…As Ekong Samson Harps on Selfless Approach to Akwa Ibom Unity Project
By Aniedi UKOENANG
My song is a story of liberated people,
Held captive for eons
In the gulag of spite, neglect and inertia
Frustrated and desecrated
Marooned and kiwied
But now unfettered unto an effulgent
Glory of freedom and manumission
A surfeit of such melodious poetic expressions as above flowed freely from the lips of members of Uyo book club at last Saturday’s reading session as the club dedicated her September gathering to the Akwa Ibom at 33 celebrations.
Declaring the event open for the day’s reading session, the founder of the club and ace communicator, Dr. Udeme Nana in his opening remarks called for stock-taking on the journey to statehood and experiences so far in her 33 years of existence.
Nana opened the floor by reading a poem he titled, ‘A song for Akwa Ibom’, narrating the history, odyssey of the Akwa Ibom people and eulogizing the state and her past leaders for their efforts at rapidly developing the state.
He read, “ … at 33, Akwa Ibom is not in the threshold of draughts nor wildfires.
Akwa Ibom is not in the earthquake belt and landslides are rare while floods recede as soon as rains subside.
AkwaIbom , It wasn’t named after any river but
Christened to celebrate the vastness of the Almighty God or in remembrance of their homestead of antiquity ?
That historical point of dispersal at Ibom
A celebration that we are now owners of a larger space
Stands safe and Majestic
Rearing , roaring like a hungry lion.
Her potentials offer immense possibilities on land , Air and sea.
Akwaibom is safe like
An Oasis of peace
Promising like youth full of vigour
Poised to fulfill his mission”.
Also speaking at the reading session, the immediate past commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Rt. Hon. Ekong Sampson called for what he described as “selfless commitment to the unity and development of Akwa Ibom State”.
Sampson who is a patron of the reading club and regular attendee recalled the journey to statehood, eulogizing the heroes that fought for the actualization of Akwa Ibom state, and praised Governor Udom Emmanuel for rebranding the state during his tenure.
Harping on diversification, he particularly applauded the government of Udom Emmanuel for its efforts in industrializing the state and refocusing the interest of the citizens to agriculture.
In his words “we can diversify the various flanks of the economy, because a weak economy put pressure on democracy, but a buoyant economy puts a safety belt against rebellion, tension that forms of distraction, so we need to put in place a vibrant economy to serve as a safety belt for democracy. And the way to do it is to diversify”.
He continued that “the government of Udom Emmanuel is working very hard to diversify. Ibom Air is one strong statement that we have to take bold steps to diversify. And through Ibom Air, Akwa Ibom has won the respect of not just Nigeria but the world. Ibom Air is a very bold step at diversification, agriculture is also key because in times like this we must feed ourselves”, he added.
Other readers presented their songs, poems and eulogies to the state, including a senior citizen and retired permanent secretary, Elder Namso Umoren who also joined the book club to salute the state and her citizens on the occasion of the 33rd anniversary celebration.
Highpoint of the session was the celebration and cutting of cake to celebrate Rt. Hon. Ekong Sampson who marked his birthday few days before the Akwa Ibom day celebration.