Akwa Ibom State at 35

Udom Emmanuel has created an environment of peace and peaceful co – existence, writes UDEME NANA

As Akwa Ibom State rolls out the drums to celebrate the milestone of attaining 35 years in existence, one resource stands out unmistakably. Although it’s silent and not tangible, it pervades everywhere in the state and shines through beckoning indigenes, non-indigenes and visitors alike to embrace and cherish it. 

That resource is what makes Okon Asuquo, a motorcycle driver in Ika to convey a passenger all the way to and from Abak daily and at anytime until his limbs become stiff and his eyes croggy from tiredness.

It is what makes Akparawa Udom Stephen, a Keke driver to ply every known route in the state capital till midnight when the fear of picking up ‘ghosts’ as passengers and his exhausted limbs signal him to go and rest. The Christian Churches are not left out – they now organize and host ‘tarry night’ programs until they have a leading by the “holy spirit” to close. 

And their members return home, anytime – no matter how late at night or how early in the morning. Traders engage their customers in the various markets till sundown into the late evenings and supermarkets no longer hurry to close. Owners and those who run sit – outs, lounges, bars like ‘Afe Ndia’ and restaurants along the streets open for customers round the clock.

Nobody now checks the time and people no longer look over their shoulders to ascertain who was behind. This resource, often not factored into reckoning as a critical achievement is the prevalence of peace in Akwa Ibom State. Make no mistake about it, a peaceful location or destination is one of the most sought-after resources by people, particularly investors.

 In Akwa Ibom State, hoteliers now hum and those who can, sing the hallelujah chorus daily and go for Thanksgiving in places of worship every Sunday. They do this because business is good and thriving for them as visitors from nearby states fly in while others negotiate the poor road network of our neighborhoods to spend time, meet friends, relatives and business partners in Uyo. 

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