Tag Archives: Udom Emmanuel

NOW THAT SCAM-ARTIST ATA IKIDDEH HAS JOINED NDDC MEDIA TEAM…

5 Jul

 

Ata Ikiddeh 2

“Why are you dissipating too much energy on Ata Ikiddeh, he has never been a serious person. He was my classmate at the defunct School of Arts and Science, Uyo. While in at UNICAL too, he was course mate of former Governor Godswill Akpabio. He used to dance breakdance at UNICAL. It was on this strength that he won an award then called Mr. UNICAL.”

That was a message, crispy and clear from a concerned Akwa Ibom son who felt Ata Ikiddeh’s noise was not worth the attention. But then anyone who ignores Ata, does so at his own peril. This is moreso when so many amiable indigenes of the state, like former screen delight,Regina AskiaWilliams who reside outside the country, are yielding towards the emotions raised by his ilk. I remember the build up to the 2011 elections, the same desperation and blackmail were employed by the same guy and the next thing was his strong persistent clamour to take over the media team of the then Governor, His Excellency Godswill Akpabio. It got to a point that Mr Ikiddeh would sent message after another to the Governor on how the Commissioner for Information Aniekan Umanah failed to properly inform the people, and how he waded in to redeem the image of the governor on the social and global media. His pestering was uncontrollable and anyone could just imagine the volume of pressure he mounted on the former Governor, who characteristically refused to succumb to blackmail. Most of the text messages undermining the Aniekan Umanah-led information team were usually forwarded to the subject of the blackmail.Ata Ikiddeh scam artist

For close to two years, between 2009 to 2011, Mr. Ikiddeh was usually seen with a small camcorder, recording projects and posting them on his social media platforms. Perhaps it is instructive to note that in 2009, Ata first came to Uyo with a group of about six diasporans on a fact finding tour, and despite being shown round the entire projects locations in one week, he saw it as a Vista for endless all expense paid trips. Most times even when he got the clips from the information team, he won’t hesitate to forward a message to the former Governor as his personal efforts at salvaging the battered image of the governor. Almost a month would not pass without Ikiddeh arriving the state with his small camera, and the usual text messages to get support. That is the story of a tall bespectacled dude at the tarmac of the newly commissioned airport, with his brown Elizabethan checkered blazers. Although unsolicited, the State government made it a point of duty to always find him handouts. Of course I was the Special Assistant to the Commissioner and had a fair knowledge of most of Ata’s activities. On one occasion, he wrote a passionate letter about his rent expiring in his London apartment, and his children being unable to attend school.

It is obviously not a surprise that he found his way to the doorstep of very humble and listening Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rd.Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke. It takes a broad mind to imagine the pestering and harassment he may have meted on the peaceable number one state lawmaker. This aspect of Ata dates back to 2010 during the ‘Child Witch Saga’ that compelled the state government to intervene and rescue the children from the CRARN home in Eket. It was a very emotional moment, seeing the terrible condition of young children suffering from the ignorance of their parents. My involvement in the evacuation enabled Ata to have access to the process. He said he would like to join and we brought him along. When I received a call from the then Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare Mrs. Eunice Thomas, the following morning, I was shocked to hear that the same Ata in his usual nature had forwarded a text to the Governor on how he narrowly escaped dead while trying to rescue the children from their ‘captors’. He had painted a picture of a war scenario where he was the Rambo that helped wade of the savages that came out with machetes. The commissioner was upset with me, she said it was unfair for the Ata Ikiddeh to go a-lying to the governor. In the true sense of it, there was never a resistance from the center when the government team arrived and it took three trips to evacuate the inmates to the Divine Children’s home, built initially as the security village in Uyo.

Like I had said somewhere else previously, Ata is a lawyer by training, and his mates in the Nigeria Law School include the likes of Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator Liyel Imoke, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Anyim, Senator Grace Bent, former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Chibudum Nwuche, among other notable Nigerians. He had no history of involvement in media services in any known media establishment or department, neither could he prove he had consulted for any reputable agency or government. These were obviously addendums to his penchant for blackmail, which probably accounted for his appointment as one of the numerous Special Assistants on Projects Monitoring, to the then governor in 2011, as against his crave for the soul of the information machinery. If ever someone exists who would have entrusted Ata Ikiddeh with the job of managing his image, it ought to have been His Excellency Godswill Akpabio. But he got a job of project inspection for all his troubles. It was like, let us find Ata something to do, and save ourselves the troubles of his harassments.

I remember the day I called Ata when he started rolling these spiteful messages on the social media against the Governor, I was in my office and when he received my call, I explained to him that it was not fair for him, a beneficiary of the system to attempt pulling the ladder down. He started explaining to me that he has done his best to get the Commissioner to involve him and that he even got recommendation from the Speaker of the State House of Assembly. After submitting his proposal, the commissioner has failed to send for him, and has not also been picking his calls. It was an absurd thing to hear, that someone could tell me he has resorted to media attacks on the governor because his proposal didn’t meet favourable consideration.

