The night Friday, 23rd September 2016 will ever remain a red letter day to the people of Akwa Ibom State as members of the state Executive Council, political class, business gurus, captains of industries and technocrats converged on the State Banquet Hall, Government House, Uyo in a special cocktail party to wind down activities marking the 29th anniversary of the state’s creation.
The state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel and wife Martha, used the occasion to interact and exchange banter with guests at the event which created opportunity for people to unwind and meet with friends.
Addressing the guests, Governor Emmanuel expressed appreciation to the people for honouring the invitation to the party, saying that love and unity were the bonding blocks of the state.
He noted that from the rice farm in Ini Local Government Area to the coastline Communities of Oron, Mbo, Okobo Local Government Areas, Akwa Ibom is unique given the array of personalities who have distinguished themselves in their various field of endeavour.
He extolled the founding fathers of the state for their vision to establish legacies that has today vindicated their struggle for a political entity known as Akwa Ibom State and urged all not to let the dreams of our Heroes, past and present, be sacrificed on the Altars of ethnicity, selfishness and greed but to join hands to actualize the vision of Akwa Ibom as an industrial hub in the Gulf of Guinea.
Gov Emmanuel particularly solicited the cooperation of the elites and opinion leaders to change the ethnic narrative to that of unity and brotherhood for the realisation of the Akwa Ibom project.
While setting the tone for the cocktail party, the chairman state creation and Secretary to the State Government Anniversary Planning Committee, Sir Etekamba Umoren commended the people for turning out in all the events put in place to mark the anniversary and particularly congratulated the Governor for successfully hosting the event.
A former Military Administrator in the state and Director General Divine Mandate Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, harped on the need for unity among Akwa Ibom people and described it as the strength of our forebears.
Otuekong Nkanga congratulated Governor Emmanuel on the significant strides of taking the state to a fulfilled destiny and lauded the contributions of the former leaders who took the state to it enviable height and expressed optimism that God would provide the enablement for the various programmes of the administration to be actualized.
On his part, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) expert, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, said Akwa Ibom has got talents by producng the first Professor , first soldier in the Nigerian Army, first Inspector General of Police, first Air Vice Marshal, first Priest in the Catholic Church and the first Prelate and President of the world’s Methodist Church .
This feat, according to him, are indications that the Dakkada re-orientation philosophy had held sway in the past but lost the fire which is now rekindled by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
He therefore urged the people to rise to greatness by imbibing the principles of hard work and dedication which the Dakkada philosophy advocates .
Goodwill messages came from ExxonMobil, Akwa Ibom State indigenes in the United States Of America, among others as Musicians, Comedians and Dancers spiced the night with spectacular performances.