On March 28, 2015 when the people of Itu and Ibiono Ibom Local Government Areas voted enmass and gave me their mandate to represent them at the hallowed Green Chamber of the 8th National Assembly, they did that with high expections that I will not disappoint that mandate.
In reaction to this expectations, I quickly identified one very critical area affecting the economic and social life of the people and that is the very bad state of the Ikot Ekpene-Itu-Calabar Federal Highway, with the aim to bring it to public glare.
Shortly after my inauguration on the 9th of June, 2015, I swiftly engaged in a debate on the floor of the House of Representatives when I sponsored and presented a motion on ‘The Urgent Need For the Federal Government To Carry Out Complete Rehabilitation of the Ikot Ekpene- Itu-Calabar Highway And To Dualize Same Which Cuts Across Three States’. After a robust debate, the motion was unanimously adopted by the House and subsequently refferd to the House Committee on Works for further legislative action.
Sequel to the above and to the Glory of God, the federal government budgetted N6B in the 2016 Appropriation Act for remedial work on the road. Just two days ago the federal government announced the award of contract for the construction of that road to span from Aba through Ikot Ekpene to Itu and up to Odukpani with spurs located at Ididep and Mbak Itam. I want to say that it took a tortuous process with heavy lobbying and horsetrading to get to this point. I am however very delighted that we have gotten to this point.
Consequent upon the above, I wish to thank very sincerely, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari for timely responding to the plight of my people by awarding the contract for construction of the said road.
I hold in very high esteem, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State for his very timely intervention on the Enen Atai-Mbak section of the road which almost collapsed. Thank you my Governor.
My own brother, Distinguished Sen. Bassey Albert Akpan has been a very dependable senior colleague in this same struggle. He did, in the red chamber, exactly what I did in the green chamber to get us to this place. I appreciate you sir.
I thank the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara who gave me the leverage to take the floor even as a first time legislator, to present the motion. Similarly, I salute my colleagues who supported the motion.
I appreciate my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who gave me the platform to represent my people-the party is supreme!
Let me specially appreciate the following people who played one part or the other to make sure the motion and subsequent appropriation saw the light of day: the Senate Minority Leader and Leader of Akwa Ibom Caucus in the National Assembly, my Honourable colleagues from Akwa Ibom State, the Chairman, House Committee on Works and his Appropriation counterpart, the Honourable Minister for Budget Planning, my brother, Distinguished Sen. Ita Enang, SSA to the President, and all other stakeholders whose names may not appear here for want of space. I salute you all.
Finally, I want to thank very deeply my constituents and esteemed supporters in Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency for all your supports. Some of you have sent me private messages and calls to appreciate my little effort in trying to bring government presence down to our people through purposed driven legislation, I thank you. My promise to you all is that I shall continue to do everything within the purview of my office to attract and bring down federal government presence to our constituency. I have abiding faith in God that our expectations cannot be cut off.
Thank you all and God bless.
Hon. Dr. Henry Okon Archibong
Member, Representing Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency, House of Representatives, Abuja.