Most people have gone on the social media space, urging the state government to respond to the calculated jaundiced smear campaigns by Ata Ikiddeh and brothers. Like I said, genuine and reasonable people usually ask questions before to conclusions except where there is a malicious intent, like in this case.
Everyone who cares to know, has seen through the various communication media that the Governor of Akwa Ibom state His Excellency Mr Udom Emmanuel has clearly made a bold expression on the health sector of the state. Governor Emmanuel clearly stated that the medical equipment being brought into Akwa Ibom are bought first hand from the manufacturers in the United States of America, and are being shipped in 100 containers to Nigeria. The administration, he echoed resisted the temptation of purchasing equipment from several third world countries to be guaranteed of their quality and durability. So far more than 25 of those containers have been received and deployed for use. The hospitals in Etinan and Ikono have been well equipped and furnished and were commissioned recently by the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and the Governor respectively. These much information are in the public domain, produced and circulated by Commissioner Charles Udoh. Ata has access to these. Because his interest is in his personal gains than these information, he overlooks them and goes for the jugular of the Commissioner for refusing him his outrageous media consultancy.

Other hospitals like Oron, Okobo, Eket, Oruk Anam, Uruan among others are undergoing renovations and re-equipping. If Ata and his cohorts were sincere, instead of writing and publishing on rag tag sheets, they would review government projects and come down to inspect and access before going to attack the commissioner for information and the media team. I remember the day I personally called him to advise against towing the path of self-destruction, he took it in bad faith, went on the media alleging blackmail.
In summary, it is well to note that Ata disturbed the Speaker of the House of Assembly and out of compassion, the speaker opted to introduce Ata to Charles Udoh. Note, Barr Luke possibly paid his transport fares and lodged him in a hotel, and for Ata, this means that his proposal ought to be accepted at all cost. If Ata Ikiddeh wanted information on the achievements of government, he got it, more than enough. Others get it when they seek. Currently, the state government runs a whole lot of media programmes on the achievements of the governor. Discover Akwa Ibom, Update Akwa Ibom and Akwa Ibom Rising are documentaries that run both on local electronic media and cable TV. There is a feedback mechanism for citizens to access the government spokesman on SMS,whatsapp messages, social media platforms and even the state website. Today, we have a man who benefitted consistently from government for over six years, coming out with a threatening proposal including a clause for hotel bills, flight tickets and other expenses. Didn’t he owned a house in Uyo while working for the state government a year earlier? That is story for another day.

By his own admission, Mr Ata Ikiddeh has joined the media team of Mr. Nsima Ekere, the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, who is neck deep in the 2019 governorship race against the incumbent governor. He said Charles Udoh refused to give him attention, Mr Ekere picked his call and accepted his offer. Ata has repeatedly expressed his prowess as a media expert, without whom nothing can work in a media team. Methinks he would have set out for work immediately to gain acceptance from the already existent team members of the Nsima Ekere crew who may see him as a gold digger. Don’t get me wrong, no one is against his being accommodated in Mr Nsima Ekere’s media team, but he should promote Ekere and NDDC and stop knocking Governor Emmanuel and his media team. He is expected to bring that media ingenuity and show the world those achievements of NDDC in Akwa Ibom that every other media hireling has unfortunately failed to showcase in the past three years. He should exhibit his media skills at his new duty post and stop crying over the job he couldn’t get at the Hilltop mansion.

(c) Essien Ndueso

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UDOM EMMANUEL IS THE PRIDE OF A’IBOM STATE, THE PDP AND NIGERIA–PAUL EKPO …as Political Affairs Bureau flags-off Sign-On for Udom crusade

5 Jul

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By Edifon Abasi-Obot

Governor Udom Emmanuel has been described as the pride of Akwa Ibom State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) both in the state and national levels and of Nigeria as a whole.

The Chairman of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State and Chairman, Forum of PDP Chairmen in Nigeria, Obong Paul Ekpo made the pronouncement at the official flag-off ceremony of the Sign on for Udom programme, initiated by the Bureau of Political/ Legislative Affairs and Water Resources.

The PDP Chairman, on behalf of his party, commended the leadership of the Bureau for the initiative and for being steadfast and dedicated to the government of the Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Obong Ekpo said his party and the Bureau enjoy a healthy partnership. He maintained that the duo is on the same course, hence that the party strongly identifies with the Bureau in the Sign On programme, which he described as a laudable course.

Obong Paul Ekpo expressed appreciation for the various party men and women who form themselves into various group to support the effort of the Governor and the Party. He however urged them to be equipped with their Permanent Voters’ Cards and be ready to convert their support to victory for the party in due course.

He charged the supporters of Governor Udom Emmanuel and the PDP to take the Sign On back to their various villages, units and wards and to make sure that the Sign on for Udom reverberates at those points.

The host, Special Adviser at the Bureau, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Ekong Sampson described the event as symbolic of the love, respect and principally the support that Governor Udom Emmanuel enjoys in Akwa Ibom State.
Ekong Sampson reiterated that there is a huge current that Governor Udom Emmanuel is doing very well and needs to return for a second term to implement expansive road map that he has our people.

