The Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has been described as a man of impeccable character.
Former Nigeria’s President, Olusegun Obasanjo while commissioning the 29km Etinan-Ndon Eyo road and 2 cables bridges, lauded the passion and commitment of the Governor towards developing the State and expressed appreciation for the honour given him to identify with the life touching project.
“I don’t know why when anything good comes up in Akwa Ibom state, the Governor, Udom Emmanuel, will call me to take part in it.
“When he completed the longest flyover, he called me to commission it. I was very pleased to be the one to commission that very project.
“Upon completing this 29km road, he requested my presence. Today, again I am here to commission the longest, first class, dualised and well paved road with two cable bridges.
“Even Lagos state does not have two cable bridges but Akwa Ibom State is setting the pace. Governor, I thank you. This is commendable and worthy of emulation,” Obasanjo said.
Chief Obasanjo added that character is one of the attributes a good leader must exhibit and that Udom Emmanuel has them in quantum.
“You know leadership requires character. Anyone who knows Udom Emmanuel reasonably well, will know that he is a man of character. I have watched him over time.
“Another important characteristic of a leader is that he must be a man of his words. Whenever he says he will do a thing, he goes ahead to do it. Governor, you are truly a leader.
“In the part of the world where I come from, when you see a good man, the only encouragement you can give to him to tell him to keep doing what his doing. So, Governor, keep on doing what you are doing”, Obasanjo added.
Nigeria’s longest serving president underscored the importance of building infrastructure as it has the potency of triggering development and economic activities.
He urged the people who will make use of the road to take care of it as their personal properties and protect it.
“Infrastructure such as this are very critical to the triggering of development and economic activities. Like the former Governor of Gombe State said, public projects are people’s property not that of government. When a road like this is built to pass through the rural area, the benefitting communities must make maximum use and take advantage provided by such a critical infrastructure.
“Please make good use of the road, take care of it as your personal properties and protect it.” Obasanjo advised.
He further said that as farmers, traders and whatever the benefitting communities are engaged in, that the provision of the road has created an opportunity for them to do more.
Governor Emmanuel thanked God for the completion of the cost-intensive project which, he said, was one of the indicators that his administration could still make impact despite intense economic downturns, several recessions, coronavirus pandemic and other policy related factors.
He said the Etinan-Ndon Eyo road is an unprecedented feat, being the longest single stretch in the state, with two cable-stayed bridges of 80 metres each and thanked the former President for his encouragement to continue with the project when it was most challenging and for making out time to come and inaugurate upon it completion.
The former President who stopped over at the Ekpene Ukpa cable-stayed bridge in Etinan Local Government Area, was greeted with a rousing ovation by a mammoth crowd of youths led by some frontline stakeholders of the area.
Speaking on behalf of the Etinan people, former state Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and Etinan Federal Constituency candidate for the 2023 House of Representatives election, Obong Paul Ekpo, recalled how, as the then PDP Chairman, the project was his major campaign promise for the governor’s second term election in 2019 and said it was a day of fulfilment for him and Etinan people to witness the inauguration.
Obong Paul Ekpo thanked Governor Emmanuel on behalf of Etinan people and extolled the present condition of the road and the socioeconomic value it has for Akwa Ibom people, adding that the relief of its current state has almost eroded the memory of its former troubling state.
The Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Professor Eno Ibanga , while presenting an overview of the project, described the road as a masterpiece and a gateway for investors.
According to him, the 29Km dual carriage road has 10.3m width on each carriage which provides for three lanes, with 13 outfall drains totalling 6.3Km, a 1.3Km underground drain emptying into Ekpene Ukpa river and 2 cable-decorated bridges at Mkpok and Ekpene Ukpa.
The Paramount Ruler of Onna, Edidem Raymond Inyang, thanked Governor Emmanuel for his intervention.
The project, he said, has brought together the people of sister clans of Oniong, Nung Ndem and Awa that make up Onna LGA, who were hitherto kept far apart by the poor condition of the road.
Former Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo, Member of Onna State Constituency Otuekong Nse Essien and Member representing Eket Federal Constituency, Otuekong Pat Ifon, also presented goodwill messages at the occasion.