Immediate past Member representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon has reinstated his commitment to the rebuilding of Utut Annang communities ravaged with the recent insecurity that engulfed the area with hundreds of displaced persons.
This was disclosed when youth stakeholders from the area under the aegis of Utut Annang Youth Forum led by Engr. Wisdom Sunday Ubom paid him a courtesy visit at his shelter Afrique residence.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Ubom intimated that the agenda of the group was non-political and committed to restoring the lost glory of Utut Annang which was once the pinpoint of Etim Ekpo politics. “Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, we are here to demonstrate our commitment to the rebuilding of our communities. We all know what happened in the recent past and how our communities have been left in shambles because of the crisis. It is a thing of concern to us. We are here to secure the interest of our people regardless of political affiliations.”
Speaking further, Mr. Ubom on behalf of the group lauded Hon. Ekon for empowering youths of the area with various skills and human capital development which he described as unprecedented in the history of Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency. “Hon. Ekon, in the last 8years we have seen the impact of effective, qualitative and purposeful representation. If not for your efforts, our communities would have become extinct”.
The group urged Hon. Ekon to ensure that security is beefed up to protect lives and public property and pledged its unalloyed support. “We will support and stand with you to do more for our people. Please help to protect our communities”
Speaking in the same vein, the Patron of the group, Hon. Imaenyin Adolphus said the coming together of Utut Annang Youths signals an end to violence and crisis. Borrowing a leaf from Isaiah 42:22, he lamented the bad state of nfrastructures Utut Annang communities and said it is time to restore the lost glory of Utut Annang.
Hon. Paulinus Akpan also thanked Hon. Ekon for consistently focusing on projects and programs that has brought about the grassroots’ development, thus making better the fortunes of the constituency. “With his commitment towards empowering the youths in the constituency through various skill acquisition programs, Hon. Ekon recognises that youths are the future of our great constituency.” Hon. Unyime Ekanem called on youths to become more resourceful to themselves through entrepreneurship and desist from being tools of violence.
Responding, Former Member Representing Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Akanimo Edet decried the economic woes and the level of deterioration in Utut Annang due to what he termed the desperation by few elites in Etim Ekpo.
He stressed that with the present deplorable state of Utut Annang, the need for restoration was long overdue, even as he urged youths to embrace peace and desist from acts that could truncate the development of the area.
In his response, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon thanked the group for the visit which he described as timely. He recalled how he narrowly escaped death recently when he and Hon. Akanimo Edet went to Ikpe for a reconciliatory meeting initiated by leaders of the warring groups. ‘All of us are aware that some months, I was attacked in Ikpe Annang on the orders of a desperate politician in Etim Ekpo for daring to witness a reconciliation meeting between the factions. I’m ready to lead but all the youths must also be ready to become leaders in their various capacities.”
He charged the group to reach out to their brothers and sisters who are supporters of the People’s Democratic Party. “Our brothers in PDP don’t need to come to APC before supporting the cause of their communities. This is not about politics, it’s about the interest of Utut Annang people. They can remain in PDP, but I urge them to reflect on the state of Utut Annang and see reasons to join hands and restore our lost glory regardless of our political differences. I will continue to provide credible leadership to the people of Utut Annang”.
Amongst other resolutions, the group through a motion moved by Udosen Monday, demanded that henceforth, decorum and peace should not be thrown overboard in a bid to score cheap political points and also passed a vote of confidence on Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon as their leader, reiterating their loyalty and solidarity to continue his laudable strides for the people of Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency and Akwa Ibom State at large.
Other youths at the meeting include: Victor Paul, Ufon Hanson, Anietie Udowo, Idongesit Etuk, Ubong Inyang, Asuama Rufus, Monday Jombo, Kufre Elijah, Nkereuwem Dick, Ukeme Brown, Udosen John, Utip Ezekiel, Edidiong Akpan, Otobong Okon Jacob, Ukpekpe Friday, Joe Etim Udoikpong amongst others