Akwa Ibom Former student leaders Celebrate Gov Emmanuel’s victory
By Fredrick BUSH
Sunday 24th March, 2019, a mamoth crowd of former student leaders under the aegies of College of Former Akwa Ibom Student -Leaders (COFAS), converged in Uyo – the capital city of Akwa Ibom State to roll out the drum to celebrate the victory of His Excellency Deacon Udom Emmanuel in the just concluded Gubernatorial election held on march 9, 2019.
In his remarks, Akuku Ututofon Udom – the Chancellor of the group said members of COFAS are men and women with proven integrity with diverse professional and academic backgrounds who are forward thinkers with enormous leadership potentials and capacity to handle contemporary issues.
He said, he took time to applaud former student leaders in the state for the sacifice they put in place while in school which has united Akwa Ibom satate as one indivisible entity. He however appreciated their massive support for His Excellency, Deacon Udom Emmanuel and other well-meaning Akwa Ibomites who emerged victorious at both the National Assembly and State Assembly elections held on February 23 and March 9, 2019 respectively. He reiterated that the victory had set the state on the path of uninterrupted peace and equitable development.
On his part, the Speacial Assistant to the Governor on Entertainment – Mr David Sergeant (Utang Akwa Ibom) poured encomium on the leadership of COFAS and urged them to remain good Ambassadors to the state. He spoke of his happiness at the idea of having an alternative platform for ex-student Leaders, he said it Will help to relieve former student leaders of active student’s engagement, saying it will remain a platform for building leaders that will connote the Akwa Ibom of our dream.
Responding, the Commissioner for Education, Professor Victor Bassey Inoka, represented by Chief Seleng Selong, commended the former students body and charged them to be of good behaviours at all times, as the present student leaders will be looking up to them for advice and direction. He however assured them of the ministry’s readiness to partner the forum to help achieve its goal.
“I want to encourage and assure you that we will collaborate and work strictly with the former student leaders considering that they have the requisite capacity to understand the student-related issues”. He thanked God for the initiators of COFAS, saying it will help us checkmate and curb students’ restiveness in the state”. Inoka enthused..
Mesmerized by the initiative, the reprsentative of the Governor, and Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem – himself a former President of the then National Association of Cross River State Students (NACRISS) WORLDWIDE, expressed his gratitude to COFAS for their steadfastness and courage all through the period of the election despite the threat and molestation tactics employed by the opposition party in the state.
” I am very pleased by the intent of this body”. For you to gather here this evening and express appreciation and joy over the victory of our governor, is an indication that, you all understand what it entails to be victorious in a fierry contest. Obviously, no one would celebrate mediocrity, no one will celebrate what I call “Political Myopia”.This assemblage of intellectuals is a testament to the fact that the forum is in full support of the policies of this administration”, Ekuwem stated emphatically..
He further stated that from 1999 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2011; there was a re-election contest in 2003 and they was another re-election contest in 2011. Never did we have an incumbent that was so challenged and underestimated to be kicked out of office like the current Governor, but in all, God intervened.
Dr. Ekuwem, therefore called on all residents of Akwa Ibom State to join hands with Gov. Udom Emmanuel to develop the state, noting that poverty knows no political party, no religion or ethnicity. “Let me tell you, when there’s a contest between integrity and pocket in the midst of poverty, pocket would always conquer; that’s why Governor Udom Emmanuel is all out to conquer poverty so that our people can think right “, added, Dr. Ekuwem.
The SSG also assured COFAS that he will reach out to other senior citizens of the state like H.E. Engr. Patrick Ekpotu, Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke, Otuekong Enobong Uwa, Comrade Ini Ememobong, Comrade Aniefiok Iwaudofia etc., who are themselves, former students leaders, to identify and support the body in achieving their aims and objectives for the betterment of Akwa Ibom State. He concluded that all former student leaders should align with COFAS to ensure a more creative economy..
Special features of the event were performance by Comedians, Musicians, Victory Songs and special dance of thanksgiving to God.
The forum honoured Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem with the Grand Commander of the COFAS. Those honoured as Commanders were the Commissioner for Education – Prof Victor Inoka and the President of Uyo Club 1935, Dr. Ku’ubra Uya who proposed a breakfast meeting with COFAS in the near future. Another honouree was Mr. David Sergent who was honoured as an Ambassador of COFAS.