibom for conferences. Akwa Ibom is now a destination of choice because of the work that you and your wife did.
“I did not create all those new big roads, it was you that modeled and designed all of these things; Ibom Air and all of the beautiful things we have, were your creation.
“I’ll like to tell you that we are grateful. On behalf of the Akwa Ibom people, I stand to convey these warm wishes, greetings and celebration of Akwa Ibomites to you and your dear wife.”
Pastor Eno said that people now appreciate the immediate past Governor more than when he was in office as Governor.
“Sometimes, when you walk into some places, you’ll see how outsiders adore you, the ovation you receive, the kind of welcome you get but while you are yet on the job, there’s no way people will appreciate you.
“Rather than being discouraged and distracted, the Governor said he gets propelled to even work harder in the face of media attacks. I have learnt from you and that is a tonic to do more and not to be distracted.”
Governor Eno appreciated Mr Emmanuel for remaining supportive to his administration; “I thank you for the things you did and still do because I know the support that you are giving to me and to all of us in office.”
The Governor used the platform “to thank God for the victory he gave to us at the Appeal Court on Friday. God made it happen. It has gone down in history that I am the most vilified Governorship candidate and eventually Governor.
“We’ve had several Court cases . I don’t know how many will go to the Supreme Court but there’s a Supreme God. God helped us and gave us victory”
Immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr Udom Emmanuel, flanked by his wife, Martha, thanked Governor Eno and all the dignitaries for standing by him on the ‘awesome’ moment.
He recounted the unfortunate incident of the Church building collapse on December 10, 2016, saying his narrow escape in the building remains a mystery only God can explain.
“The place I was sitting the central beam from the ceiling shattered the white seat where I was sitting, I don’t know but I came out alive without even a scratch.”
“Most importantly, we want to thank God that we went into Government House complete,we left complete not one of us is missing.”
He disclosed that “throughout my ten years, because I was SSG before I became Governor. One of the things I cherished, is that throughout that period, God did not stop speaking to me.”
Explaining that there are spiritual forces against a Governor, he however re-affirmed that he never compromised his faith in the supreme power of God who saw him through.
He said he went to work as Governor with a blueprint, and despite all his accomplishments, his only regret is that he did not have control over policies.
“The only regret I have is that I did not control Policies. If I had control over Policies as a state, trust me, we would have been miles ahead as a State. But today, I still thank God that we went with our blue print and God helped us.”
Commending the former Speaker Aniekan Bassey and other members of his team, he said their support helped him steer the ship of state through two recessions and the COVID 19 pandemic.
He recounted the network of roads, industries, secondary healthcare facilities among others, and insisted that the State fared better compared to the resources it got within that period.
He also thanked God on the success of the Governorship elections saying, “it came to the period of succession plan when the direction of God came, It was tough but all of you stood by us and today I feel fulfilled about God’s plan in the person of Pastor Uno Eno and that has turned out very well.”
“On Friday, when we were at Mirabel in Canada to receive the first of the ten new Airbus Series of Ibom Air with the MD, Captain Mfon Udom, we almost sheded tears because even the Airbus people turned around and said, in their generation of Air Bus management, that was the first time Nigeria’s Flag was flying in the Airbus Factory and that was not done by the Federal Government buy a Subnational.”
The former Governor also revealed the secret behind the unique logo of the State owned airline, “other people paid billions for logo, but Captain Mfon Udom’s daughter designed the Ibom Air Logo free of charge for us.
He recounted the build up to the 2019 elections where threats of violence and blackmails rented the air and maintained that God saw him through the elections unscathed.
“In 2018, I heard all kinds of sayings in the build up to my second term election. Some people said that people will be on the bed while election was going on. Some said by the time we get to the election,it will be only me and my wife left in Government House. I told them there is a God of the multitude, it’s not possible. They called all kinds of mights but the Almighty answered.”
“I want to thank evey stakeholder, I had tremendous support No matter the noise at the end of the day, every single person voted who they want. I want to use this period to say thank you.
Earlier the Superintendency Pastor of Surulere Township, Rev Idorenyin James said the ceremony was merely an event to receive back the former first family to reassigned them to functions in the superintendency as as officers of the church.
He however prophesied that God still has bigger services for him to provide for the country.
“The field is fertile before you and God still has more for you in the country”, Rev Idy James said.
He appreciated God for preserving him in the past eight years, especially making him survive the fatal church building collapse in Uyo.
Souvenirs were presented to the celebrants by the church while prayers of a fruitful tenure were offered for Governor Eno and his administration.