SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. UDOM EMMANUEL, GOVERNOR, AKWA IBOM STATE AT THE SWEARING IN OF THE NEWLY ELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL CHAIRMEN, BANQUET HALL, UYO, December 7, 2017
Let me on behalf of the Government and the good people of Akwa Ibom Statecongratulate you on your successful election as Chairmen of your respective Local Government Areas at the December 2, 2017 Local Government Council polls.
Permit me also to congratulate Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) for the great job they did, in ensuring a free, transparent and peaceful election. The Commission’s spectacular achievement has been celebrated nationally through the sterling reports by the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) , Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and the Independent Observers , all celebrating the peaceful and transparent conduct of the election.
Most appreciation however, must go to the good people of Akwa Ibom State for reaffirming their faith in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the political party that has brought great developments to this State. The message of their love and faith in he Party was sent loud and clear to the world, that this State is, and will remain the bastion of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
To the Transition Chairmen, who had the forte until today, I want to thank you for your service to the State and wish you success in your future endeavours.
When I first swore in the Transition Chairmen, I had stated that” though Nigeria may be experiencing economic challenges, but the business of the people must continue, our obligations to them must be met, our fidelity to their well-being must not be broken and the faith they have in us must be nourished and nurtured- in short, our adherence to the principles of the Social Contract remains an abiding article of faith”.
As elected Chairmen of your Local Government Areas, these words ring true today as they did, then. The people have reaffirmed their faith in you, they have elected you to represent their interest, they have sent you to interpret the vision and governing principles of this Administration, you must not fail them. You must deliver for them and impact their lives. As Local Government Chairmen, you are the direct voice, the echo-chamber of the peoples’ issues and concerns, please endeavour to listen to them and work to meet their demands to the best of your ability.
I want to also reiterate the central point of my message on that occasion; which was that “leadership is not about excuses or cop-outs; leadership is not about leaving the problems of today for tomorrow, leadership requires healthy doses of decisiveness and being proactive. Let this be your guiding principle.
Let me also state here that the office you have just been sworn into today, should not be seen as a platform for immediate gratification, or one where you would engage in conspicuousconsumption to the detriment of the people who had sent you in the first place to represent them. Let it remain true to its foundational principle which is predicated on the unwavering commitment to rendering service to the people. If you provide selfless service you will be celebrated and you will continue to soar but if you sacrifice the people’s trust, you name will stand condemned in both the people’s court and in the court of public opinion. Always have this, at the back of your mind and let these words be internalized by the Councillors whom you will later administer their Oath of Office upon your return to your respective Council Headquarters.
You are not on a course for applause but on a journey that is measured on solid delivery of service to the people. Once you are able to achieve that, the people will in turn give you standing ovation for meeting them at the intersection of their needs.
You position is akin to that of a chief executive of a corporation, you must lead, you must apply new ways of solving problems, you must be creative, decisive, forward- looking, tough without being dismissive or arrogant and above all, you must be transparent. The people will be watching your every move and you must not fail them.
My Administration will, as always, stand ready to support you, and working in close partnership, we will continue to inspire our people and rouse them to ‘dakkada’ and claim the faith of their greatness. Akwa Ibom people are great people and we must do all we can to improve their material circumstance. That is your charge- a charge you must keep.
Once again, I congratulate you and wish you successful tenure. God bless our State, God bless us all.