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Posted by By JOE EFFIONG, Uyo on 2008/04/05 | Views: 475 |


It was a double celebration for Akwa Ibom people, especially friends and associates of Gov. Godswill Akpabio during the last Easter celebration.

• With prayers and thanksgiving, Akpabio, Akwa Ibom indigenes mark legal triumph

It was a double celebration for Akwa Ibom people, especially friends and associates of Gov. Godswill Akpabio during the last Easter celebration.

Akpabio had just survived a legal scare posed by the obstinate Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate, Mr. James Iniama, who had dragged him to the Court of Appeal in Calabar to re-scrutinize the verdict delivered by the state election petition tribunal, which had earlier confirmed Akpabio’s election in December 2007.

After the spontaneous euphoria, which erupted after the appeal court judgment had died down, the state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) decided to proclaim an inter-dominational thanksgiving service on Easter Monday to thank God for delivering Akpabio from Iniama’s legal snare.

An elated Akpabio, on the occasion, said the legal battle was “a lethal struggle with falsehood. Central to this struggle were the questions whether the voice of the people is actually the voice of God, whether the common good should not be higher than private interest; and whether any man has the right to rule our good people without their consent.”

He said the mandate the people gave him had unfortunately attracted the covetous glances of some of those who contested the election with him.
He said: “But we had no fear over the outcome of this struggle because we trusted that he who began the good work in us is faithful to complete. We had no doubts, because light is stronger than darkness. We had no worries because with the momentum of our collective faith, we’ll cross the widest river, climb the highest mountains and topple the most fearsome Goliath.

“What the common man failed to give you, I doubt whether the judiciary, which is the last hope of the common man would give you. Therefore, get on the bandwagon and let us continue our journey to the land of our ancestors’ dreams and make this state a land of fulfillment.”

Coincidental Celebrations
Akpabio said he wanted to use the Easter season to ask Akwa Ibom people to go into all the nooks and crannies of the state and tell whoever would care to listen that the clarion call is still sounding for them to move the state to the next level as such the usual cooperation and understanding was expected since the state was their collective project.

“It was destined that this election can be decided so close to Easter so that we could celebrate love together and put the case behind us. So, I urge all Akwa Ibom people from the sunlit beaches of Mbo to the raffia streets of Ikot Ekpene and from the rice fields of Ikono to the undulating hills of Itu, to reflect on the love of our Lord Jesus Christ for us and a commitment to love one another.
“Let the churches join in propagating the gospel of love at this auspicious season and let unity become a permanent feature in our political and social horizon.”

No big Christian titles
Turning to CAN and all those present, the governor said: “As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I urge you all to be reminded that the greatest honour we can do for him is to live like Him. We should note that He said that by this will all men know that you are my disciples, if ye love one another.

“The evidence of your Christianity is not in your position or your denomination or title; it is in your attitude towards your brother. This has always been our drive and passion that we should love one another.

No victor; no vanquished
Akpabio said though the appeal court judgment was in his favour, he never considered it his victory, neither did James Iniama lose.
“It just so happened that we were on the side of truth and truth won. Who lost? Falsehood lost,” he reasoned.

Divine endorsement
The prelate, Christ Believers Assembly and Advisor, CAN, Apostle Dr Isaiah Isong, in his address entitled, “Divine Endorsement,” stated that with the final verdict at the Court of Appeal, all forms of political bitterness, tribal sentiments and pull-down syndrome have been laid to rest in the state.
Apostle Isong called on Akwa Ibom people to see the victory beyond the celebration of it but as an opportunity to draw closer to God for His direction and power. He commended Governor Akpabio’s giant strides so far made towards transforming the state despite all the pressures in court and frivolous petition. He expressed the optimism that now that the case had been decided, he would deliver more dividends of democracy to the people of the state.

The state chairman of CAN, Most Rev Camilus Etukudoh, observed that the victory at the appeal court had succeeded in uniting the state and pleaded with the governor to forgive whoever turned up against him and carry everyone along.
Akpabio read the only Bible lesson at the service taken from Isaiah chapter 1:18. Prayers were offered for the consecration/ dedication of the governor, his deputy, Chief Patrick Ekpotu, and his administration. Also, prayer was offered for peace in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State.

The occasion, which attracted all the clerical top brass in Akwa Ibom, such as the prelate emeritus of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Mbang, among many others, was later shifted to Governor’s Lodge for “Victory lunch” for the dignitaries, while the rest, including the masquerades and clowns, savoured their victory party at the Ibom Hall ground.

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Comments (6)

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...


Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding