Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel has vowed never to allow a cultist to succeed him in 2023 so as not to plunge the State back into violence.
Emmanuel has said he is not interested in a third term arrangement through surrogacy.
The Governor, speaking at an open interactive session with the people of Akwa Ibom on Sunday in Uyo, said ‘for peace to reign and for Christ to have control, I am not interested in a third term through surrogacy.
‘The only thing you can help us do is to ensure that no cultist is allowed to emerge governor of the state. Some LGAs are highly volatile so if they nominate a cultist we would not permit such. Any cultist arrested would not be released. the only way to ensure peace is to make a way to eradicate cultism if you want to ensure peace.’
Governor Emmanuel also used the interactive session to challenge the protocol and parameters used by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to arrive at the conclusion that the State is the second-highest in terms of unemployment, and reminded the NBS that elections had since finished in the State.
He asked that he should be spared the distraction from NBS, saying he remains focused on delivering quality and excellent services to the people of Akwa Ibom.
According to the Governor, ‘we were the second in foreign direct investment, every part of the state is a construction site, what do people call employment. I inherited 100+ doctors and today we have over 400. I attribute this to ignorance. Investment in agric, our target was 16,000 hectares. coconut plantation is employing up to 400. Find out people in hospitality businesses, and none employs less than 250.
‘It’s the same statistics they reeled out before 2019 election; maybe NBS had forgotten than elections are over. Statistics have procedures and approaches. How did they arrive at their sample size? They dont even know the population of Nigeria. We are done with the election. It’s questionable to see an Igbo state have the highest level of unemployments.
‘The fastest way to stimulate the economy is an investment in industries. Do you know how many workers we have under Ibom Air? both direct and indirect?,’ the Governor asked.
He acknowledged the feedback received from members of the public in the fight against COVID-19 as well as the distribution of palliative saying it is highly commendable.
He, however, urged Akwa Ibomites to continue observing completely the COVID-19 protocols.
On the demand by the people for the reopening of schools, the Governor said: ‘The Federal Government has the final say on reopening of schools. Once they give the go-ahead on that, we will ring the bell and schools will open.’
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