Ex-Federal Lawmaker Knocks A’Ibom over Annual Celebration of State Creation
Okon Bassey in Uyo
Following the hardship being faced by citizens, a former Federal Lawmaker in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Nduese Essien, has advised the state government to stop the yearly celebration of the creation of the state because it is a total waste of public funds, man hour and not economically viable.
Essien who was House of Representatives member that represented Eket Federal Constituency between 1999 and 2007 under the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), said that he personally shunned the 35th celebration of the state’s creation because it was not one of his priority events.
The elder statesman who spoke with journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State’s capital during the weekend stressed that “the state was created for development and not for annual celebration.
“Akwa Ibom was created the same day with Katsina and Akwa Ibom has continued with annual anniversary celebration while Katsina does not and all the states created in Nigeria have long stopped anniversary celebrations.
“The resources spent on anniversary celebrations could be applied for other developments instead of wasting it away in frivolous anniversary celebration activities.”
He posited that the celebrations could be instigated and encouraged by some people in government who see such celebrations as avenue for siphoning ideal money into their pockets.
He noted that Nigeria at 62 might also be celebrated on October 1 despite the fact that the country is now worse off than at independence.
He asked: “With our country in distance of bankruptcy, insecurity, economic meltdown, disunity and mutual distrust, educational dislocation and universal corruption, there is no basis to celebrate anniversaries of Nigeria’s independence.”
Essien, however, commended the efforts that gave Akwa Ibom State its own airlne, Ibom Air.
“The governor’s achievements in various infrastructural development projects like the just commissioned 10 lane road, Uyo Ikot Ekpene Road and several others plus the industries are highly commendable,” he said.
He noted that the governor would have done more but for the various insipid distractions caused by his perennial antagonists at times for no just cause.
He called on the Akwa Ibom people to reduce the level of distraction in the remaining period of the governor’s tenure to enable him tidy up his programmes and projects to the benefit of the state.