Governor Udom Emmanuel has described 2020 as a turbulent year, but calls on Akwa Ibomites to keep that behind and look ahead.
He said the year is full of challenges especially with the coming of Covid19, looting and arson of the EndSARS protest, yet the state was not consumed, thereby calling on all to join hands with government to forge ahead in the coming year.
This was contained in his Christmas broadcast to the people of the state to mark 2020 Christmas year yesterday. He advised the people of the state to ensure they do all they can to stay alive so as to beat the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.
“As you may already know, we are currently experiencing the second wave of the pandemic, but as we had succeeded in stemming the rate of infection when it first hit our shores, I ask you to join hands with us again to beat this second wave.
“This year was like bumpy ride on a gallop-filled rural road. But God kept His word in Isaiah 43:2 “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
“We passed through the scourge of the pandemic and it did not overwhelm us. We witnessed looting and arson from the EndSARS, and it did not consume us. We have a lot to thank God for, as this year draws to a close. As the Bible enjoins us let us, in the New Year, “forget those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before us, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
“In spite of the challenging year that 2020 has been, with God, we have been able to achieve a number of milestones in the execution of our ‘Completion Agenda’. Ibom Air has become a roaring success, a source of pride to us all as Akwa Ibomites.
“God has answered our prayers for sustainable industrial base. Earlier this year, the Federal government approved for us the Oil and Gas Free zone which is a huge step in our industrialization agenda. A little over a week ago, the Federal Executive Council finally granted us the approval to commence work on the long-awaited Ibom Deep Seaport Project.
“Let me on behalf of the Government and the grateful people of Akwa Ibom State; thank President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and the Federal Executive Council for granting us this wonderful gift. The Ibom Deep Seaport will change the economic dynamics of our State and indeed the entire South South and South East respectively and launch us towards a period of unparalleled growth and development. This is a great achievement for our State and our people and I thank God that He used my administration to achieve this historic milestone.
“Our industrialization agenda remains on course; in spite of the challenges, we have faced in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last week, I commissioned the tissue factory, which is derived mainly from our dried bamboos at our Dakkada Cottage Industrial cluster in Itam. As the world opens up and normalcy returns, we hope to attract more industries to our State and boost employment and wealth creation opportunities for our people”.
He further called on all not to forget the main focus of this season which is love, calling on Nigerians and indeed the people of the state to love one another as Christ loved us.
“Compatriots, let us honour this season of love by meditating on Christ’s message of God’s steadfast love, tender mercies and saving grace, which has brought hope and joy to the world, and has inspired the faithful to love God and put their trust in Him. His simple message of love has also become the strongest thread that binds humanity together in a garment of brotherhood. Let us, therefore, resolve in this season to love one another and let the emotions of love guide all our actions”.