He said the Sign On marks a major intersection in the determination of the people of the State to consolidate the good governance, visionary leadership and innovation brought to bear by Governor Emmanuel.

Sampson said Sign On was one in a mosaic of activities designed to promote good governance, support excellence, deepen bonds and show the whole world that Governor Udom Emmanuel gas earned the love and respect of Akwa Ibom people and indeed Nigerians, sufficient to earn him a second term in office.

He added that the galaxy of eminent Nigerians in Akwa Ibom State stepping forward to Sign On for Governor Emmanuel is indicative of the fact that the people have found in Governor Udom Emmanuel a leader who is committed to true values and have lined up behind him.

Highpoint of the event was the unveiling of the statue of support, a signature board for the actual sign on exercise.
The ceremony which was performed by the Obong Paul Ekpo in company of the Senators Anietie Okon, Effiong Bob, Emmanuel Ibok Essien, the Special Adviser at the Bureau, Barrister Ekong Sampson, State Secretary of the PDP, leaders of frontline socio-political groups and stakeholders in the Akwa Ibom polity that were present at the event, was followed immediately by appending of signature, indicating firm support for Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Akwa Ibom: Former Gov Akpabio spends billions on #WhiteElephant projects, while its education system rots away.

2 Jul

, Premium Times

Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State 3 _ Photo credit_ Mapio.netRelated NewsGov. Emmanuel presents N651.5 billion budget to Akwa Ibom Assembly Poverty killing Akwa Ibom residents, supporter tells Akpabio. How corruption and poor governance are killing Nigeria, By Godswill AkpabioAkwa Ibom people not free under Gov. Emmanuel — Ex-MinisterEx-Akwa Ibom deputy governor defies Akpabio, picks PDP Guber formIn 2008, the Akwa Ibom State government embarked on the construction of a multi-billion naira massive leisure and business complex, with the hope of turning the oil-rich Nigerian state into ‘Dubai’.The complex, named Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, sits atop 168 hectres of land in Uyo, the state capital.It has a 14-floor storey building, the tallest in the state, meant for a 258-room five-star hotel, a Cineplex (six cinema halls), shopping mall, 5,000-seat convention centre, and a theme park, comprising wet and dry parks.“My vision is to produce a small Dubai within the Niger Delta (region of Nigeria),” the then governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio, who initiated the project, said in early 2012.By then the cinema was already open to the public, while the other components of the ambitious project were still under construction.“I have given them Dubai standard Cineplex,” Mr. Akpabio had boasted in a government-sponsored TV programme aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT). “So, you walk in there to watch films and you think you are sitting down in Dubai.”The complex was scheduled to open for business by the end of 2012.But 10 years after take-off, and three years after Mr. Akpabio left office, the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, remains unfinished, despite the huge money sunk into it; except for the Cineplex and the bar close to it, the rest of the complex has been abandoned. The tall building and the area meant for the theme park look desolate.A popular retail business, Shoprite, in August 2015, laid a foundation stone for the building of its mall at the Tropicana. After a long lull, Shoprite just started work on its proposed mall in June 2018, PREMIUM TIMES learned.The Akpabio administration had said its construction would cost the state N33 billion, but three people familiar with the project said the cost was later reviewed upward to N120 billion.Aerial view of Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene _Photo credit_Skyscrapercity.com ” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Aerial-view-of-Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-_Photo-credit_Skyscrapercity.com_-1.jpg?fit=349%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Aerial-view-of-Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-_Photo-credit_Skyscrapercity.com_-1.jpg?fit=604%2C604&ssl=1″ src=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Aerial-view-of-Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-_Photo-credit_Skyscrapercity.com_-1.jpg?w=600&h=600&crop=1&ssl=1″ width=”600″ height=”600″ data-original-width=”600″ data-original-height=”600″ itemprop=”http://schema.org/image” title=”Aerial view of Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene _Photo credit_Skyscrapercity.com” alt=”Aerial view of Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene _Photo credit_Skyscrapercity.com” style=”margin: 2px !important; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; vertical-align: middle; height: 600px; background: 0px 0px; box-shadow: none; max-width: 100%; width: 600px;”>But while the government shelled out such humongous amounts on white elephant projects, it left its schools decrepit.Hundreds of schools – primary and secondary – received little attention, a year-long investigation by PREMIUM TIMES revealed.In some terrible situations, pupils and students sit on bare floor to learn in roofless classrooms.Kids between the ages of three and four have been found sleeping on bare floor, in at least two schools in the state.The science colleges in the state are in ruin too. Same with the technical colleges. In one particular case, a top multi-billion naira technical college in the state have been closed down, strangely, and left for several years to rot away.Poorly-motivated teachers in the state, who sometimes go for several months without salary, are known to have resorted to corrupt practices, including collecting money to allow students cheat in examinations.Meanwhile, government officials