AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY MOSES ESSIEN PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (P.D.P.) GOVERNORSHIP ASPIRANT, AKWA IBOM STATE ON HIS FORMAL DECLARATION FOR GOVERNORSHIP, TODAY, WEDNESDAY 15TH NOVEMBER, 2006, AT THE AMPHITHEATRE, IBOM PLAZA, UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE.
I bring to you the greetings of transformation, deliverance, peace, blessing, good life and prosperity in the Name of our Lord JESUS CHRIST.
I stand here to pay special tribute to God Almighty who in His infinite mercies and wisdom deemed it fit to give us Akwa Ibom State.
I stand here to pay tribute to our fathers and mothers who were at the forefront of the struggle for the creation of Akwa Ibom State.
I stand here to pay tribute to all the past administrations who in their different capacities sought the well-being and progress of Akwa Ibom State.
I stand here to pay tribute to His Excellency the President and Commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for his anti-corruption initiative and the dogged determination to wage war against corrupt practices in every facet of our National life. And in that spirit is also committed to making this country (Nigeria) the greatest country in Africa.
I stand here to pay tribute to the entire National Leadership of the Peopleís Democratic Party and most particularly the National Chairman Alhaji (Dr.) Ahmadu Ali whose able and dynamic leadership has continued to sustain the party as the biggest and strongest party in Africa.
I stand here to pay tribute to the state, chapter and ward leadership of the Peopleís Democratic Party Akwa Ibom State for their untiring commitment to keeping the P.D.P flag flying. In the same vein, I congratulate all the delegates who emerge in the just concluded ward congress.
I stand here to pay tribute to our political leaders, leaders of thoughts, Royal fathers, youths, women, the media and all the people of goodwill in Akwa Ibom State.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it will not be sufficient if I fail to pay special tribute to a man whom God has sent me to take over from. Ladies and gentlemen I am referring to a man who has tried his very best possible to lead Akwa Ibom State up to this very moment. This tribute goes to him because no man can perform beyond the grace that God has given to him. If this statement is true which I know it is, then we can agree that the man, our father, His Excellency Arch. (Obong) Victor Attah has done his very best for Akwa Ibom State.
This tribute is unique because Arch. (Obong) Victor Attah as a father to the people of my generation has today seen in Moses Essien a son who is to succeed him as the next governor come 2007.
The joy of every father is to see his successor, today His Excellency as the father to the people of our generation has seen in Moses Essien a successor come 2007. It is on this ground that I call on the Peopleís Democratic Party (P.D.P) and the entire Akwa Ibom people to give me their massive support, first in the party primaries and in the general elections come 2007.
As God sent Moses in the days of old to deliver the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, that same God has today found in me the MOSES to lead the people of Akwa Ibom State to their much desired greatness. It is on this score that I stand here to declare to the glory of God, my resolve to contest and by GODíS grace win the 2007 governorship election on the platform of our great party the Peopleís Democratic Party (P.D.P), and to assure the people of Akwa Ibom State that the Almighty God has sent me to take over the mantle of leadership as the next Governor of the state come 2007.
To this extent, Government will ensure that education is free, qualitative and compulsory all over the State, while necessary steps will be taken to guarantee the award of scholarships and payment of bursaries to students in Tertiary Institutions. In addition, Government will undertake the responsibility of rehabilitating dilapidated structures in schools, construction of new ones, provision of necessary infrastructure including teaching aids and consumables to guarantee effective teaching / learning. Government will also put in place necessary legislation to ensure that children of school age have no business staying out of the school environment during school hours and days.
In view of Governmentís strong commitment to agriculture and the mass production / distribution of food products, particularly the staple food items, the benefits of this huge agricultural programmes will transform the entire society. Consequently, children will be able to enjoy at least one free meal during school hours. In addition, all children in both primary and secondary schools will be provided with free exercise books.
These industries are expected to be fully managed from inception and fully owned in due course by indigenous investors and business experts. The investors will be provided with the relevant technical manpower, where necessary, from any part of the world. All industries are to be fully completed and equipped with the required raw materials to facilitate production. In addition, Government will ensure the reactivation and full operation of all the ailing industries in the State as a means of strengthening the economy.
It is expected that, at full maturity, not less than one million jobs will be created across the State, through these multiple industrial establishments.
This agency will target all male and female non-skilled adults in and out of the State with special emphasis on Secondary School leavers who are unable to go into higher institutions. This centre will be designed to offer both management training and skill acquisition in individualís chosen areas for a period of not less than two years. At the end of training, the new professionals will be offered necessary equipment and certificates of qualification / completion in their respective areas of training.
During apprenticeship the beneficiaries will be provided with free feeding and hostel accommodation. This is to ensure commitment, discipline and close monitoring of the trainees as well as the effectiveness of the programme.
It is envisaged that the centre will serve as a pool for the supply of skilled manpower to the oil companies and other industries in and outside the State. Not less than eight hundred thousand citizens are expected to be trained within four years.
Government will also ensure the provision of free health care delivery services to take care of the expectant mothers, children, the disabled and the aged population in the State, while others will enjoy similar services at a highly reduced cost.
In this direction, Government will ensure the construction of good road network, provision of potable water and electricity all over the State.
