Ini Ememobong Lights Up Ibiono Communities
…Governor’s Wife, Paul Ekpo, Ors Hail PDP Spokesman
By Kenneth Jude
It was a spectacle of sorts. Scenes of ecstasy pervaded the air as elated villagers trooped out to savour projects delivered by their illustrious son.
Drummers were drumming. Women in various uniforms were dancing, men, staff in their hands, were nodding and tapping their feet rhythmically to beats. Their faces animated with joy. Youths were not absent. The turnout made it seem like a political rally. Far from it. All manner of persons were there. We saw a showboy steal the show at Use Abat. His dancing steps, though in tune with beats and songs, humoured to no end.
Security officials, expectedly, had a busy day. Controlling the surging crowd was no easy task. When Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, wife of Akwa Ibom State governor, landed with her entourage in tow, the arena melted into raptures.
The soft-spoken First Lady, waved as the crowd cheered to give her a warm welcome. Dr. Uduak Onofiok Luke, herself president of Legislators’ Wives Association (LEWA) and wife of the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, gave her good company.
A clement weather provided a unique scenery for the day. Excitement was at fever pitch as many trooped out in their numbers as their communities came alive with heavy presence of the crème de la crème in the society.
Welcome to Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, where the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Akwa Ibom State, Comrade (Barr) Ini Ememobong continued his stellar strides of touching lives, changing narratives and uplifting many with several community development projects.
Clad in a traditional attire with a headgear to match, he was on ground to welcome Deaconess Martha Emmanuel, along with other guests to Ibiono Ibom LGA to the inauguration of life touching projects embarked upon and completed, donated by him in various communities across the area.
First port of call was the Mini Water Project at Use Abat donated by his wife, Chukwunonyerem Ememobong. In her remarks shortly before inaugurating the facility, the First Lady commended Ini and his wife for deeming it fit to donate the project to the people. Reaffirming water as a basic need of life, she noted that in giving the community water, they have been given a new lease of life.
She specifically thanked the donor, Chukwunonyerem for easing the pain of the people who had to trek about five kilometers to get water. All that, she said, is gone. Hear her: “you have given them hope and strength. I’m impressed with what I’ve seen and I’m happy to be part of this,” she said.
On his part, the Village Head of Use Abat Community, Eteidung Michael Ekong, recounted how the villagers had to go through gruelling distance to fetch water from the stream. He noted that their plight took a turn for good when Mrs. Ememobong visited the community. He commended her good gesture, adding that her decision to donate water to the community will save them from their difficult past.
Next was a brief stop at Community Primary School, Use Ndon where the governor’s wife inspected the Martha Emmanuel Computer Lab earlier built and donated by Barr. Ini Ememobong for the ICT training of the pupils. In fulfilment of her promise to the school, she donated 3 sets of desktop computers to them even as she commended Comrade Ememobong for his philanthropic gestures.
From Community Primary School, Use Ndon, Comrade Ini Ememobong led guests to Ibiono Community High School, Edem Urua where a boisterous and anxious crowd had been waiting.
Items that ranged from books to uniform were presented to students. Barr. Ememobong equally donated a big graph board to aid learning. This is being done in all public schools in Ibiono. Blackboards were similarly donated by him last year.
The school has played host to prominent people as confirmed by the Head teacher including the Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Prof. Enefiok Essien. The new uniform, it is worthy of note, came 46 years after the school was established.
A select number of students ‘sampled’ the new uniform of blue and white to the admiration of guests. To the students, it was historic and a moment to savour. It was not a surprise when they presented a song titled: “a day we’ll never forget”.
Commending the effort of the donor, Head Teacher of the school, Elder Monday Udofia, said that comrade Ememobong has made several interventions in the school including bringing in more hands to assist in teaching. He appreciated him for his good deeds while thanking Governor Emmanuel for sustaining the free education programme, the payment of WAEC fees for students and lots more.
He appealed for more intervention from government and other spirited individuals to help fix some needs in the school especially equipping of the school library and other dysfunctional structures.
Responding, Mrs. Martha Emmanuel promised to liaise with old students of the school to impress upon them the need to assist the school in their areas of need. She also said that She’ll discuss with the governor on some of the issues raised by the school authorities. Her desire, she said, is to work with ex-students of the school towards ensuring that the centre becomes a model school.
She tasked those who have been blessed to use such offices and opportunity to touch the lives of others positively. ‘Let’s learn to give back to society, ” she said.
She thanked the women of the community who presented foodstuffs ranging from cassava, yam, and two goats from the community, among others.
The high point of the day was the inauguration of Udom Emmanuel Iwadu House at Old Council Secretariat, Ikpa. The secretariat which is well furnished, has a Meeting Hall, Exco Chamber, Conference Hall and Offices.
Several guests including Speaker Onofiok Luke who was also the Chairman on the occasion was there. Others that were present include, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, Commissioner of Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr. Iniobong Essien, House of Assembly member for Ibiono, Barr. Ime Okon, traditional rulers, among others.
In his remarks, Barr. Onofiok Luke applauded the PDP Publicity Secretary for allowing God to use him as a vessel of blessing to his people. He commended Governor Emmanuel for discovering talents in Akwa Ibom youths and for giving Ememobong the platform to serve in his government.
His words: “God has used Ini Ememobong as an instrument for us to gather here. Let me thank His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel who is in the business of discovering talents. Having given him the opportunity to serve first as his Special Assistant on Political Affairs and later as Publicity Secretary of the PDP.”
Speaking on the occasion, the cynosure of all eyes and donor, Comrade Ini Ememobong, said that just like his boss, Governor Emmanuel, he saw a gap and elected to fill it. Along with his wife, he decided to give back to the society in appreciation of God’s benevolence to them and for the benefit of Ibiono Ibom people, he said.
He pledged the love and support of Ibiono Ibom for the governor even as he described the day as a rebirth for the people and the area. He urged respect for elders, adding that God has been enthroned in Ibiono “and we cannot go back to old ways”. “We love Governor Udom Emmanuel for what he has done for Ibiono Ibom people.We continue to stand for what is true, what is right and what is noble,” he said.
PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, said that Comrade Ememobong has proven that he’s a true lover of his people. He described the donor as someone that always stands for the truth no matter the consequences. He called on others to copy from him rather than do nothing but criticise.
On his part, the Paramount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom LGA, Okuku Ime Udousoro Inyang, conferred the donor with the traditional title of “Eti Uwud Mkpo Ibiono” for the love he has shown for his people. He advised politicians against heating up the polity as next year’s election draws near, adding that violence is not welcome in Ibiono or anywhere in the State.
Also speaking, Deaconess Martha Emmanuel urged Barr. Ini Ememobong to continue his good works, adding that “heaven rejoices over what you’ve done today.”
According yo the First Lady, “I know him to be a very passionate person. All he does is think of how to bless people. What he has done today is not because he has so much money, but for the passion he has for his people. When I ask him why he’s doing all these, he says it’s what gives him joy.”
He urged others to borrow a leaf from the donor and replicate same in their various communities. “When you’re in your community, look around and see what you can do to bless people’s lives,” she admonished.
With the 2019 elections just moths away, she warned against violence, adding that nobody should kill another fellow because “election is not a do or die affair.”
Goodwill messages were presented by Dr. Iniobong Essien, Barr. Ime Okon, Chairman of Ibiono Ibom LGA, Mr. Ekomabasi Akpan, President General of IWADU, Dr. Effiong Inyang, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Youth Matters, Mr. Aniefiok Iwaudofia, among others.