Akwa Ibom United Forum for Peace and Stability, has described the former governor of the state, Mr Udom Emmanuel as a professional and politician who exhibited future-focused governance that prioritized the next generation while in office.

Chairman of the group, Dr Wilson Akpan, made this statement at the group’s annual thanksgiving and general meeting held on Monday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Mr Emmanuel was governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2015 and 2023.

The former governor, according to Akpan, left a very strong legacy across all sectors of the state’s economy.

He said, “Mr Emmanuel is a professional in politics. His landmark achievements cut across aviation, job creation and infrastructure development, amongst others. Mr Udom Emmanuel did so much with the establishment of Ibom Air which has become one of the biggest airlines in Nigeria and the West Africa subregion. He opened the economy of the state to the outer world.”

Also speaking in the same vein, the Secretary of the group, Chief Okon Emmanuel, said the administration of Udom Emmanuel redefined achievements in the state.

His words: “With his landmark achievements in Akwa Ibom, Mr Emmanuel restored Akwa Ibom State and put it on the right track. He constructed a road from the airport directly to the town. He built infrastructure across the state. He was one of the few governors that invested heavily in the establishment of industries. He established the syringe industry which is the biggest in Africa. He built a flour mill in the state.

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“In terms of education, he made education free and compulsory for all residents in Akwa Ibom. The state was peaceful, because he was able to build a very strong relationship with the people and the security agencies.”

An aviation expert and member of the group, Udoh Etefom commended the intervention of the former governor in the aviation sector.

According to him, the former governor during his tenure made Akwa Ibom State very attractive to investors.

“The people of Akwa Ibom and indeed Nigerians are very happy that Udom Emmanuel left a very strong legacy in the aviation industry. This singular act promoted Akwa Ibom to the international community. It also brought relief to the people in terms of being able to fly out of the state.

“Mr Emmanuel united Akwa Ibom people. Akwa Ibom, today, is peaceful by the virtue of what the former governor put on ground. He is a detribalised Nigerian who believes in the unity of Nigeria and extends a hand of fellowship to people from other regions. He created employment for the teeming youth population.

“He is accessible to everyone, he sustained the love, togetherness and created a strong partnership with the people of the state. Udom, a committed Christian and a lover of God, a man who supported the kingdom projects even before he became a governor successfully built the biggest tabernacle in the state for the worship of God. He is a silent achiever who doesn’t blow any trumpet but sees life as an agent of change.

Akwa Ibom people will continue to celebrate the smiling former governor,” Etefom said.