My wife, Ekaette Unoma Godswill Akpabio, and I send our warmest greetings and best wishes for a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all residents of our dear state, Akwa Ibom State.
We recognize the sense of love, hope and joy this season brings to our State and the world at large. We acknowledge that the Heavenly Father’s generous gift of his son to mankind fulfilled age-old prophecies, and was a reaffirmation of God’s love for all of us.
We, therefore, urge you to honour this spirit of Christmas by striving to keep it throughout the New Year. We must resolve not only to show love to one another in this wonderful season, but also to let love guide our every action in the coming year.
It is only in this way that we shall realize that ancient, wondrous and angelic proclamation of “peace on earth and goodwill towards men.” The Proclamation by the angels which heralded the birth of Jesus Christ.
As this year draws to a close, we can count our blessings and know we have a lot to thank God for. As a People and a State, we have moved from the shadows of national life to the centre of national attention.
With God on our side we have recorded great successes in infrastructural development, human capacity building, economic growth, educational advancement and health care services.
Our many life-touching programmes are on course. Such programmes include our free and compulsory education and free health care for the elderly, babies from birth to the age of five and pregnant women.
We have eased the burdens of our people with various economic incentives. We have tarred over 320 Urban roads; executed over 4,000 people-oriented projects in our rural communities across the entire State under the Inter- ministerial Direct Labour Scheme; attained about 90 per cent coverage in electricity supply; commenced work on the main terminal building of the Ibom International Airport while work on the international stadium is nearing completion.
We have turned Uyo into a modern, beautiful and sophisticated urban city.
Work is on-going on the third pipe-jacking underground drainage system which will serve the Tropicana Complex, the environs of the State Secretariat and our newly-completed dualized Nung Udoe/Ibesikpo Asutan Road; a road that has caught the fancy of our nation.
My People, with God on our side, we shall deliver and commission in the New Year, many of the on-going projects.
Such would include Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Ibom Specialist Hospital, the Ibom International Stadium, the dualized ekom iman Abak road with brand new bridge and others.
A few days ago, Akwa Ibom children drawn from all the 31 Local Government Areas coalesced into a 9,999 Choir to sing Christmas Carols in praise and honour of our God. The historic event was a watershed in our spiritual rebirth.
We deeply appreciate all those who attended the event or followed it in the media. Next year, by God’s benevolent grace, we intend to continue with the festival of carols in our brand new, ultra-modern 30,000 capacity international stadium.
Let me seize this opportunity to thank the good People of this State for their support for this administration throughout this year.
As we begin the process of winding down this administration in the New Year, I urge each and everyone to pray that justice and fairness to all segments of our State be done through God’s will for us.
My dear people of Akwa Ibom State, we set out to change Akwa Ibom State, but now we appear to have become the bellwether of hope for a new Nigeria.
The wave of development in our State has elicited great commendation and praise from within and outside our Country.
Our State has become the destination of choice for conferences, workshops, seminars and retreats in Nigeria. Thanks to God, we have become a reference point in good governance and a paragon of development.
We started this journey in 2007 with a firm commitment to positively change forever, the lives of our people.
The God who brought us this far will not abandon us in the New Year. We have proved that a united Akwa Ibom can only grow from strength to strength and stronger and stronger each passing day.
Let us never succumb to the forces of divisiveness, for such forces are obstacles meant to stop us from living the rich promises of our forefathers.
Once again, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year in advance. May you go out with joy and be led forth in peace to savour the commemoration of the birth of our saviour who is the truth, the way and the light for all mankind.
God bless you all.