The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel has confessed to the Chambers of Family Heads in the State, acknowledging their support and his confidence in them which is one of the reasons he is prospering in his leadership strides.
The Governor made the declaration Thursday when he met them during their executive meeting at Atim Atakpo Street, Uyo.
Governor Udom Emmanuel who appeared in proxy through the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Udo Ekpenyong noted that family heads were royal fathers, his (the Governor’s) fathers whom he has to recognize.
Noting that their sacrifices, especially during the election period, were useful for his emergence as Governor, Udom Emmanuel said his visit was to show his humility and respect for them and assured of his resolve to carry them along in the scheme of things.
Hear him, “You are all my fathers. I came here today to see how serious you are. I have seen you and I know that you are serious. I am here because the Governor believes in you. If he doesn’t believe in you, he won’t send me. I am here to represent the Governor. As you have seen me, you have seen him because he sent me to see you on his behalf. The government is interested in you. We are happy with you. We will not look down on you.
“The sensitization starts from your homes where you must preach PDP and Udom Emmanuel to your people. No one can be a village head without being a family head. No clan head can emerge without still being a family head. And no paramount ruler exists who is not a family head. So, your position is very strategic in the affairs of society.
“The Governor sent me to tell you that he has recognized you. Udom cannot do without you. You have done it before, you will do it again. I would have asked you to come to my office. But I have come here to show you respect. The Governor is humble and he will not disappoint you.”
Speaking on behalf of the State Executives and Members of the body, the State Chairman, Etebom Archibong Edem Akpan observed that the group served as traditional fathers from where people were selected to become village heads, clan heads and paramount rulers.
According to him, the Akwa Ibom State Chambers of Family Heads is made up of 34 State Executives, 18 Chapter Excos in each of the 31 local government areas which results to 539 in the whole state. He stressed that 9,350 family heads exist in the whole State, aside the fore-given statistics.
Archibong Akpan recalled their agony, especially in their declaration of November 2014 in support of the Governor but regretted that they were sidelined by the former administration and the State Chairman of the ruling Party.
Promising their unalloyed support to the government, the Chairman who maintained that they were up and ready to sacrifice their service in support of the Udom led government to make sure it succeeds, called on government’s attention over their plight and requested that they be accorded Certificate of Recognition.
“We stood our grounds on 27 November 2014 declaring our support for Udom, not minding the risks. We need Certificate of Recognition, if nothing else. We have been playing PDP from inception and we shall continue to play PDP. We shall stand our ground in support of PDP and Deacon Udom Emmanuel,” he stated.