The Ibom Hall grounds off IBB way Uyo was filled to capacity as all Akwa Ibomites from all walks of life thronged their way to thank the Almighty God for His manifold blessing and mercies to the state and to usher in the New Year. It would be recalled that from the past administrations of this state till date, Akwa Ibom State has been known as a state that always puts God first in all its affairs, no wonder that it is the only state named after God on planet earth.
This year’s Solemn Assembly to usher in year 2017 was held with pomp and pageantry and Monday January 2, 2017 with the theme, “I will Show Mercy”. Pastor S. A. Isaiah, a minister from the Apostolic Church, Uyo field preached on the theme “I will show mercy, and selected his Bible reading from the book of Exodus 33:1-4; 22-23 which was taken by His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State. In his message, the man of God said that God is ready to put Akwa Ibom people in a Clift of the rock and cover them with His hands, only if the people will repent. Referring the people to the promise of God, “My presence will go with you”, Pastor Isaiah charged all Akwa Ibomites to run to the rock which is Christ for safety in the year 2017 and beyond as God’s presence shall go with them and prophetically declared that the presence of God was with Akwa Ibom.
Intercessory prayers for the state and the Nation the leaders, the general citizenry; the Governor and his Exco members, speaker and all members of the State House of Assembly; the Judiciary, Permanent Secretaries, Security Agents, all Government Apparatus, all Government Projects and the people of Akwa Ibom State for unity, love and prosperity were offered by different ministers of God. CAN mass choir rendered a very wonderful heart – rending piece including the Government House Choir at the event.
In his remarks, the CAN Chairman, Akwa Ibom State chapter, Rev. Dr. Ndueso Ekwere lauded the efforts of Governor Udom Emmanuel in bringing Akwa Ibom State through the parcels of triumphs and the golden ladder he has provided, to the firmament of greatness. He passionately appealed to the Governor to work and carry CAN along in his administration as partners in progress and spiritual pivot in the state. Giving credence to what the state CAN Chairman said, the number one Spiritual Leader in the Country, His Eminence, Bishop, Dr. Sope Ayekunle, National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), who was there at the occasion, pledged the loyalty of the state CAN to the administration of Mr. Udom Emmanuel, and asked the Governor to always work together with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN in the State in order to enhance peace, unity progress and the protection of God in Akwa Ibom State.
His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State in his address thanked God for saving his life and that of his Exco Members who were entrapped in the December 10, 2016 building collapse of Reigners Bible Church and a minute silence was observed for those who lost their lives in the disaster.
The Governor seriously frowned at the mischievous activities of some members of the state who try to paint the state black through their utterances and activities in the state. He prophetically declared, as the spiritual leader of the states, a bleak new year for all mischief workers in the state, “There will be no fruitful effort in 2017 for Akwa Ibom State mischief makers. All mischief makers will not take part in this year’s mercy from God”, the governor declared.
Eminent personalities and dignitaries attended the event. They include the wife of the Governor, Martha Udom Emmanuel; Mr. Moses Ekpo MFR, Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State; Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke – Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly; Hon. Justice Stephen Okon, Chief Judge Akwa Ibom State; Sir Etekamba Umoren – Secretary to the state government (SSG); Mrs. Ekereobong M. Akpan Head of Civil Service Akwa Ibom State. Others are clergymen from different Religious Organizations, members of CAN in the state and their coordinators, senior citizens of Akwa Ibom State, Legislators, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Service Chiefs, Security Agents in the state, political and social organizations, the youths, Women Organizations, the Press, Distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria past and present including Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio CON., Senate minority leader who also was the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State; Her Excellency Mrs. Ekaette Unoma Akpabio; Air Vice Marshall Nsika Eduok Rtd; Air Marshal Idongesit Nkanga Rtd; Obong Paula Ekpo, State Chairman Peoples Democratic Party; political stakeholders, the Academia; Senator Bassey Albert, His Eminence prelate Sunday Mbang