By Edet Ikotidem
A 35-year-old man is a fully matured individual ready to take on the challenges of life as it comes. In this context, I am glad to represent the beautiful story of Akwa Ibom State in a resplendent manner.
The current state of Akwa Ibom has been inhabited for hundreds of years by various ethnic groups, mainly the closely related peoples of Ibibio, Anaang, and Obolo-Oron in the northeast, northwest, and south of the state. In the pre-colonial period, what is now the state of Akwa Ibom was divided into several city-states such as the Kingdom of Ibom and Akwa Akpa, before the latter became a British protectorate in 1884 under the protectorate of oil rivers in early 1900
The state takes its name from the Qua Iboe River, which bisects the state before flowing into Bonny Bay. Akwa Ibom was separated from Cross River State in 1987 with its capital at Uyo and 31 local governments.
Akwa Ibom At 35
The state has passed through many administrations with diverse political schematics to level up the state and balance the ethnic and social differences.
From the beginning in 1987 when Tunde Ogbeya took administration of the state to 1988 when Godwin Abbe received the baton to now when Udom Emmanuel is reigning, it has been a very interesting life span for a state crowded with a little less than eight million people of diverse cultural and ethnic coloration.
The 15th largest state in Nigeria with about over 7.5 million people domiciled in a land mass area of 7,081 km2 (2,734 sq mi) · 30 of 36 · 5,450,758. The major political influence is the Ibibios who have held power since inception among the Annangs and Oros which are the other political forces in the state in their numerical strength.
Akwa Ibom State with its 36 local government areas with Oruk Anam being the largest LGA, could be said to be, unarguably a PDP state.
This is so because of the party’s dominant structures in elections and other party affairs. However, the All Progressive Congress, Young Progressive Party, and Labour Party are struggling inroads into the state’s political atmosphere. Currently, more parties are set for next year’s gubernatorial election.
It is no more a walk in the park as it used to be for the People’s Democratic Party as contemporary politicians have surfaced from other political parties jostling for the administration of the oil-rich state.
As we scramble and search for the most credible amongst the contenders, let us, as a mature state retain decorum and continuity, especially in peace, which is the primary ingredient for developmental growth and political harmony.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has done tremendously well in areas of infrastructure, road network, health, education, and the sub-sector. It is therefore pertinent for a collaborative synergy that will work for the state.
The choice of a successor becomes a paramount necessity for Akwa Ibom. The political shenanigans going on won’t mean well for the state as an entity. So, therefore, in one voice and will, let us choose wisely. As a mature state that knows what’s best for it, it would be ineptitude for sentiment sensation to hijack our emotions in choosing who governs us in 2023 even as we celebrate maturity in 2022. Since Gov. Udom has done well for the state, let us rally around him for a safe landing.
Any inconsistencies should be discouraged.