and elites in the state send their kids to world-class private schools owned by one of them.The current administration of Governor Emmanuel, just like his predecessor, is yet to tell the Akwa Ibom people how much has been spent so far on the Tropicana project.The Commissioner for Housing and Special Duties, Akan Okon, whose ministry supervises the Tropicana, did not respond to calls and text messages sent to his phone line by this reporter.Mr Okon served for one year between May 2014 and May 2015, as commissioner for finance in the Akpabio administration. He continued briefly as finance commissioner under Governor Emmanuel before he was posted to the ministry of housing and special duties.The former governor, Mr Akpabio, who is the Senate Minority Leader, declined PREMIUM TIMES’ request for interview.Silverbird Showtime Ltd, a company owned by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator from Bayelsa State, Ben Murray-Bruce, was awarded contract for the construction of the Tropicana. (This was before Mr Murray-Bruce was elected senator in 2015).Mr Murray-Bruce said during the flag-off of the construction in 2008 that the Tropicana would create up to 5,000 jobs in Akwa Ibom State when completed.For now, only about 45 persons, including casual workers, are employed at the Cineplex and the bar, which is far less than the 5,000 envisaged, a top-level administrative worker at the Cineplex told PREMIUM TIMES.Former Gov. Godswill Akpabi and the present Gov. Emmanuel Udom Having lunch with an associate ” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/THETHE1.jpg?fit=473%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/THETHE1.jpg?fit=604%2C445&ssl=1″ src=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/THETHE1.jpg?w=600&h=442&crop&ssl=1″ width=”600″ height=”442″ data-original-width=”600″ data-original-height=”442″ itemprop=”http://schema.org/image” title=”Former Gov. Godswill Akpabi and the present Gov. Emmanuel Udom Having lunch with an associate” alt=”Former Gov. Godswill Akpabi and the present Gov. Emmanuel Udom Having lunch with an associate” style=”margin: 2px !important; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; vertical-align: middle; height: 442px; background: 0px 0px; box-shadow: none; max-width: 100%; width: 600px;”>An average worker in the two sections earns about N25, 000 ($69) as monthly salary, this newspaper learnt.Both the cinema and the bar are also run by Mr Murray-Bruce’s Silverbird.The company has not made returns to the Akwa Ibom State government since the Cineplex was open for business in 2011, according to sources within the Akwa Ibom government.The top-level worker at the Tropicana said lack of formal agreement between the government and Silverbird is the reason the latter has not been making returns.“Silverbird isn’t paying anything to government yet until there is a formal contract,” says the worker who did not want his name mentioned because he was not authorised to speak on the matter.The worker said Silverbird wants to “recoup millions of naira” they claimed they spent on fixing lightings in the Cineplex.He said Silverbird has been spending money to maintain the facility, as well as buy diesel to power it (the Tropicana was not connected to electrical grid, until May 2018).In addition, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the state government would not want Silverbird to run the cinema in a businesslike manner, so as not to hurt the locals who may not have the money to pay for the services.Akwa Ibom, rich in oil and gas deposits, is among Nigeria’s richest states. But poverty and unemployment levels in the state are amongst the highest in Nigeria, largely due to corruption and mismanagement of public funds.The state occupies the second position among the states with the highest unemployment rate in Nigeria, according to 2018 data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).It is a low-income economy, where most working class people earn moderate salary working as government employees.At Silverbird cinemas in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and in Lagos and Abuja, moviegoers pay about N2, 000 for a single movie on weekdays, and N2, 500 on weekends.But at the Tropicana, Uyo, ticket is sold at N1,500 for foreign movies and N1,000 for Nollywood movies.Front view of Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Uyo_ Photo credit_Skycrapercity.com ” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Front-view-of-Ibom-Tropicana-Entertainment-Centre-Uyo_-Photo-credit_Skycrapercity.com_-1.jpg?fit=524%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Front-view-of-Ibom-Tropicana-Entertainment-Centre-Uyo_-Photo-credit_Skycrapercity.com_-1.jpg?fit=604%2C402&ssl=1″ src=”https://i2.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Front-view-of-Ibom-Tropicana-Entertainment-Centre-Uyo_-Photo-credit_Skycrapercity.com_-1.jpg?w=600&h=400&crop&ssl=1″ width=”600″ height=”400″ data-original-width=”600″ data-original-height=”400″ itemprop=”http://schema.org/image” title=”Front view of Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Uyo_ Photo credit_Skycrapercity.com” alt=”Front view of Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Uyo_ Photo credit_Skycrapercity.com” style=”margin: 2px !important; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; vertical-align: middle; height: 400px; background: 0px 0px; box-shadow: none; max-width: 100%; width: 600px;”>In the past, a movie ticket was sold for as low as N250 and N500 at the Tropicana.With billions of naira coming into the state coffers as oil derivation fund from the nation’s Federation Account every month, it seems, clearly, that Akwa Ibom’s development challenge, unlike most other Nigerian states, is not really about paucity of fund, but how to judiciously spend the much they have.In five years alone, between 2013 and 2017, the state received N1.029 trillion (about $2.8 billion) from the country’s Federation Account.This