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Akwa Ibom CAN seeks peaceful, active participation in 2023 polls

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AKwa Ibom Can

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) chapter in Akwa Ibom State has urged local church leaders and other Christians to take part in the general elections in 2023.

In a statement supported by its chairman, Bishop (Dr.) Christian Nyong, CAN stated that the right to freely participate in political and electoral processes is guaranteed by the Constitution and does not conflict in any way with the teachings of the Christian faith. As a result, CAN urged church leaders to provide voter education to their flocks.

However, notwithstanding the call for active participation, CAN said in the advisory that “Church leaders are not to undertake actions, or partake in activities that are capable of inciting civil unrest, or causing a breach of public peace.”

“They must be sensitive to the concentrated anger that has been triggered by the fallout of recent economic policies and fuel scarcity in our country, which have foisted an unprecedented level of despondency on our land.”

PDP Insists On Umo Eno as Akwa Ibom Guber Candidate

While advising that no protest will be contemplated, the Christian body urged Christian leaders to “pray fervently for peace throughout this period and also counsel their members to earnestly seek and pursue peace.”

Restating the belief that power belongs to God, CAN cautioned candidates “to be civil and temperate in their utterances during electioneering,” noting that inflammatory or incendiary utterances by politicians can derail the democratic process.

In addition, the Christian body advised “Church leaders not to yield to the entreaties of desperate politicians who are making efforts to penetrate the ranks of the Church with a view to influencing the clergy to mobilize their adherents for politically motivated protests and demonstrations.”

Therefore, it committed to working with security organizations to maintain peace in order to prevent “every attempt to use religion and Church as a tool for destruction and insecurity.”

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Politics

Eket Senatorial District Media Professionals Criticize Senator Akpabio’s Claims

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The Association of Eket Senatorial District Media Professionals in Akwa Ibom State has criticized Senator Godswill Akpabio for his claims that his successor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, did not undertake any projects for the people of Ikot Ekpene and Eket Senatorial districts.

Senator Akpabio, in a video that has been widely circulated, stated that Mr. Emmanuel, during his tenure as governor, did not leave any significant imprints in both Ikot Ekpene, Akpabio’s district, and Eket, Emmanuel’s district. This comment was made in response to Senator Ekong Sampson’s plea for the inclusion of Akwa Ibom in a bill to establish new federal medical centers in Nigeria. Akpabio asserted, “I gave you a governor (Udom Emmanuel) who for eight years did not do anything for the people of Ikot Ekpene and Eket Senatorial district, he did not leave any imprint.”

In a statement signed by Joseph Ekong, Director of Public and Strategic Communication, the media professionals described Akpabio’s remarks as “unguarded and illogical.” The group expressed shock that such comments were made in the legislative chambers.

The statement emphasized their reluctance to engage in public disputes with Senator Akpabio but warned that they could reveal documents about Akpabio’s tenure as governor that might not be flattering. The group underscored that Akpabio’s response to Senator Sampson’s constructive contribution was misplaced and unfounded.

They highlighted that during Akpabio’s tenure as governor, the Eket Senatorial District, which contributes 40% of revenue to the federation account, saw little infrastructure development beyond initial groundbreaking stages. The Uyo-Etinan-Eket Road, a significant access route, did not progress beyond groundbreaking during Akpabio’s administration.

While refraining from detailing Mr. Emmanuel’s achievements in Eket, the group focused on dispelling misinformation about Ikot Ekpene. They urged Senator Akpabio to use his position as Senate President to foster development rather than undermine his successors.

The group concluded by advising Senator Akpabio to adopt a more unifying approach, similar to other national leaders who have leveraged their positions to benefit their home states, instead of engaging in what they termed as “shadow-punching” against a non-responsive Mr. Emmanuel.

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Governor Umo Eno’s Bipartisan Gesture: ARISE Initiative Delivers New Home to Opposition Member

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In a display of bipartisan goodwill, Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State extended support to Ikwo Sunday Emmanuel, an opposition member from Eyoyekip village in Uruefong Oruko Local Government Area.

Emmanuel, considered a vocal critic of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), received a newly furnished home under the ARISE Compassionate Home Initiative, alongside a N500,000 business seed fund.

Representing the governor, Commissioner Koko Essien of Internal Security and Waterways presented the title documents for the home, emphasizing Governor Umo Eno’s commitment to benefiting all residents of the State, irrespective of political affiliation.

Madam Ikwo Emmanuel, known locally as Mma Inyang, expressed profound gratitude for the governor’s generosity, highlighting her years of hardship and political stance. She recounted her journey as an opposition member and acknowledged the significant impact of the new home on her life.

The event also witnessed a notable shift in political allegiance, with opposition members in the area defecting to the PDP in appreciation of Governor Umo Eno’s inclusive governance approach under the ARISE Agenda.

In related developments, Governor Umo Eno has mandated civil servants in Akwa Ibom State to engage in farming activities every first and third Friday, aimed at boosting food production and stabilizing market prices. During an inspection of local government initiatives, the governor applauded the agricultural efforts led by Otobong Aaron in Nsit Ibom, underscoring the importance of replicating such successes across all wards to achieve food sufficiency goals.

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Comrade Uduak Ekong Appointed Chief Press Secretary to Akwa Ibom First Lady

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, has appointed Comrade Uduak Ekong, former Chairperson of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWoJ) in the state, as the Chief Press Secretary to the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Eno.

The appointment, effective from June 1, 2023, was announced via a letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prince Enobong Uwah, dated June 20, 2024.

Ekong, who previously served at the Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC) and chaired the AKBC TV Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state, brings a wealth of experience to her new role.

A statement from the media unit of the governor’s wife expressed the governor’s approval of Ekong’s appointment, highlighting her extensive background in journalism and union leadership within AKBC and NUJ.

Ekong’s appointment underscores Governor Umo Eno’s commitment to strengthening communication and media relations within the state administration.

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