REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. UDOM EMMANUEL, GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE, ON THE OCASSION OF THE AFFIRMATION OF HIS MANDATE BY THE SUPREME COURT, FEBRUARY 3, 2016,
My Fellow Akwaibomites,
Today, the Supreme Court affirmed the choice you had massively and wholeheartedly expressed in me last April 11, 2015 as your Governor, thereby showing once again, that the institution of the judiciary is alive and well, and is keeping watch over the evolution and the deepening of the democratic culture and traditions of our nascent democracy.
Let me use this opportunity to salute the Nigerian judiciary for living up to its billing as the last hope of the common man, the good people of Akwa Ibom State for their prayers and steadfast support over the past seven months in the face of what was absolutely the most vile, vitriolic campaign of hatred, blackmail and character assassination ever mounted by an opposition.
The battle has been won and lost and in any political contest, there must be a winner and a loser. In this case, the people of Akwa Ibom State won because in their considered opinion and reasoning, their fortunes would be better enhanced with a PDP government continuing its solid dispensation of democratic dividends that had in the past eight and half years, had transformed our state to a destination of choice, which had informed the investment of their trust in me last April 11.
I hereby call on our brothers and sisters from the other side of the political divide to close ranks and join me, in moving Akwa Ibom state to surpass superior performance and ensure development that is sustainable, impactful and expansive. We don’t have any other state to call ours except the great Akwa Abasi Ibom State.
Our people have arisen and have shaken off the shackles of complacency, of dependence and of the cultivation of a defeatist and pliant mindset; they have arisen to exploit and posses the greatness that is embedded in us all, by the Almighty God; they have arisen to join their brothers and sisters from other parts of the country to make meaning of their lives, to be productive, to be aspirational; they have arisen to take their place in the boardroom of Nigeria, and not as the flotsams and the jetsams of the Nigerian project who were seen only as the cooks and house helps of the rich and powerful; they have arisen to take their destiny in their hands and in unison tell themselves: Never again shall we be treated as mere irritants or the fringe elements of the Nigerian enterprise.
It takes leadership to engender this new mindset. And I stand here again, as your Servant -Leader to restate my commitment to leading you well, to providing an exemplary leadership that will inspire you to rise to your greatness. If you have been amazed at what we have been able to achieve in the past seven months, with all the distractions, you can imagine what is going to happen now that cobwebs have been cleared, the undulating road, rendered straight and the vision that had been muddied by blatant blackmail, now super clear- 20/20. As the Americans would say “you aint seen nothing yet”.
I call on our people to remain law abiding and shun acts and tendencies that would cause public disaffection. The other side had a right to aspire to power, even though we don’t agree with their approach and mechanics. Politics should not be used as a wedge issue to divide brothers and sisters, politics should not be an instrument that creates disharmony among an otherwise homogenous people, and we should resist the impulse to stoke ethnic fire among otherwise happy brothers and sisters. As I have always stated: political foes of today may be political allies tomorrow- we should be guided by this ennobling ideal.
Thank you again for your support, thank you for believing in us, it is well with the good people of Akwa Ibom State, it is well with Nigeria, it is well with us all. God bless you.