is beside the revenue it generates internally.Comparatively, a state like Osun, South-West of Nigeria, receives less than one-tenth of what Akwa Ibom gets from the Federation Account.While construction work was going on at the 258-room five-star hotel at the Tropicana, the state government was also building a 144-room four-star hotel at the nearby city of Ikot Ekpene which is about 20-minute drive from Uyo.Besides these two, Akwa Ibom already has its premier 163-room five-star hotel, Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, at Uruan which is about five-minute drive from Uyo.A Turkish company, Ronesans Holdings, handled the construction contract for the four-star hotel in Ikot Ekpene whose value government insiders put at about N50 billion.Photo showing the five-star hotel section of the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Uyo _ Photo credit_ Mapio.net ” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Photo-showing-the-five-star-hotel-section-of-the-Ibom-Tropicana-Entertainment-Centre-Uyo-_-Photo-credit_-Mapio.net_.jpg?fit=262%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Photo-showing-the-five-star-hotel-section-of-the-Ibom-Tropicana-Entertainment-Centre-Uyo-_-Photo-credit_-Mapio.net_.jpg?fit=604%2C805&ssl=1″ src=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Photo-showing-the-five-star-hotel-section-of-the-Ibom-Tropicana-Entertainment-Centre-Uyo-_-Photo-credit_-Mapio.net_.jpg?w=600&h=800&crop&ssl=1″ width=”600″ height=”800″ data-original-width=”600″ data-original-height=”800″ itemprop=”http://schema.org/image” title=”Photo showing the five-star hotel section of the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Uyo _ Photo credit_ Mapio.net” alt=”Photo showing the five-star hotel section of the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Uyo _ Photo credit_ Mapio.net” style=”margin: 2px !important; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; vertical-align: middle; height: 800px; background: 0px 0px; box-shadow: none; max-width: 100%; width: 600px;”>The then governor, Mr Akpabio, said in January 2015 during an interview with AIT that he was “struggling to make sure” both hotels were finished and ready to host visitors expected in the state then for a friendly football match between Nigeria and Brazil.The friendly, which was to take place on March 29, 2015 at the 30,000-seat stadium built newly then by the Akpabio administration, was later called off by Brazil.“Akwa Ibom can’t afford to put additional money in Tropicana”Governor Emmanuel is frustrated with the “mega” projects initiated by his predecessor, Mr Akpabio.In a leaked audio clip of Mr Emmanuel’s meeting with some leaders in the state, the governor is heard explaining his frustration and what he intends to do with the Tropicana in Uyo and the Four Points by Sheraton hotel, in Ikot Ekpene.The meeting most likely took place at the Government House, Uyo, but the date is, however, unknown.“We are in recession, we can’t manage Tropicana,” the governor said, in the audio.“I am going to lease out that place, people will run it, they will give me money and I will use that money to do something. Whenever they run it and take their money, we take back our asset in the future.”Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State ” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-Akwa-Ibom-State-1.jpg?fit=465%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-Akwa-Ibom-State-1.jpg?fit=604%2C453&ssl=1″ src=”https://i1.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-Akwa-Ibom-State-1.jpg?w=399&h=299&crop&ssl=1″ width=”399″ height=”299″ data-original-width=”399″ data-original-height=”299″ itemprop=”http://schema.org/image” title=”Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State” alt=”Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State” style=”margin: 2px !important; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; vertical-align: middle; height: 299px; background: 0px 0px; box-shadow: none; max-width: 100%; width: 399px;”>Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State 3 _ Photo credit_ Mapio.net ” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-Akwa-Ibom-State-3-_-Photo-credit_-Mapio.net_-1.jpg?fit=465%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-Akwa-Ibom-State-3-_-Photo-credit_-Mapio.net_-1.jpg?fit=604%2C453&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-Akwa-Ibom-State-3-_-Photo-credit_-Mapio.net_-1.jpg?w=197&h=147&crop&ssl=1″ width=”197″ height=”147″ data-original-width=”197″ data-original-height=”147″ itemprop=”http://schema.org/image” title=”Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State 3 _ Photo credit_ Mapio.net” alt=”Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State 3 _ Photo credit_ Mapio.net” style=”margin: 2px !important; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; vertical-align: middle; height: 147px; background: 0px 0px; box-shadow: none; max-width: 100%; width: 197px;”>Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State 2 ” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-Akwa-Ibom-State-2-1.jpg?fit=465%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-Akwa-Ibom-State-2-1.jpg?fit=604%2C453&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Four-Points-by-Sheraton-Hotel-Ikot-Ekpene-Akwa-Ibom-State-2-1.jpg?w=197&h=148&crop&ssl=1″ width=”197″ height=”148″ data-original-width=”197″ data-original-height=”148″ itemprop=”http://schema.org/image” title=”Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State 2″ alt=”Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State 2″ style=”margin: 2px !important; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; vertical-align: middle; height: 148px; background: 0px 0px; box-shadow: none; max-width: 100%; width: 197px;”>The governor said an incredible amount of money is needed to complete the Tropicana. “I can’t afford it,” he says.He says of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, “That building is not yet a hotel!”Continuing, he says: “I can’t help it; we must still put in more money. I have heard a lot of people make noise that the governor has refused to open the hotel. Sorry, building is different from hotel. I need $7.2 million to turn that building into a hotel. As at today, I have paid a deposit of $4 million. It is remaining $3.2 million.”Governor Emmanuel also talked about the premier five-star hotel in the state, Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, which he said has not been making returns to the state government.