Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel said on Saturday that the state plans to add another 10 A220-300 series aircraft to Ibom Air’s fleet.
He revealed the plan when he spoke at an event marking the 85th birthday of Obong Etim Abia, the supreme leader of Eket in the Eket local government area of Akwa Ibom.
“As I leave, we are signing new deals that will give us 10 brand new A220-300 Air Buses, so that even when I leave office, it will remain a lasting legacy,” he said.
The governor also spoke of his determination to ensure that quality is not compromised in the Eket Stadium project, the international market project, roads and other development programs in the area.
He pointed out that the peculiarities of Eket’s terrain were taken into consideration before projects were approved to be placed in the area to ensure they stood the test of time.
He appealed to the patience of Eket’s residents, while reassuring that all projects would be delivered and appreciated long after his tenure.
Governor Emmanuel criticized the fact that climatic and weather conditions, the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural events have impacted the pace of work.
“People have said a lot about developments and projects. Your Majesty, over the past two years we have had great challenges we never imagined in governance.
“In 2020, no one could do much because of COVID-19. In 2021 we were ready for infrastructure development, but the volume of rainfall was unprecedented, ”the governor explained.
He congratulated the obong on his 85th birthday and raved about Patriarch Eket’s endearing features.
“In life, I look at two things in every leader and in every human being; character and charisma.
“As the supreme ruler, your character to me is your charm that inspires devotion in others, including me,” the governor said.
He said Obong’s charisma also attracted and attached others to him, adding that the supreme ruler was blessed with both attributes.
Governor Emmanuel praised Eket’s royal father’s initiative to use the special event to honor some illustrious children of the earth with the prestigious title of “Mkpisong Ekid”.
He expressed appreciation for the support of his Eket people and urged all interested parties to do their best to keep the peace so as to attract more positive development to the area.
“On behalf of the government and the good people of this state I wish you happy birthday, your majesty and long life to the king,” he said.
In his birthday address, Obong Abia expressed appreciation to God, his wife and family.
He thanked Gov. Emmanuel and the leaders of Eket for their support and commitment in serving the people of Eket, Akwa Ibom and by extension all Nigerians.
Speaking about the honor bestowed on the winners, he said the title, “Mkpisong” literally means Pillar of Progress and guiding Light in the community.
One of the recipients, Mr. Frank Archibong, thanked the Obong for finding him worthy of the honor award and vowed to do more to support his community and Akwa Ibom.
Archibong is Akwa Ibom’s commissioner for local government and tribal chief affairs.
He described the obong as a shrewd administrator who had brought his wealth of experience to support the leadership of the traditional institution across the state.