Johnson Attah, a chieftain of the ruling PDP in Akwa Ibom, in this encounter with Eniobong Ekponta in Uyo itemized reasons for the continued support for Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration
As the government of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel settles down for the big business of governance in Akwa Ibom State, stakeholders and adherents of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have risen in support of the policies and programmes enunciated by the administration.
Speaking in an interview in Uyo, the State capital, Mr. Johnson Attah, a maritime expert and chieftain of the PDP, hailed the choice of Governor Emmanuel, saying “he is a round peg in a round hole”.
Attah, Chairman of CALAKWA Group of Companies and a shipping magnet in Lagos commended the immediate past Governor Godswill Akpabio for discovering Emmanuel as his successor, noting, “With his wealth of experience in the private sector, Akwa Ibom is sure to grow from strength to strength”.
He recalled that at the return of democracy in 1999, based on the principle of power rotation across the three Senatorial Districts, Uyo had taken its turn with Obong Victor Attah (1999-2007); Ikot Ekpene followed with Chief Godswill Akpabio (2007-2015).
According to him, “naturally Eket Senatorial District should take the next turn now”, adding that, Akpabio’s succession plan with Emmanuel of Eket Senatorial District was in order and enjoined the people to support the current arrangement for the next eight years.
He noted that the administration under Governor Emmanuel has since hit the ground running with laudable policies and programmes to transform the State, adding that only the enabling environment of peace, unity and harmony would ensure the programmes work in the interest of the State and its people.
“Under his industrialization policy, a lot of efforts have been made by the administration in the last couple of months to change the former civil service status of the State to an industrialized economy”, he noted.
He listed such interventions to include the ground breaking of the automobile plant in Itu Local Government Area; the inauguration of Committees for agriculture and food sufficiency; Ibom Deep Seaport as well as the revamping of ailing industries like the Peacock Paint at Etinan Local Government Area.
Other areas include the engagement of thousands of youths in agriculture, vocational training, scholarships and manpower developments.
The administration, Attah added, has also intervened in infrastructural development in roads, bridges and boosting of power distribution from 191 megawatt to 685 megawatt, noting that such intervention would accelerate growth of small businesses and create jobs for the people.
For these, Attah, a shipping chieftain in Lagos, said he was ready to galvanize the maritime and business community in the country to invest in the State economy.
Specifically, he expressed his willingness to draw maritime experts into the State with a view to assisting the State government drive towards the implementation of the Ibom Deep Seaport project.
“The maritime sector remains very lucrative and strategic sector that drives any economy”, he stressed, noting that such vital sector, if well developed, has the capacity to generate wealth and create jobs for thousands of unemployed youths in the State.
“The Governor, within this short period, has been able to prove his critics wrong with his unassailable capacity to reposition the State and create wealth for the people”, Attah said.
In the health and education sector, he noted that Governor Emmanuel has given reason for the people to cheer, by his interventions in the renovation of the General Hospital in Anua and the continuation of the free and compulsory education policy enunciated by his predecessor.
On the choice of his cabinet, Attah hailed the composition, saying “the cabinet has seasoned technocrats and career administrators with the capacity to effectively implement the policies and programmes of the administration”.
Specifically, he expressed joy at the choice of the Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang, saying “as a committed administrator in the public sector, he will bring his ingenuity to bear in the running of the system”.
Inyang, he noted, has been at the forefront of fixing infrastructures and building roads across the 31 Local Government Areas of the State, assuring that “in the next four years, the Works Commissioner will connect all the Local Governments by roads”.
He, therefore, enjoined the opposition to sheathe their swords and work for the unity, peace and development of the State as the State government was committed to delivering the dividends of democracy to the people, irrespective of party affiliations.