“Unfortunately, Le Meridien has not been audited in the past 10 years, and they don’t render account to the government. I have just discovered they don’t give even one naira to the government from all the money that is made in the hotel.“At the same time they didn’t even remit their technical management fees to their home office, so they want me to come and pay those technical fees for 10 years.“But in order to keep them, so they won’t leave, I just remitted $900,000 to them, so that they can stay for us to audit them,” Mr Emmanuel said.The governor said he eventually insisted that Marriot, the managers of the hotel, must leave.It’s not clear, however, if the state government claimed any money from Marriot.Interestingly, building of white elephant projects in Akwa Ibom has become a relay race where one leader hands over the baton to another; Mr Emmanuel, taking off from where his predecessor stopped, is currently building a second Akwa Ibom governor’s lodge in Lagos, and an international worship centre in Uyo, despite huge opposition from the people.The design of the International Worship Centre, Akwa Ibom State ” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/The-design-of-the-International-Worship-Centre-Akwa-Ibom-State.jpg?fit=526%2C296&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/The-design-of-the-International-Worship-Centre-Akwa-Ibom-State.jpg?fit=604%2C340&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/The-design-of-the-International-Worship-Centre-Akwa-Ibom-State.jpg?w=600&h=338&crop&ssl=1″ width=”600″ height=”338″ data-original-width=”600″ data-original-height=”338″ itemprop=”http://schema.org/image” title=”The design of the International Worship Centre, Akwa Ibom State” alt=”The design of the International Worship Centre, Akwa Ibom State” style=”margin: 2px !important; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; vertical-align: middle; height: 338px; background: 0px 0px; box-shadow: none; max-width: 100%; width: 600px;”>Mr Emmanuel’s administration is also constructing a 21-storey office building project in Uyo. The cost of the project has not been made public by the government.Some people in Uyo who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES said the administration is “strategically” preparing office accommodation for Mobil Producing Nigeria, in order to put pressure on the oil company to relocate from Lagos to Akwa Ibom State where it is drilling oil.PREMIUM TIMES could not verify the information, as government officials in Uyo declined comment on the matter.Inibehe Effiong, a Lagos-based lawyer from Akwa Ibom, travelled to the state to lead a street protest in March 2017 against the building of the new Akwa Ibom governor’s lodge in Lagos.“Mr Governor, you took an oath of office as the governor of Akwa Ibom State. You did not take an oath of office as the governor of Lagos State,” Mr Effiong said to the crowd.“You took an oath of office to protect Akwa Ibom people, not Lagos State. Mr Governor, you do not need another lodge in Lagos!” he said.In the tension that ensued, several government officials were dissing out conflicting figures as the project cost. One senior government official said then that N10 billion was budgeted for the new lodge, while another said it was “less than N10 billion”.In responding to the criticism, Mr Emmanuel said the government was going to spend a “paltry” N1.6 billion for the new lodge which he said is meant to host people who would want to invest in Akwa Ibom. The old lodge in Lagos is dilapidated, he claimed.“Will Akwa Ibom people feel proud for me to host so many consular-generals, investors in those kinds of dilapidated buildings?” Mr Emmanuel said.Akwa Ibom State also has a governor’s lodge, said to be one of the most sophisticated, in the nation’s capital, Abuja.“Lagos State is a commercial capital of Nigeria, no doubt. But it is not the only entry point into Nigeria. It is also not a mandatory stop-over for potential investors, especially the ones who are interested in investing in Akwa Ibom State,” said Uyo-based lawyer, Imo Akpan, who was among those who protested against the building of the new lodge in Lagos.“The best place to receive an Akwa Ibom bound investor is Akwa Ibom. This is where to exhibit our rich cultural background; this is where to showcase our potentials; this is where to discuss and negotiate hands-on the deals that will move this state forward.“If you have investors who are attracted to the Lagos skyline, chances are that they will not invest in Akwa Ibom.“But if you have serious-minded entities that are committed to genuine business and must be hosted in Lagos, the best place will be to welcome them into the existing state government-owned Liaison offices in Lagos,” says Mr Akpan.How Funds Sunk Into Tropicana, Other Projects Would Have Helped EducationN120 billion Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, UyoIbom Tropicana Entertaiment Centre, Uyo _Photo credit_ Ubong Ephraim ” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Ibom-Tropicana-Entertaiment-Centre-Uyo-_Photo-credit_-Ubong-Ephraim.jpg?fit=526%2C296&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Ibom-Tropicana-Entertaiment-Centre-Uyo-_Photo-credit_-Ubong-Ephraim.jpg?fit=604%2C340&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2018/07/Ibom-Tropicana-Entertaiment-Centre-Uyo-_Photo-credit_-Ubong-Ephraim.jpg” style=”max-width:100%;” />

