• Friday, May 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Jonathan inaugurates flood-control projects in Akwa Ibom

Jonathan inaugurates flood-control projects in Akwa Ibom

…Governor urges indigenes to collaborate with govt

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has inaugurated several projects in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital as part of activities to mark the 60th birthday of the Governor, Umo Eno.

Some of the projects include the 1.3 kilometres underground concrete flood control tunnel, the reconstruction of a section of Atiku Abubakar Way, with walkway, drainage, solar street lights and reconstruction of adjourning 1Km Afaha Ube road.

Speaking at the commissioning, the former President, lauded the State Governor for his leadership strides having prioritised the needs of his people which, according to him, has been demonstrated in his ingenuity of initiating and completing such major life-touching projects within his first year in office.

Making reference to a recent flood alert by Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Dr. Jonathan, described Governor Umo Eno as a proactive leader, saying that he is worthy of commendation and urged Akwa Ibom people to be vigilant against antisocial elements and public infrastructure vandalism.

In his remarks, Governor Eno expressed gratitude to the former President, his predecessor, Governor Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom people and well-wishers on his birthday.

He restated the resolve of his administration to use the common wealth of Akwa Ibom people to put smiles on their faces through life-touching projects and programmes that will ameliorate their sufferings.

“We are committed to touching lives; we are committed to improving the standard of living of our people. We are committed to rural development, and we are committed to providing those soft and hard infrastructures, but the time we are in now demand soft infrastructure.

“The time demands that we feed our people, it demands that we help them go back to the farm, it demands that our people take advantage of all of the contracts that are providing so many jobs for our young people and it demands that we keep being in peace to continue to attract investment to our state to be able to continue to provide jobs to our people,” he said.

Governor Eno, who described the Atiku Abubakar Road and drainage interventions as product of faith and circumstance, remarked that the project was one of the interventions of his administration in response to citizen’s outcry.

He commended the contractor, Hensek Integrated Services, for satisfactorily interpreting the Government’s vision in the project execution, calling upon all in the State to join hands in ensuring development in line with the Arise Agenda.

He said: “I do not know the young man that sent me that photograph on this road, but we are here courtesy of that young man. So, if you notice anything in your environment, you can send it to us. We will look at it, prioritise it, handle it and try to see how we can come to your aid.

“What this shows is that all of us can collectively run this state. The state is not just run by the Governor. We try to run an open government. We try to run a government across party lines because knowledge is not only based on one person or one party. We can work together as a people. We accept and appreciate the constructive criticism, but not those that are born out of malice and mischief. Together all of us can be in Government, whether you are given an appointment or not,” he added.

He cautioned the people against vandalising facilities built with fund for the good of all and charged the people to take up the challenge of protecting infrastructure within their domains as a communal responsibility.

“We cannot be destroying facilities that Government spend so much money to fix. It is not my money; it is your money. It is our collective money. So, if you see someone destroying Government property, know that it is part of your money being destroyed. You can step forward and caution the person,” the Governor advised.

Presenting an overview of the project, the Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Eno Ibanga, said the project which was awarded in August 2023 has been completed to specifications, with guarantee of de-flooding the entire stretch of Atiku Abubakar Way and its environs as well as restoring life to the city area.

The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Charles Udoh, and Paramount Ruler, Edidem Sylvanus Okon, speaking on behalf of the stakeholders and people of Uyo respectively, thanked the Umo Eno-led administration for bringing relief to the Afaha Ube people by solving a perennial and near hopeless flood situation in Atiku Abubakar axis.

Head Teacher of Beulah International School, Itoro Udokang who spoke on behalf of one of the worst-hit institutions, by the hitherto impassable condition, and a pupil, Ofonono Vitalis, expressed profound gratitude of the school community to the governor and offered prayers for him to mark his birthday, describing him as a God-sent and a caring father.

The Youth Leader of Afaha Ube, identified as Akparawa Udoka, described the intervention of Governor Umo Eno in fixing the age-long erosion menace as unprecedented and life-saving, adding that with the Efak Ifia project also ongoing, only the people of Afaha Ube can really understand the goodness of having Umo Eno as governor in the past few months of his administration