By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
A guild of professional fashion designers, Akwa Ibom State Tailors/Seamstresses Association (AKITSA), has declared its support for the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, come 2019 general elections.
The vote of confidence was passed on Monday during a meeting with the Special Assistant to the Governor on Trade and Market Matters, Mr Idorenyin Raphael.
Pastor Shine Daniel Umoh, International President, AKITSA, in his key note address, thanked Governor Emmanuel for remembering fashion designers in state, saying that AKITSA will support his administration till 2023 and beyond.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Trade and Market Matters, Mr Idorenyin Raphael, while addressing the tailors, categorically stated that “His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, does not play politics, but delivers governance. He works hard in silence while allowing the success to make the noise in Akwa Ibom State.
“Of all the beneficiaries of the interest-free loans, the Governor does not know what political party he/she belongs to.”
Speaking further, he noted that “without the tailors, nobody would have been able to go out, as clothes hide our nakedness. The tailors deserve to be recognised and that is what the Governor has done.
“This is the first time in the history of Nigeria that a state would have Special Assistant to the Governor on Trade and Market Matters, which has drastically reduced cases of touts attacking marketers with guns, and fraudulent ticket collections.
“Governor Emmanuel, during his campaign, promised to create the office of SA on traders matter, provide vehicles and give N2 billion interest-free loan. Today, he has fulfilled all the promises. I’ve lost count of the vehicles he has donated to us, and a lot of tailors have collected about N300,000 each from the loan.
“Governor Emmanuel does not give fish, but teaches how to catch fishes. He wants made-in-Akwa Ibom clothes to be produced. He has created an enabling environment for the tailors.”
Sensitising the tailors on the need to rise to the faith of togetherness, the Governor’s Aide said: “Our problem in the state is not money but mind-set. If you go to Aba, you’ll see about ten tailors occupying one shop to sew clothes. If it were to be here in Akwa Ibom, we would have poisoned each other. There is no love bonding us together.
“We need to rise to the faith of togetherness. If an investor comes in to invest in the tailoring sector, and finds out that we are divided against ourselves, he will withdraw his intention.”
Also present to grace the occasion were the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr Essien Ndueso; AKEES Chief Consultant, Mr Ndueso Ebong and AKITSA Legal Adviser, Barrister Mfon Etim.
AKITSA is a guild of professional tailors, seamstresses and fashion designers in Akwa Ibom State, with the strength of 25,000 members drawn from all the local government areas of the state.