Gov. #UdomEmmanuel Has So Far Performed Better than 16 Years of Attah and Akpabio, Says SSG Ekuwem

19 Jun

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing

 

By David Augustine


The Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem has stated that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s performance in Oro Nation in barely three years on the saddle of governance has surpassed the sixteen years tenure of his predecessors, Obong Victor Attah and Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Dr. Ekwuwem stated this during his meeting with Oro PDP stalwarts, in appreciation of their support and cooperation since his assumption of office as the SSG.

The SSG noted that the Governor is very committed to the development of the State, adding that Oro Nation in particular and indeed, the State, in general, have benefited from the Governor’s development strides and policies.

Interacting with the party’s stalwarts, it was hinted that arrangements are in top gear by the people of Oro Nation, the third largest ethnic group in Akwa Ibom State, to formally endorse Governor Udom Emmanuel as their sole candidate in the 2019 Governorship election.

The hint was dropped through a unanimous motion for the endorsement rally by the Oro PDP stalwarts during the meeting held recently in Uyo.

In his remarks, Dr. Ekuwem thanked his kinsmen for their resolve to reciprocate the love the Governor has for Oro people by planning to organise an endorsement rally in support of Governor Emmanuel’s second term bid come 2019. He appreciated the Governor for his numerous achievements across the state.

According to him, the achievement include political inclusion of Oro in the mainstream of governance as exemplified in his appointment as Secretary to the State Government, the current repair work on old alignment of the Uyo -Oron road, dualization of the new Oron -Uyo road, the ongoing work on the Etebi -Enwang road, remodeling of Iquita General Hospital, Oron and Amamong Okobo, among others infrastructural strides.

“For understandable reasons, we know how the majority of Oro people felt in 2015, but Oro people are very positive. We have since moved forward and therefore this gentleman, His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel is doing a lot to improve the socio-economic lots of where (Oro) we come from. So, we have to encourage and support him”, the SSG stated.

Dr. Ekuwem said the Governor is committed to the realisation of Ibom Deep Seaport and Industrial City in Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area, describing him as a God-fearing leader.

Speaking separately, Oro stakeholders said they were proud of their son and Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Ekuwem for convening the meeting to reorder the politics of Oro and show a new direction.

CRARN Lauds Governor Udom Emmanuel Over Support for Street Children

10 May

A charity organization in Eket, Nigeria, the Child’s Right and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) has commended the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for donating food and other items to the street and abandoned Children taking refuge at CRARN Children Centre in Eket.

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Gov. Udom of Akwa Ibom State.
The commendation is contained in a release, jointly signed by the CRARN’s president and founder, Mr. Sam Ikpe – Itauma and its attorney, Pastor/Barrister Pius Madaki. The charity group said the governor’s donation was a big relief to the organization as it will go a long way in enhancing the nutrition value, well-being, and education of the children.

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Sam Itauma, President & Founder of CRARN
The release further said the children and the organization’s management were greatly delighted to see the delegation of the governor who came last week, offered prayers to the children, and delivered a message of hope from the governor.
“The governor’s gesture is no doubt a tremendous relief for the organization as we believe it will boost the children’s health, their feeding system, and education…” the charity group said.

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Barrister Pius Madaki, CRARN’s Attorney
The group pledged its commitment to continue to partner with the Akwa Ibom State government in carrying out the educational campaign in the state to reduce the rate of children stigmatization and abandonments. It said enlightenment campaign, as well as advocacy, was a panacea to curtailing the menace.
The release acknowledged Governor Udom’s effort aimed at reducing poverty through industrialization, opening and tarring of new roads, and called on the governor not to relent his effort in this direction

 

Udom Emmanuel Still The Puppet Master

30 Jun
By Clayton Udoh
Dear Essien Ndueso,
                          A lot of people went through what I wrote . The fact of the matter is that I have received a lot of very positive reviews from people based on this. In the past I would become highly agitated by your failure to understand. However, we are familiar with you and we know how you interpret stuff. Those who got the point did. If you didn’t that’s just too bad. In your attempts to lash out you need to really review how you use words. Castigate?
You may be in denial but we know, minus greed,what the state of affair is for so many people out there. It is beyond you or me or big words like “Castigate”.
Not everybody is a big shot like you ” Personal Assistant to the King in Media” . A lot of us are hardworking people with a clear view of the condition in which the masses exist in.  

Clayton Udoh.

