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Akwa Ibom @ 32 Counting Blessings

Gov Udom Emmanuel
Governor Udom Emmanuel

Once again it’s time to roll out the drums and red carpets as Akwa Ibom State celebrates its 32nd anniversary with a growing sense of fulfillment. Interestingly, the joy that greeted the creation of the State on September23,197 has not waned over the years.
In spite of the vicissitudes the State must have faced over time, Akwa Ibom remains a project dear to the hearts of its people.
Therefore, this year is no exception as both the government and the people continue to count the blessings of statehood.
It is noteworthy to recall that the people who now constitute Akwa Ibom State were the first set of Nigerians to demand for a state as far back as 1929 under the aegis of Ibibio State Union.
History has it that the Union at a special meeting held in the auditorium of Qua Iboe Church, 2 Abak Road, Uyo in 1929, did come up with a proposal for state creation.
That dream was finally realised in 1987 when Akwa Ibom State was carved out of Cross River State by the then General Ibrahim Babanginda Administration.
There is no doubt that Akwa Ibom people have continued to justify the creation of the State through their unfailing passion and dint of hard work which have brought about rapid development.
Today, Akwa Ibom could proudly be described as one of the fastest growing economies in Nigeria. It is now a destination State with more Nigerians visiting than ever while the housing and construction sector is growing at a geometric rate
As a state desirous of growth, Akwa Ibom has always been blessed with visionary leaders at every stage of its history, and of course, with a faithful and dedicated followership.
Perhaps the progress achieved would not have been but for the human resource development vision as propagated by its forebears
It would be recalled that the Ibibio State Union established a robust education policy whereby sons of the area were sent overseas for studies. The legacies of the policy are still yielding a thousand fold.
The strong desire for education has been the driving force of the State such that Akwa Ibom is now listed among states with the highest literacy in Nigeria.
With the rising profile of Akwa Ibom in the comity of States, the Akwa Ibom man can afford to walk tall with a swagger among the gathering of Nigerians.
But as Akwa Ibom Stat ecelebrates and marches into the future, its people should guard against those who wish to sow seeds of disunity among them. Going down memory lane, our forebears through the Ibibio State Union did unite all sections and people of the State under one umbrella of love, peace and togetherness.
However in later years the political class, for their own selfish interest, did fragment the people into ethnic clusters and cleavages that did no one good.
As a result the State became an atomistic society{to borrow the phrase from Prof Emmanuel Ayandele} fighting to destroy itself.
But thank goodness the people can now see through the political class and have come to cherish unity more than ever.
Today the people are so united such that no single individual or group can again toy with their destiny. They have now been set free from the shackles of those who sought to divide them. They have also realised they are one people with same destiny, homogeneous and monolithic.
Therefore as Akwa Ibom State marches into the future, the people should continue to join hands to create the necessary conducive atmosphere for political, economic and social development.
Indeed Akwa Ibom State can keep counting its blessings with strong hope for a brighter tomorrow.


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