My dear Akwaibomites

 My wife, Her Excellency, Dr. (Mrs.) Martha Udom Emmanuel and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous Happy New Year.

 As I said during the Christmas Carol night a few days ago, this is a season of love, of peace and goodwill and I want to use this opportunity to thank you, my dear and wonderful Akwa Abasi Ibom people for your steadfast support and prayers during the year 2019.

 This was a milestone year, a year that the future development, growth, peace, brotherhood, unity and progress of our dear State was put to test. We had a vision of peace, security, unity and development, that I have championed in the past four and half years versus a vision of violence, death, destruction, division, politically motivated killing, kidnappings and stagnation that the other side had marketed and presented.

 We came to you and told you to make a choice between these two competing visions and you rose in unison, and chose to go with the vision of peace, security, unity and development and unanimously and overwhelmingly re-elected me to continue in Office as your Team-Lead for a Second Term.

My dear Akwa Ibomites, let me again thank you most sincerely and profoundly for hearkening to my prayers by wholesomely rejecting the devices of the agents of death and their evil machinations. Thanks to your collective will and resolve, you elected to stand for the truth, you elected to stand for peace, unity, development and the appropriation of our commonwealth for the overall benefit of us all.

Let me thank our Fathers and Mothers in Faith for their steadfast support and prayers, our youths and women for insisting on securing the future for themselves and their children; our Elder Statesmen, for staying steadfast to the ideals of unity and development that they had worked hard to instil in our collective fabric and consciousness, our professionals –in Lagos, Abuja or in the Diaspora for insisting on moving our State forward under my humble leadership. I am deeply and eternally grateful.

 And so, my compatriots, as we celebrate Christmas, the season of peace, love and goodwill, I ask you again to continue to embrace the peace, unity  and development which we have pursued and promoted the past four and half years. I urge you to invest more, by your thoughts, deeds and actions on those things that unify us around our common purpose of living in a prosperous and peaceful State and to forswear indulging in divisive tendencies.

 Elections and the litigation processes are over; it is now time for governance and I promise you again, that I will continue to work twice as hard to ensure that the legacy I will leave you by the time we are done in 2023, will remain a shining example of a leader who came prepared to seize the moment and change the course and direction of our people.

Let me again, extend my hands of fellowship to my brothers and sisters on the opposite side of the political divide to come join me in building this piece of God’s real estate. There are no redeeming values in antagonizing the leadership of the State or working to negate the gains we have collectively achieved or financing the publication of unsanitized materials on the developments and vision we have provided simply because you disagree with the leader or the party that controls the State.

 The interest of Akwa Abasi Ibom State is deeper and profoundly more significant than our personal interests. When we de-market our State and the leadership, when we intentionally manufacture non-existent situations aimed at portraying our State in less than attractive manner, we should remember that we are putting in jeopardy the future of our children whom we should all work to secure.

 Political parties like I said during the Carol night represent vehicles to seek power; we should not allow the flaming passions of partisanship affect the cord of our unity and brotherhood. My doors are wide open and phone lines also are open to engage my brothers and sisters on the other side. Come, let us build our land.

 We have everything to become great and prosperous. We have a wonderful and hospitable people, creative, daring, innovative and God-fearing, all that is needed is for us to rally around a leader who will galvanize these wonderful impulses and get us to see the possibilities that lay out there, and that leadership, I must say without sounding boastful  is what I have worked hard to provide during during my First term, and will  continue to the best of my ability,  to provide in my Second Term based on our Completion Agenda, predicated on eight (8) critical areas of need:  Industrialization,  Aviation Development, Rural and Riverine Area Development, Small & Medium Scale Enterprises, Infrastructure, Security, Human Capacity Development and Agriculture.

 This speech is not one where I will reel off my score-card. You, my dear people are well aware and conversant with what we have used the lean resources available to us to achieve for you already, and that was the key reason why you unanimously voted to re-elect me to continue as your Team- Lead.

 There is a line that when I hear people chorus   at events, I smile in appreciation, even though I am not by nature given to, neither do I crave applause for things that I do, That line is : Talk and do Governor!

Last year, during my Christmas Broadcast, I made these bold declarations that “Ibom Air, the first State-owned Airline in the nation and indeed Africa will begin full operations next year, same with the Flour Mill, the first of its kind too, in this part of the nation, will be commissioned.

 My dear compatriots, as the “Talk and do Governor” and to the glory of our ONLY GOD, these two landmark projects have been realised. Ibom Air has become a national sensation, challenging old notion that States or the nation cannot run a flourishing airline. Ibom Air has made our dear State a destination of choice for investors and tourists; simplifying the ease of travel. Our Flour Mill was commissioned last September by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and today, our confectionary industry is booming- this is what visionary leadership is all about, less flush, more action and verifiable achievements.

 As we settle down  for governance,  free from the distractions and claptrap of the political space, let me again assure you that we will continue to invest heavily in education, healthcare,  enduring infrastructure, human capital development, aviation,  industrialization, power sector, sports, tourism, women and youth empowerment schemes and of course, our Ibom Deep Seaport.

As we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, let the spirit of the season- a season of love and happiness, of goodwill and celebrations be the abiding cords of our unity, prosperity and continuous peace, progress and development

 Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year! Akwa Ibom Edakaedda, ami mme dakkanda.

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