This is Our Governor In Whom We Are Well Pleased – Akwaibomites
14 Nov 2011
Akwa Ibom people of all works of life on Monday November 14 stormed Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, to celebrate to all Nigerians and with Akwa Ibom State Executive Governor, His Excellency Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, CON, who was just decorated with Nigeria’s high national honour and award of commander of the order of the Niger (CON) for his popular uncommon transformation of Akwa Ibom State and positive projection of Nigeria as their governor in whom they are well pleased and indeed showed appreciation to the Federal Government for the honour and recognition done them.
While the entire country stayed glued to their TV sets at home and in their offices to watch the event live on national network, Akwaibomites were already gathered in very large numbers taking up every available space and corner at nearby Akwa Ibom House in Abuja led by the Deputy Governor, His Excellency Mr. Nsima Ekere, with all eyes fixed on TV screens as they were full of praises, and poured deserved encomiums on their very own and governor for liberating them, making them stand tall, taking away social reproach from them, and indeed for constructively securing their future.
It was a day when seven Akwa Ibom indigenes received national honours, apart from the governor who received a CON, other awards received were in the categories of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR), Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR), Officer of the Niger (OON), and Member of the Niger (MON) according to the table below:
|H/E Chief Godswill Akpabio
||Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State
|Senator Udoma Udo Udoma
||Legal Practitioner, Politician And Administrator
|Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok
||Former Chief Of Air Staff
|Air Cmdr Otuekong Idonesit Nkanga (Rtd)
|Dig. Udem U. Ekpoudma (Rtd)
||Retired DIG of Police
|Mr. Moses Frank Ekpo
||Former D.G Nigeria Copyright Commission
|Obong Asukwo Udo Etokeyen
||Rtd. Civil Servant
Since the inception of the national honours scheme in 1963 a total of 3,924 persons have received national honours. The recipients are usually chosen on the advice of the National Honours Committee, currently having Honourable Justice Mohammed Alfa Belgore as chairman, guided by a set of criteria which emphasise contributions to national development, individual distinction, and merit. The national honours award is an expression of national needs to recognise people that identify symbols of public life and what they contribute to their community, their state, and the country and how they have projected the interest of Nigeria globally. The investiture ceremony for 2010/2011 national awards to citizens or residents of Nigeria who have distinguished themselves in various capacities was held at the international conference centre for 355 awardees who received the symbol of their investiture.
Of the 355 awardees, one person received the award of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON); 65 people were conferred with the honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON); 38 persons received the award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR); 74 Nigerians received the award of Officer of Federal Republic (OFR); 69 were conferred with the honour of Member of the Officer of the Order Federal Republic (MFR); 71 people received the award of the Order of the Niger (OON); while 28 others were conferred with the honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON). Also, two persons received the First Class Federal Republic Medal, while three others got the Second Class Federal Republic Medal. These are men of distinction and excellence in service and the awards conferred on them were given in recognition of their tremendous service to the country and for exemplary leadership in their chosen spheres.
In addressing the gathering, The President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, said that, the significance of the occasion reminds us that our country can only make progress on a sustainable basis through individuals with collective efforts and called on the distinguished recipients of the national honours and indeed all Nigerians to see themselves as stakeholders by joining hands with his administration and fully participate in re-evaluating, re-designing, and re-formulating the country’s development program to face the set objective of tackling our limitless potentials for national growth. The President assured recipients that their selfless service has been recognised by a grateful nation.
Responding on behalf of awardees, Mr. Aliko Dangote, GCON, assured that the awards are a challenge to continue to be the good ambassadors of Nigeria both within and outside the country. He Considers Nigeria the best country on earth with very few natural disasters having the best potentials and therefore will strive to actualise the potentials and also strive to make Nigeria a great country in Africa and one of the greatest economies in the world.
Gov. Akpabio while addressing newsmen after his investiture remarked that what is done on earth is also done in heaven, that the recognition given by Nigerians for bringing honour to the country is the same way persons will be recognised in heaven. He said that persons who reject national honours on account of their contributions risk rejection in heaven. He further said that the national honour should not be politicised by the people but be looked at from the genuineness of what it stands for. He finally said that it is a rare honour to be singled out of 150 million Nigerians and recognised for what one is doing.
At the reception grounds in Akwa Ibom House, Abuja, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Nsima Ekere, declaring the reception ceremony open said we are here to celebrate Akwa Ibom State and therefore it is a great day because some of the finest people of the state have been selected and honoured. He said that it is a challenge for every Akwa Ibom son and daughter to aspire to emulate policies and legacies of hard-work and dedication for selflessness.
In proposing a toast for the Governor, the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mr. Umana O. Umana, described the national honour on the state governor as an involvement and affirmation award, and that under Akpabio Akwa Ibom State indigenes can hold their heads high globally, he said Gov. Akpabio has changed the face of Akwa Ibom State in terms of infrastructure and that Akwa Ibom State is the only state in Nigeria that can allocate 80% budget to capital development, that as he reminds us of having seen nothing yet, we will see more of the persistent commitment, passion, and hard-work for developing Akwa Ibom State, and declared the day a historic day to celebrate Akpabio’s excellence, honour done to Akwa Ibom, and the pride of Akwa Ibom. He therefore toasted to celebrate to a man of victory, destiny, and honour.
In the gathering were notable personalities such as Mr. Ken Nnamani, former President of the Senate, South African Ambassador to Nigeria, Speaker of Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, the Secretary to State Government, The Head of Service, Akwa Ibom Senators and members of the national Assembly. Also former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Engr. Patrick Ekpotu, and political leaders and captains of industry, and Akwa Ibom State youth corpers serving in Abuja were in attendance.
From the congress of United States was a letter of commendation addressed to the Governor, congratulating Governor Akpabio on the award of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and Honorary Degree of Doctor of Management Science from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) that, “these honours speak volumes about your transformational leadership and the direction you are taking Akwa Ibom. Your tireless efforts have positioned the state of Akwa Ibom to lead the nation as a model state. The people of Akwa Ibom should be proud of your accomplishments and the great strides you have made in rebuilding the infrastructures and investing in human resource development”. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee further said she looks forward to visiting Akwa Ibom State in the new future and witness first-hand the great works of Governor Akpabio and desires a working relationship to bring opportunities to the people they both serve.
In an address at the reception ceremony, Gov. Akpabio said that Nigeria knows Akwa Ibom as a state of integrity and honesty, considers Akwa Ibom very special to be so recognised today with seven honours at a go and thanked Akwa Ibom people for coming out in their large numbers to Abuja for a celebration. Also, the governor considered the judgement of the Supreme Court earlier in the day as a landmark. He said he was worried when the election tribunal sitting in Uyo gave him favourable judgement on technical grounds, stating that he needs to be in the case and go into its merit to win it squarely because the people voted for him and evidence abounds.
The governor further agreed that he wants the case with Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) over the 2011 gubernatorial election to be returned to Uyo so we can show the ballots with which the votes were made, the documentation, and the evidence so the world knows that no one can become governor with only one and half local government out of 31, and that he made a land slide victory with the freest and fairest election in Nigeria in 2011. He declared it a great opportunity for us to showcase the way we voted in Akwa Ibom. While stating that he is happy with judgement of the Supreme Court, the governor said that in the wisdom of the Supreme Court it is futile to challenge the will of God, because the will of God remains the will of the people.
While Akwa Ibom people felicitate with Governor Akpabio and are proud of his accomplishments and the transformation of the state. They have reminded the governor that for his dedication the letters are waiting from more institutions and he needs to be prepared for more honours and more awards.