December 08, (THEWILL) – The Itu people of Akwa Ibom State have been largely pacified, following the promises made by Pastor Umo Eno, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Gubernatorial Candidate, to bring industrial revolution, as well as set in motion the resuscitation of the Science Park and building of Agro-based industries in the Council Area.
Pastor Umo Eno, the Frontline Governorship candidate in the state, made the promise at the PDP Campaign Rally held at Mbak Atai, the headquarters of Itu local government.
Addressing the party faithful, Eno noted that the people of Itu are hardworking, hence, the need to ensure the completion of the Science Park, the Car Assembly Plant, as well as ensure the equitable and fair distribution of projects in the area.
According to him, these will engage the youths, generate revenues for the local government, and also stimulate the local economy.
Citing the abundance of fertile lands and beautiful vegetation in Itu, the seasoned entrepreneur pledged to accord the Local Government a pride of place in his agricultural revolution plan. He aLeo added that all the programmes in the Arise Agenda will find greater expression in the Local Government.
As part of the tourism development plan captured in his Arise Agenda, Eno noted that in terms of tourism, Itu L.G.A is the centre of tourism in the State, hence the need to resuscitate the various tourism sites and put them on the world map.
Speaking further on the tourism potentials of Itu, Pastor Eno promised the rehabilitation of the boat regatta festival that formed the symbol of its recognition.
In his words: “There was a festival that was usually held in Itu called “The Boat Regatta”, I remember coming from Lagos to attend the festival twice. Back then, those who caught the biggest fishes were awarded. That festival employed people and put food on their table.
“I know that the festival was suspended as a result of communal crisis between Itu and the neighbouring communities. By the grace of God, those problems and skirmishes will come to an end. Itu must have a place in our tourism festivals in this State so that every year, we will go back to do that boat regatta.
“People will come from outside the country to attend the festival. We will place Itu on the tourism map of Nigeria and ensure that Itu have its pride of place.
“We will construct good roads that will lead to the sites so that tourists who land from Ibom Air can link up to the Mary Slessor site and other tourist sites. We will work with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), to recognise that site as a world heritage site so that it can be on the world map.”
Addressing the menace of sea piracy, which has hindered businesses, as well as economic development in the area, Eno stated that he will collaborate with security agencies to tackle the problem, in order to facilitate foreign exchange and the needed sustainable development in the State.
The event reached its crescendo when the state Governor and leader of the party, Mr Udom Emmanuel, mounted the podium.
The Governor announced the take-off of a Car Assembly Plant, inauguration of Mary Slessor Hospital Road and other road projects under execution in the Local Government Area.
Emmanuel further announced that the State Government will upon the request of the Paramount Ruler, take ownership of Community Secondary School, Oku Iboku, with effect from January 1, 2023 and called on the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Committee to commence rehabilitation of the school in consonance with its new status.
He also assured stakeholders that 50% of the four major road constructions undertaken by his administration will be commissioned with effect from January 1, 2023, citing the Mary Slessor Road as one of the projects that will be commissioned.
The Governor, however, urged the people of Itu not to pay attention to the lies and political blackmail peddled against his administration by political opponents, pointing out that the federal government has cleared the air in respect of the 13% oil derivation refunds which has exonerated the State government from the trademark of blackmailers.
THEWILL reports that Itu Federal Constituency had expected to be favoured to produce the governor of Akwa Ibom State come 2023, but it turned out otherwise, when Pastor Umo Eno was announced by the incumbent Governor of the state as his preferred successor on December 30, 2021.
Major stakeholders from the council area had revolted even as some of them left the ruling People’s Democratic Party in the state to other parties.
However, the turn out of major stakeholders at the rally, especially one of the Frontline contenders at the May 25, 2022 gubernatorial primary, Mr James Iniama, gave the party a huge relief that Itu is ready to give massive vote for PDP in the 2023 general elections.
The rally was graced by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel and his wife, Dr Martha Emmanuel; Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo; Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem; Speaker, AKS House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Anieken Bassey; DG, PDP Campaign Organisation, Amb. Chief Asam Asam; Member representing Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Henry Archibong; former speaker, AKS House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke; Member representing Itu State Constituency, Hon. Kufre-Abasi Edidem, ESV James Iniama, amongst others.