By Enyeribe Ejiogu

The G35, a group of young professionals in Akwa Ibom State and in the Diaspora, has commenced preparations to honour the immediate past governor of the state, Udom Emmanuel, for delivering good governance during the eight years he presided over the affairs of the state.

The highpoint of the award ceremony will be the public presentation of a 300-page publication in his honour, at the event scheduled to be held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Chairman of the G35 Award Organising Committee, Reverend James Akpan, explained that the publication would showcase several of the outstanding projects executed by the Udom Emmanuel administration across the three senatorial districts of the state.

Akpan who addressed journalists in Uyo on Friday on the forthcoming event noted that the G35 is a non-partisan and non-governmental group committed to promotion of good governance in the state.

His words: “We want to celebrate our former governor, Udom Emmanuel, and let him know that during his eight years tenure, he positively touched the lives of Akwa Ibom indigenes across the 31 local government areas. He is a great man and astute politician.

“His legacy and landmark achievements impacted every sector of the state’s economy. He established Ibom Air and sustained it. Today, Ibom Air is one of the leading airlines. He recorded sterling  achievements in the industrial sector, in road construction, education, agriculture, capacity development, entertainment, economic development and job creation.

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“There is no part of Akwa Ibom you will visit that you won’t see the footprint of Udom Emmanuel. These are some of the reasons we came together to honour him for a job well done. This will be a point of reference to celebrate leaders who have done well in serving the people.”

Akpan said that the former governor by his sterling achievements in governance announced Akwa Ibom to the world and thereby made it a destination of choice for business, education and holiday.

In her remarks, the Secretary, Event Planning Committee, Mrs Justina Udo, who represented Ikot Ekpene and Uyo Senatorial Districts, said the event would be the mother of all celebrations honouring the former governor.

““Every part of the state felt the presence and impactful leadership of Udom Emmanuel. He distributed appointments equitably. No senatorial district was left out. He prioritised human capital development, security, infrastructure, education and actively marketed the state globally,” Udo said.

She spoke further: “The leaderships of market and transport unions have started mobilizing their members across the state. A team of seasoned journalists are busy compiling the special publication in his honour. The beautiful thing is that this project is being sponsored by the initiators. We just want to tell the world that the former governor is our own and that we love and appreciate him.”

While noting that the event is packaged to reward excellence in public service, Publicity Secretary, John Etuk, from Oron Nation, said: “This is a message to political leaders that if you do well in serving the people, you will be celebrated. Whether you serve as a local government chairman or in any capacity, serve diligently and you will be so honoured by your people.

“The greatest celebration is that which the people accord you when you are out of office. This means that they are not expecting any gratification. We will continue to celebrate our former governor. This is going to be a three-in-one honour involving both indigenes and non-indigenes and religious leaders.”

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