My friend, my views are not something we need to argue about . I am entitled to them . 
Just like your argument that the SSG is so qualified that there should be no elections and he should just be given the office of the Governor of Akwa Abasi Ibom State ,so do I also bring forward my ridiculous statement (in your opinion), that Albert Bassey suffered to get clean running water like the rest of us and others do, till this day in the state . I wrote stupid stuff like he understands how unemployment can be like, especially in times when there was no Internet to use and praise your way into a job (if you know what I mean) . I understand how ridiculous it is when I say that Udom cannot connect with the people like Albert Bassey. I understand how my admiration of Albert Bassey is ridiculous to you . I wrote stupid stuff like he didn’t have a generator once like most of you do to augment the failure of Ibom Power Plant to ever supply electric power to the masses . I also understand your argument that  anybody who is sane should follow “My Leader” and the SSG blindly. 
However ,Essien Ndueso in my ridiculous state of mind,there is a love for Akwa Abasi Ibom state that I have that transcends all possible scenarios you will ever imagine and that includes my distaste for the “leader” installing a Puppetmaster/Stooge for the benefits of the likes of you. 
I am rather interested in a clean democratic process being established that is devoid of any kind of dynasty like we see in highly retrogressive societies. The people of Akwa Ibom State in my opinion are greater than you and the SSG and “The Leader” combined and in my opinion their silence does not mean they are living to their full potential . 
Udom Emmanuel may be busy pushing forward the ” Machineries of government” but the masses will determine if that’s the truth or not  and not a man like you who lives in a bubble of praise and worship. 
Let’s get one thing right ,as an Akwa Ibom son (which you gladly identified me as) my primary duty is to ensure that all candidates will be vetted completely and that Udom Emmanuel will be thoroughly scrutinized before he is allowed to dance into the Hilltop mansion. This is very essential in this day and age,in which your friends (Godswill Akpabio) have assassinated,imprisoned and driven into exile all the people who would have something tangible to say about this candidate and the main populace cowers in fear of of following their conscience. That you identify such scrutiny and true analysis of this individual as bringing him down is regrettable.
We have enough time to bring more information about Albert Bassey,as you in subsequent days will have time to go after every person that will question the candidature of Udom Emmanuel. 
In the mean time remain blessed.
Cheers 
 
Clayton Udoh 
Mesa,AZ

2015: Akpabio’s Exco Endorsement: The Humiliation of Udom Emmanuel

3 Mar

2015: Akpabio’s Exco Endorsement: The Humiliation of Udom Emmanuel

The much hyped Akpabio’s support for his SSG, Mr. Udom Emmanuel suffered a major setback on Monday, February 24, 2015 when Akpabio’s bid to rubber stamp his anointing in the State Exco hit the rock. A very dependable source in the state executive council told Weekend Insight that the governor had in a well rehearsed action plan, prompted Mr. Don Etim, his commissioner for Works to arrange for the cabinet to make a formal endorsement of Udom as the sole candidate of his government for the position.
The state Executive Council after their deliberations settled for three, instead of the preferred wholesale endorsement for Udom. The three that scaled the huddle include Udom Emmanuel, Effiong Abia and Ekpenyong Ntekim. All the commissioners and Special Advisers to the Governor signed the endorsement document, with the exception of Mr. Bassey Albert, the commissioner for Finance, said to be also interested in the governorship position. Our source said that Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan failed to make it to the venue of the meeting, thus ensuring that he withstood the likely pressure on him to endorse the document.
Soon after the idea of endorsement leaked to members, those not in support of the SSG were said to have gone to work to scuttle the arrangement. Cashing in on the rift between Akpabio’s relation, Mr. Emem Akpabio and the SSG, those opposed to Udom made a frantic effort to align with Emem Akpabio, who moved swiftly.
Major Annang leaders, especially the traditional institutions were contacted and they came up with the reason why an Ibibio would not be the right choice at the moment. The leadership of Ati-Annang, Nto Afe Annang, were mobilized to pile pressure on the governor to ensure that an Oron Man emerges. They cautioned Akpabio on the need to ensure that the Annang ethnic group moves as a block to support an Oron in the collective interest of the minorities in the state. They insisted that an Ibibio would not ensure the type of equity that is being propagated at the moment, adding that their best interest would be served by an Oron candidature, which would ensure that all the major ethnic groups in the state had tasted power. They reasoned further that a minority rule would further ensure that ethnic equality is maintained in the state, which would in turn ensure that when next power moves back to Ikot Ekpene, there would be no agitation for the Ibibios of Ikono/Ini to upstage them.
Their argument sounded good to an Akpabio that was already confused on the growing discontent about the marketability of Udom Emmanuel, whom many consider as an outsider in the political scene.
Our source pointed out that the resolve of the governor on Udom had been weakened over time. He noted that despite the attempt of the SSG to put words into the mouth of Akpabio at his thanksgiving service at ONNA when the governor was about to make his speech, the governor took his time to evade the prompt. He said that Akpabio was merely reacting to the unfavourable repot coming from the field among those already appointed to sell the SSG in the various local government areas.
Our source, who craved for anonymity equally drew Weekend Insight’s attention to the recent PDP award ceremony in Ukana, where it took the crowd shouting for Udom to make his speech, before the SSG was recognized to speak. He said that the Akpabio Family had already lost interest in Udom, and that accounted for the cold war between the man and Sir Emem Akpabio. He further revealed that Udom himself was already getting fed up with the whole political play. He was said to have complained to close associates of the amount of money already being spent on the project, without the promised assistance from the state.
Akpabio’s latest move has continued to generate interest in the polity. Some question the propriety of cabinet members signing endorsement for people still serving in government, when last year the governor told the world that he sacked his former SSG because “he was defending the constitution” against declaration by serving cabinet members.

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