In his avowed determination to foster unity and the spirit of kindredship among Traditional Institutions and symbols of authority, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno Sunday evening, visited the Fifth Itai Afe Annang, His Majesty, Obong Blaise Awakama at his Palace in Abak
Flanked by the cream of socio- political elites and leaders from Annang land across party lines, the hugely cerebral and revered monarch was effusive in his praise of Governor Umo Eno as a man who wears peace, humility, Christian virtues as badges of honour and promised to always “support you for who you are. I am happy you came back to greet me. I have many friends, but I will call you my Golden son. When you came here to consult me, I told you the sky was not just your limit, but the starting point. It is not an easy task to draw these caliber and quality of leaders under one roof. It shows the love we have for you.
“Annang land voted for you massively and that’s how it would continue to be. We know you as a man of peace, truth, deep character and convictions; a man who does exactly what he says he would do. We will support your re-election.”
Harping on the theme of unity and oneness, the respected traditional ruler said, “we are one, thoroughly interwoven. The number of prominent ibibios that are married to Annang women is staggering and vice-versa.”
The monarch sued for peace as the Traditional Rulers Council (TRC) matter is being resolved amicably.
Earlier, Governor Umo Eno had informed the monarch that he decided to come rather informally as he always did, to greet the Royal father who has always supported him and to thank the people of Annang land for the overwhelming support they gave him during the last election.
“A lot of votes that gave us victory came from Annang land, and that is why the first place I visited shortly after I was sworn in, was Essien Udim, where I went to thank the Iroko 1 of our politics, Chief Michael Afangide. Our developmental plans based on the need assessment we drew up during the electioneering campaigns for the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district remain sacrosanct. We are committed to the construction of an international market in Ikot Ekpene as well as the medical corridor between Ibom Specialist hospital and Four Points by Sheraton.
“Our ARISE Initiative for the elderly is aimed at showing our appreciation for the huge contributions they have made for the development, unity and oneness of our state. Every month, 15 elders will be selected per local government and would receive 50 thousand naira each. The programme will be operated transparently.
“We will continue to run an inclusive government and it might interest you to know that some of my closest aides and strategic appointees are from Annang extraction”.
The Governor appealed for patience and understanding while the Traditional Rulers’ Council issue is being resolved. “I enjoin our elders to come together and help unite our people.
“Let the traditional rulers speak among themselves. Boycotting meetings, I think is not helpful, but I want to assure you that we will put a closure to the matter soon. As you know the case is still in court.”
In his vote of thanks, the Director General of the Campaign Organization, H.E. Chief Assam Assam thanked the Itai Afe Annang(V) for the warm reception accorded the Governor and his entourage and reemphasized the fact that Governor Umo Eno is a deeply detrabilized leader, who has the interest of the state at heart.
The Governor was accompanied by a cross section of EXCO members, the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah, State Chairman of the PDP, Elder Aniekan Akpan, National President of the Maintain Peace Movement, Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem, SAN, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Uwemedimo Nwoko,SAN, among others.
Those who joined the Itai Afe Annang included, Obong Michael Afangide, H.E. Moses Ekpo, MFR, H.E., Sir Michael Udofia, Distinguished Senator Emmanuel Ibokessien, Chief Senas Ukpanah,
DIG Udom Ekpudom, (rtd) Hon. Friday Iwok, Obong Eno Akpan, Dr. Emmanuel Abraham of Topfaith, Rt. Hon. Udo Kieran , Prof. A.E Udoh, His Highness, Aba’ak of Abak, Obong Ifiok Umanah and other leaders from Annang Land.