Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has called on Christians to see themselves as vanguard of change and pray for peace, co-existence, growth and recovery of the country from the economic recession.
Governor Emmanuel stated this during the Interdenominational thanksgiving service organised to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the creation of Akwa Ibom State and 56th Independence anniversary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held at St. Anne Catholic Cathedral, Ifuho in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of the state.
He enjoined Nigerians to be thankful to God for the peace enjoyed in the country as other countries have been submerged in conflicts and faulted the economic travails of the country on poor planing by successive administrations maintaining that leaders are appointed by God for a purpose.
Governor Emmanuel paid tribute to the patriarchs who fought for the creation of the state as well as the country’s independence and expressed appreciation to God for standing by the country in the past years.
He also thanked the church for their support and sued for more prayers for the leaders to enable them provide quality leadership by evolving sustainable economic programmes that would launch the country into an economic haven .
The state Chairman Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN) Rev. Ndueso Ekwere, said that God created Akwa Ibom as a state to become a reference point in industrial development and called on all to always pray for the leadership of the country.
Reverend Ekwere who called on churches to close ranks and work under the umbrella of C.A.N frowned at the introduction of secular teachings in the school curriculum, lopsided appointment by the federal government and incessant attacks by fulani herdsmen saying that these are setbacks to the country’s development.
Bishop Camilus Umoh of Ikot Ekpene Diocese commended Governor Emmanuel for the choice of the Diocese for the thanksgiving service and assured of the Church determination to pray for the leadership of the state and country.
He commended the wife of the Governor, Martha for touching the needy and vulnerable members of the society particularly those in the rural communities who have benefitted from her Pet – Programme, Family Empowerment and Youth Re-Orientation Programme ( FEYReP).
The President Diocesan Laity Council Justice Pius Idiong appreciated the Governor for his church friendly disposition and used the occasion to pay tribute to the Patriachs who championed the struggle for the state creation and independence of the country.
While congratulating the Governor for floating the Dakada re-orientation programme and other landmark infrastructural and industrial revolution witnessed in the state, Justice Idiong spoke of Governor Emmanuel as a shepherd on a pastoral visit.
In his homily, Very Rev Fr Dominic Umoh who culled his message from the Gospel of Isaiah 49 verse 16, said that God is the only help of Nigeria in this precarious moment of economic recession and insurgency.
The Cleric noted that since the creation of Akwa Ibom and Independence of Nigeria, the country has never passd through challenges as witnessed in recent times and reminded the leadershp of the country to stop trading blames but proffer solution to the problems afflicting the Nation.
Father Umoh lauded Governor Emmanuel for the significant strides recorded in the state particularly in the area of industrialization, road construction, wealth creation, employment generation, rehabilitation of Health institutions as well as payment of salaries even in the prevailing economic recession.
He said that God destined Governor Emmanuel for the state at times like this and assured that his dependence on God shall bring succour to the state.
Highpoint of the thanksgiving service was the cutting of Anniversary cake, presentation of gifts to the first family by the church and prayers offered to the state and country.