… As Apostolic Church Ikot Ekpene Field Rounds off Convention
… As Congregants Endorse his Candidacy
By Saviour Ekpe/Glory Eyo
It was jubilation galore Sunday, the 9th day of December, 2018 when the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State, Obong Nsima Ekere visited The Apostolic Church, Ikot Ekpene Field Temple.
The visit, (which was heralded by unceasing thunderous ovation) apart from using the avenue to remind the worshippers on the need for them to support his governorship ambition, was to afford Ekere the opportunity of worshipping God in the Temple and appreciate God for His benevolence in his life with a view to supporting the work of God in the Field.
Obong Ekere, who also is the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) explained that his ambition was not for selfish reasons but meant to promote the unity, progress and prosperity of Akwa Ibom people, “I am here to let you know that already, God has blessed me and that through the prayers of the Church of which, The Apostolic Church is an integral part of it. I present myself to lead this great state because I know the problem of this state and I am coming with the solution. Few days ago, I made my manifesto public and I want to assure you that I will diligently pursue to ensure that I implement them religiously to a successful conclusion when you vote me into power during the 2019 general election”.
He observed that the third tier of government has not been developed despite huge allocation from Federal Government and promised that when voted into power, he will not dabble into the allocation meant for the development of local government areas, “my government will ensure that all money meant for local government be given directly to the local government officials to use for the development of the grassroots. We understand that only one per cent of the local government money enters their account while the two per cent is diverted, we will put a stop to it”.
The governorship hopeful who began his address by singing some melodious songs observed that the prayer of the church that sustained him and that he will continue to partner the church for better result, “I am what I am today because of the prayer of the people of God especially that of the Apostolic Church”. He acknowledged some members of the clergy who tirelessly pray for him. He also used that platform to solicit for the maximum support from God’s people in the 2019 elections by praying against all form of election violence.
Obong Nsima Ekere, flanked by the Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Amadu Atai; other APC candidates for other positions and a political gladiator an APC chieftain in Ikot Ekpene, Chief Sunny Ibanga donated for the tiling and ceiling of the Ikot Ekpene Field Temple and was supported by his lieutenants promised that after his emergence as governor of Akwa Ibom State, he will return for the completion of the Field Temple project. He congratulated the leadership of the church for raising such a magnificent building for God’s Glory, “I appreciate the leadership and membership of the church for this magnificent structure built for the worship of God, I am a builder and I know the worth of this building”,
Members of the church that spoke glowingly with Century Newsfront expressed their joy for the visit. They noted that the visit has given them hope that they in Ikot Ekpene are integral part of the state. They observed that since the creation of the Field, Obong Nsima Ekere is the first senior government functionary that came to worship God in the Field Temple, “we are glad today. This is our 17th Field Convention and we are playing host to the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission in the person of Obong Nsima Ekere. Though I am not a politician, we will support his aspiration because he has honoured God”.
Finding from Century Newsfront shows that Ikot Ekpene Field comprises seven local government areas of Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Essien Udim, Oruk Anam, Ukanafun, Obot Akara, Ikono and Ini local government areas. The Field is made of of 25 Areas: Ikot Ekpene, Utu Etim Ekpo, Abak, Ikot Abia Idem, Ikono, Ndot, Ikot Akpa Nkuk, Ikot Akpa Idem, Ubon Akwa, Itung, Ikot Abasi Ndiya, Ikot Ibritam and Ikot Okoro. Others include Abiakpo Ikot Essien, Ibiaku Ntuk Okpo, Uruk Uso, Two Towns, Ikwen, Ukana Onuk, Ukpom Usung Ubom, Ikot Afanga, Ibiaku Ikot Edet, Ikot Osute, Ukpom Abak and Mbiabong Ikot Udofia. Each of the areas is headed by an Area Superintendent.
While interacted with Century Newsfront, an APC Chieftain who also is a congregant of the Church, Chief Sunny Ibanga who was overwhelmed by the visit expressed his delight over what he referred to as unusual visit. He noted that the visit is an indication that the APC governorship candidate acknowledges God in his programmes, “I am delighted because the APC Candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere has visited our Field Headquarters today. This is not his first time, he has been visiting other churches for worship and prayers that is a clear pointer that he loves God and the Bible says draw closer to me and I will draw closer to you. To us in the Field is a good development”.
The Chief Executive Officer of Siba Group of Companies added that his decision to support Obong Nsima Ekere was borne out of the antecedents of the APC governorship candidate who has variously empowered Akwa Ibom people and engaged the youths in what he called extensive training, “Obong Nsima Ekere is a considerate Akwa Ibomite. I am personally supporting his aspiration because he is a man of his words, if he says he will do something, he will certainly be committed to it. So far, I know thousands of youths in the Niger Delta he has trained, for instance his manifesto that he has made public, empowerment and the prosperity of the people is his priority. That is the kind of person we want in the state”.
Chief Ibanga acknowledged the development projects carried out by Obong Nsima Ekere particularly in Ikot Ekpene local government area added that when he comes on board as governor, more developments would be experienced in the area, “we in Ikot Ekpene are so grateful to our APC governorship candidate for the good works he is doing in the state in general and Ikot Ekpene in particular, he has constructed many roads here in Ikot Ekpene including Utu Ikot Ekpenyong road and many others, but let me say that in all roads he has constructed, the people of Ikot Inyang are most grateful to him because that road had long cut the people of the area completely off from this part of the world as they were not able to come in or go out of their domain because of the deplorable nature of the road, I mean you cannot even ride bicycle through that road but today, the road will be completed in three weeks time”. Others who spoke to Century Newsfront included Mr. Uyo Nathaniel and other prominent sons of the area.