…Eulogizes Gov Udom Emmanuel For Counterpart-Funding the Project

The Chairman of Ikono Local Government Council, Hon. Itoro Columba, has poured encomiums on the Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, for what he described as his creative and pragmatic leadership as seen in his providing about N500m counterpart funds for the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects in two Local Government Areas in the state.

Mr Columba gave his words of commendation at Ikot Akpakpan Ukpom when he inaugurated a fully completed 12,000 liter capacity, 1.5KM reticulated water project jointly funded by UNICEF, EU and the Akwa Ibom State Government which was competed for, and won for the community by the council chairman.

Addressing Ukpom natives while inaugurating the project, the Ikono helmsman said, Ikono had a total of 26 water and 16 Sanitation projects evenly spread across the eleven wards of the area.

“This project is a product of peace and of pragmatic leadership. If Ikono wasn’t peaceful, this wouldn’t have come to us and if the Governor wasn’t pragmatic and people-centric enough to provide the counterpart funds, we wouldn’t have been here. I therefore want to charge people of this community to place premium on and protect this water project. If we were to place a price tag on this project, we wouldn’t spend anything less than N12m to get each of the 26 units done while it costs about N6m to fix each of the 16 Sanitation facilities, and given the present economy of the Local Government Council, we wouldn’t have been able to afford such luxuries”, he reasoned.

“I’m elated to be part of this history where a total of 26 of these projects and 16 Sanitation projects are located across our wards, made possible by His Excellency. I cannot take the glory for this project, rather as you thank me today, I will direct all the eulogies to the Governor for his decision to make this possible. Truth is, there are so many things Governor Udom Emmanuel has done which are grossly under-reported. One of them is this WASH Project. The other is the Rural Access and Agric Marketing Project ( RAMP), another counterpart funded programme that would see to the construction of 500kms of roads across 9 LGAs, one of which is Ikono. The story of counterpart funded projects wasn’t this interesting until the advent of this government”, Mr Columba added.

He said, that the project was another testimony of his love toward Ukpom people, stating that two more of the water and Sanitation projects each were located at Okwe and Ukpom Usung Obom and enjoined them to cooperate with the WASHCOM, local committees set up to manage the projects, while urging natives of the area to make financial sacrifices where necessary.

The Council Chairman who promised to pursue the recognition of Ukpom as a Clan, won the unanimous decision of the people to stand by him and support a worthy successor to the Governor in 2023 as would be divinely directed by the Governor.

Earlier, while setting the tone at the event, the Chairman on the occasion and Village Head of Ukpom Nung Eduo, Eteidung Ibanga Udo Akpan, acknowledged State Government’s presence in the area and thanked the Chairman for his love for Ukpom as seen in the projects he has attracted to them. “I commend you, my Chairman for your unparalleled passion in attracting the water to this village, and this singular action has endeared Ukpom natives to you. Let me assure you also, that the community will do everything possible to utilize this borehole judiciously”, the retired Principal General said.

Also speaking, the House member representating Ikono State Constituency, Hon Asuquo Nnana, represented by Hon Nsikak Onoyom, applauded the gestures of the Mr Columba over timely outpour of affection to people of the area, stressing that “his wisdom to drag UNICEF projects is commendable and Ukpom people cannot take it for granted”. He encouraged locals to keep faith with expectation for more good things, while promising that the Nkwot-Urua Naria-Ikot Nseyen road will be constructed in no time.

On his part, the WASH Coordinator in Ikono, Pastor Emmanuel Udoh said, “today is a special day for the Ikot Akpakpan community to witness another strides of the Local Government Administration. It is very rare, because successive leaders have come and gone, but this Columba-led administration decided to bless Ukpom with reticulated water project. The WASHCOM boss also pointed out, that “without water, life is zero and where there is no water, no one can live right; that is why UNICEF has brought hygienic water close to you through undisputed bargain made by your Chairman who won the bid”.

In their separate goodwill messages, the Village Head Of Ikot Akpakpan, Eteidung (Engr) Macpheson Okonnah; Ukpom Sanitation Officer, Mr Iboro Udo; Special Assistant to the Governor on Project Monitoring, Mr Inemesit Inyangette; Chairman, Ukpom Council of Village Heads, Eteidung Peter Etuk; Village Head Of Ukpom Ita, Eteidung Ntok Ntok; Ward Chairman, Mr Joe Ekpenyong; Councilor representing ward 5, Hon Ndifreke Ukpong, all celebrated the effort of the Columba-led government which has brought succour to the grassroots. The stakeholders prayed for God’s protection on Council Chairman.

Highpoints of the event was the presentation of Award of Excellence to the Council Chairman in recognition of his excellent services for the development of Ukpom community by the Village Head, Eteidung MacPherson Okonnah.

The train led by the facilitator, Mr Columba, later inaugurated a two-block 5 compartments Sanitation facilities sited at the Methodist Central School, Ikot Akpakpan.

Other dignitaries who graced the event included the Vice Chairman of Ikono, Hon (Dr) Idorenyin Etokobong; Leader of Ikono Legislature who doubles as ward 4 councilor, Hon Samuel Udo; the SA to the Governor on Projects Monitoring, Prince Inem Inyangette, Ward 1 Councilor, Hon Daniel Okoibu, Ward 3 councilor, Hon Asuquo Akpan; Supervisors for political and Legislative Affairs, Nsobom Ndifreke Itam; Supervisor for Agriculture, Ukai Samuel Inyang; Chairman, Ukpom Council of Village Heads, Eteidung Akaniyene Obot and other stakeholders of the area.

(C) Mberekkeobong Essien

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