Darlington UDOBONG, Uyo
Lawyers under the aegis of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District Lawyers Coalition have declared their support for the Second term bid of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
The Coalition, in a statement signed by its President and Secretary, Barrister Sembenge Eknem and Ndifreke Peters, said it was expedient to make its position known as regards the Governor election in Akwa Ibom State.
According to the statement, “It is that time in the political calendar of our dear country and State when individuals and groups gather together to freely declare support for candidates of their choice. As lawyers and leaders of thoughts in our various communities and socio-political affiliations, we consider it expedient to make our position known as regards the forthcoming elections, especially the Gubernatorial Election in Akwa Ibom State. Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District Lawyers Coalition is the flagship umbrella body for sons and daughters of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District who have been called to the Nigerian Bar and enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria as Barristers and Solicitors and its membership is drawn from the ten Local Government Areas of the Senatorial District. It is our carefully considered position as lawyers and firm believers in the principles of equity, fairness and good conscience that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
Having collectively supported Uyo and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts to complete their shots at the Governorship seat of Akwa Ibom State, it is only equitable to also allow Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to complete the turn of Eket Senatorial District. Eket Senatorial District is without doubt, the oil rich district of the State and for many years, the District has shown us great generosity through the use of resources derived from the belly of its oceans for the development of all parts of the State and for the general economic sustainability of the State. This is the time for the good people of Akwa Ibom State to reciprocate such generosity by re-electing Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, an illustrious son of Eket Senatorial District to complete the term of eight years as was done for Uyo and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts.”
The Coalition enumerated some of the achievements that have endeared the Governor to the people to include renovation of classroom blocks, assembly halls and offices in AME Zion school, Ndon Ebom; West Itam Secondary School; Salvation Army School, Efa; Renovation of Union Secondary School, Ibiaku; St. Theresa School, Edem Ekpat; Government School, Ikot Eboh; QIC Primary School, Awa; Primary School, Okoro Utip; Secondary Grammmer School, Ukpenekang; Holy Child Convent School, Essene; St Michael Catholic School, Eyonsek; Community Secondary School, Udua Obo, Ikot Ekpene; Government Secondary School, Nto Nsek, Ikot Ekpene; Government Model Girls Secondary School, Ikot Ekang Abak; St. Anthony primary School, Eka Obon, Etim Ekpo; Primary School, Utu Nsekhe; Primary School, Obong Ntak; Primary School, Eka Obong; Primary School, Ikot Akpan offiong, Ika; Government Primary School, Udi; Government Primary School, Achan; Government Primary School, Ikot Akpan Offiong, and St. Patrick Primary School, Uru Inyang.”
Others included “Free medical services for children below the age of 5 years, expectant women, and the elderly; Reconstruction and equipping of the General Hospital at Ikot Okoro; Reconstruction and equipping of the General Hospital at Ikono; Reconstruction and equipping of the General Hospital at Ituk Mbang; Reconstruction and equipping of the General Hospital at Etinan; Reconstruction and equipping of the General Hospital at Eket; Reconstruction and equipping of the General Hospital at Ikot Abasi; Reconstruction and equipping of the General Hospital at Obio Akpa; Reconstruction and equipping of the General Hospital at Use Abat; Reconstruction and equipping of Immanuel Hospital at Eket; Reconstruction and equipping of the Cottage Hospital at Awa; Reconstruction and equipping of the Cottage Hospital at Ikpe Annang; Reconstruction and equipping of the Cottage Hospital at Ikot Ekpaw; Reconstruction and equipping of the Cottage Hospital at Iqwita; Reconstruction and equipping of the Cottage Hospital at Amanong; Remodeling of the St. Lukes Hospital, Anua, Uyo; Construction of Emergency Operation Center for Infectious Diseases, Ikot Ekpene; Training of biomedical engineers; Training and certification of doctors and nurses in Basic Life Support (BSL) and Advanced Cardiac Live Support (ACLS) with medical emergency experts from the United States of America.”
“Facilities Procured for the hospitals include Spot Vital Signs Devices, Electric Beds Hoyer Lift, Radiant Warmer, Fetal Anatomy Scanners, Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and Electrocardiography (ECG) Machines and other medical gadgets, to mention but a few. Completion of the State Secretariat Annex which has proffered solutions to the inadequate office space hitherto experienced by civil servants. Worthy of note is the industrialization and sustainable transformation of Akwa Ibom State. the Governor through a weekly radio program (the umbrella business quest) which airs every thursday by 9pm on Comfort FM, has empowered young persons with business ideas to start up and build viable businesses. Via the same channel, a certain Ekemini Usoroh, a graduate of physics from the University of Uyo won a cash prize of N250,000.00. In order to encourage Ekemini, the governor added the sum of N1.5 million naira to further boost Ekemini’s nylon bag business. This made Ekemini’s business N1.7 million naira richer,” the statement explained.
“We are confident that the realization of the second term bid of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel under the PDP will further strengthen the already existing political equilibrium in the State and engender more development for the much needed transformation of our dear State,” the statement concluded.
In a swift reaction and vexed by the stance of the Coalition, Barrister Patrick Umoh, who is an aide to a former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, led a parallel Coalition for mischief purposes.
Barrister Umoh, who also identified himself as the Coordinator of the Coalition, alongside Barrister Anthony Udonsa, issued a disclaimer, saying “the Coalition is not a political party; as such acts are contrary to the overriding objective of the Coalition.”
Reacting to the development, the President, Barrister Sembenge Ekanem, who spoke with our reporter through a telephone conversation, said the alleged disclaimer was “the handiwork of mischief makers that will never hold water.”
He said their declared support for Governor Udom Emmanuel was the true and binding position of the Coalition.