Thousands of Christians in Akwa Ibom State, led by Gov. Udom Emmanuel, have converged on the Banquet Hall grounds, Government House for a thanksgiving to celebrate the state at 32.
The thanksgiving which was preceded by a one-day fast declared by government, is the usher them into September, the month in which the state will officially celebrate the 32nd anniversary of its creation.
Speaking during the event, Gov. Udom Emmanuel expressed appreciation to God for his benevolence to the state and its people.
“Akwa Ibom has several reasons to be grateful to God as the state clocks 32,” he said.
He pointed to the landmark achievements including infrastructure, security and industries to create employment, generate wealth and boost the state economy.
The state chief executive stressed that it has been by Divine Grace that Akwa Ibom is reckoned as the most peaceful state in the country.
“At 32, the state has attained adulthood and could cater for itself and that calls for the celebration of the state’s creation anniversary on 23rd September with pomp and ceremony.
“The anniversary will feature the commissioning of Digital Electrical sub-station, a first of its kind in the country, the kings flour mill and the plywood industries as well as inspection of some secondary health centers equipped with high definition digital facilities,” he said.
Gov. Emmanuel said that the commissioning would be performed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, while some of the road infrastructure will be inaugurated by President Mohamadu Buhari.
He said by the grace of God Akwa Ibom would become a destination of choice with the Ibom Air the state owned Airline, dual carriage roads and many other infrastructure scattered across the state.
These reasons, he maintained, justifies the thanksgiving, adding that the theme, ‘For I believe God’, taken from Acts 27 verse 25 is very apt because God has lifted the state from economic doldrums to an economic hub.
He said that with the coming on stream of the Deep sea port, the youths would be gainfully employed and the business men and women would have what to do to earn a living.
Gov. Emmanuel thanked the fathers of faith for their sacrifice of love by waiting on God to give guidance and blessings to the state and the people.
Earlier, during a Special Leadership Summit held at Banquet Hall, Government House, Uyo, the Governor called on all stakeholders to join hands with government to make Akwa Ibom a distinct state.
The Summit had in attendance members of the State Executive Council, members of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, Local Government chairmen, Leaders of Local Government Legislative Councils, youth and women groups, religious and traditional rulers.
The State chief executive said that he was highly impressed by the turnout and thanked the Guest Lecturer, Pastor Gbile Akanni, for the knowledge imparted.
In a related development, a thanksgiving and reception was also held in honour of the Head of Service, Elder Effiong Essien and family at the Lutheran Church Nigeria.
Speaking at the reception, Gov. Emmanuel announced that government will construct a pedestrian bridge across the Aka-Nnung Udoe Road to aid pedestrians cross the busy dual carriage way.
He acknowledged the contribution of the Lutheran church Nigeria to the development of humanity through the establishment of schools, hospitals and other humanitarian services.