…Urge citizens not to vote cultist as his successor
By Chioma Onuegbu
GOVERNOR Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has attributed the current report by the National Bureau of Statistics NBS, which listed the state as second highest in unemployment rate to ignorance.
Emmanuel who made the remark on Sunday while fielding questions from the citizens during his routine interactive session with them aired by the State-owned electronic questioned how the NBS arrived at its rating when people are being employed in different sectors of the economy including Agriculture and Aviation and even in private businesses.
He said it was even more surprising that the NBS rated Imo as the state with the highest unemployment rate, and wondered how that could be when the state had started entrepreneurial development even when people like him were born.
He challenged the NBS to come face to face with him and explain the way they came about the data and arrived at their conclusion, stressing that he may be forced to use the state government statisticians to prove them wrong.
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His words ” But our own statistics is for planning and not for political reasons. Akwa Ibomites should ignore that report. As at today, we have launched over 18 new industries in the State and if you check very in every local government you go to today in Akwa Ibom State is a construction site.
“Those casual workers earn a minimum of 4,000,00 naira a day and they work six days a week, you multiply that by four weeks in a month. Even in our medical services, I inherited over one hundred doctors and over the past four years we have increased it to over four hundred doctors, is that not employment?
“Do you know how many direct and indirect workers we have in Ibom Air? We are even employing people from other states. Let me tell you, in a period like this the fastest way to stimulate the economy and promote sustainability is an investment in infrastructure
“I am glad to announce to you that our toilet paper factory we started during the COVid-19 lockdown has been completed. I am going to declare it open during our 33rd-anniversary celebration. We have also re-worked and improved the plastic factory in terms of quality and capacity. Also, find out the people being employed in the hospitality businesses across the state.
” When we checked last, there is no hotel that employed less than 250 personnel. What then do they call employment? I want to be corrected. I know some of these things can be attributed to Ignorance. How can you talk about statistics in Nigeria when you don’t even know the population of the states. I am ready for an open debate. Let them come and show me the statistics they computed”
The Governor for the umpteenth time assured Akwa Ibom people that he will not impose a successor on them, and appealed to them to ensure that no cultist was permitted to take over the state as his successor.
He cautioned the people that if they desired the peace he has worked so hard to maintain in the state, cultists must be carefully avoided voting a cultist into office as the next governor of the state.
“For this peace to continue to reign and for Christ to have control, then you must not vote a cultist to succeed me as Governor. I am not interested in third term through a surrogate only thing you can help do is to ensure that no cultist is allowed to emerge Governor of the state.
“The only way to ensure lasting in state peace is to further make a way to eradicate cultism. You have to embrace peace. Some cult groups are clashing in some parts of the state and we will stop at nothing to ensure we crush them.
“it is not our intention to deploy soldiers to volatile areas, but they are forcing us to do so. please let parents talk to their children, they gain nothing from cultism. it is time to go the right way” the governor said.
He used the opportunity to caution the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang against making inciteful remarks against his government.
He advised Enang to instead seek ways to attract federal presence and even personal investments to support the economy of the state, saying, “Someone like Ita Enang is busy insulting the governor but cannot even attract the federal government to the Calabar-Itu road that passes across his village.
” How many schools have the Federal government supported him to renovate in the state?. I am not against criticism, but be constructive in your criticism and do not create undue tension in the state. We may use him as example to others if he keeps on this way. Use your connection with the center to attract goodwill to the state”