Since it is the plan of Government to develop and break new grounds, what we may see today as rural areas will in no distant future become centre of high industrial activities through the proposed establishment of industries that will foster the coming into existence of subsidiary ones from the people, thereby improving the overall economic fortunes of the people and State.
The establishment of Research Institutes will further help the people in business, since researches will be based on proposed products / services which the business people need and in some cases, the researches may be privately funded by the business community.
Some of the Research Institutes to be established include;
(a) Institute for Agricultural Research
(b) Institute for Petroleum and Gas Research.
(c) Institute for Pharmaceutical Research.
(d) Institute for Technological Research
(e) Institute for Automobile Research (Car Assembling)
(f) Institute for Aquatic and Marine Research
(g) Institute for Hydropower Research.
(h) Institute for Electronic Research.
(i) Institute for Medical Research.
All the Institutes are to be provided with facilities to encourage and accommodate foreign partnership. These foreign partners will be expected to assist our domestic experts, and the pattern of events or activities at the Institute are to be mostly the production / fabrication or provision of goods / services that meet the short and long term needs of the people.
Also top in the agenda of Government will be the conduct of full fishing activities in the State for both the International and local market and for the improvement in the protein intake of the citizenry.
BUILDING OF AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND TRADE EXHIBITION CENTRE
To become the preferred destination for organizers of major political, social, economic and cultural events in Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State necessarily requires structures to attract and host such activities.
Consequently, Government will build a befitting International Conference and Trade Exhibition Centre in Uyo, the State Capital. The centre, which shall be a world class edifice, will provide facilities to host International Conferences, Summits, Trade Exhibitions, Seminars and Shows.
The centre will also have multiple first class conference and banquet halls, equipped with hi-tech communication gadgets and foreign language translation systems.
PETROLEUM EXPLORATION, PRODUCTION AND REFINING THROUGH STATE-PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERSHIP
As a leading petroleum producing State in Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State is abundantly endowed with oil and gas and other related resources. In the light of this, Government will initiate deliberate policies and actions that will give the State a place of reckoning in the petroleum industry. To achieve this, the State will partner with the Federal Government, foreign institutions and private investors to establish a state-of-the-art petroleum and petro-chemical refinery equipped with tank farm and storage depot in the State.
In addition, Government will give necessary support and provide infrastructure and conducive public order for integrated oil activities including exploration, exploitation, production and marketing. Through this partnership, a petroleum training institute of international standard shall be established to train and retrain our graduates and youths in strategic areas of petroleum engineering, technology processing, installation and marketing as well as general management to boost our human capital capacity in the oil and gas sector.
MAINTENANCE OF EFFICIENT WASTE DISPOSAL AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The problem of waste and its attendant environmental and health hazards, will continue to be a cause for concern to Governments all over the world. Consequently, Government will evolved sustained and conscious waste management policies and programmes that will respond adequately and strategically to the problem as is the case in renown cities of the world.
In addition, Government shall review and amend existing waste management policies and legislations to make the laws adequate and appropriate to deal holistically, pre-emptively and decisively with waste and pollution both in urban and rural areas. Similarly, Government shall review, reorganize and strengthen existing waste management agencies to change their focus, rebuild their monitoring and response capability and enhance their service delivery capacity as well.
Government will also facilitate and engender inter-governmental and inter-ministerial cooperation and action to keep Akwa Ibom cities, towns and villages clean, hygienic, beautiful, hospitable and attractive.
CONTINUATION TO COMPLETION OF ALL PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES INITIATED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, ARC. (OBONG) VICTOR ATTAH
To ensure that the people derive maximum benefits from the good intentions and Government investments on the laudable projects initiated by His Excellency Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah, Government will pursue to completion all the projects and programmes already initiated by the administration of His Excellency Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our Government will give very high priority and consideration to issues affecting the Women, Youths, Organized labour, Judiciary and the Civil society.
Our Government shall accord respect to the principles of separation of powers between the executive, the legislator and the judiciary. We shall continue to hold the integrity of our people through our natural fathers and elders of our society.
The benefits to Akwa Ibom people from the Federal Government of Nigeria shall be pursued constructively with open consultation and dialogue. We shall be able to liase adequately with the Federal Government to ensure proper federal presence in Akwa Ibom State commensurate with our economic contributions to the nations.
Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me at this juncture to bring to your notice that the policy and development blueprint which you have just heard is the out come of an in depth research and analysis on Akwa Ibom State predominantly influenced and directed by a team led by one of our renown and international professor, in the person of our highly revered Professor Ime Ikiddeh. This policy and development blueprint can simply be described as the road map to the realization of the 21st century Akwa Ibom State dream. It is my honour and privilege to most humbly present this document, which is a social contract that I have signed with Akwa Ibom people and do request to be examined and held accountable for its implementation by the entire Akwa Ibom people. At this point, it is my honour and privilege to present to you the policy and development blueprint of MOSES ESSIEN for the Governorship of Akwa IBOM state come 2007.
I acknowledge with total humility the concern and genuine commitment of the political class, leaders of thoughts, youths, women, the media, religious, socio-cultural and professional organizations across the state to mention but a few who have taken it upon themselves to pilot the actualization of this divine mission.
On this note, I call on all Nigerians and Akwa Ibom people in particular at home and abroad to please join hands and stand by me to consolidate the gains of our great State in defence of democracy and humanity.
Thank you and God bless.
Long Live Akwa Ibom State.
Peopleís Democratic Party (P.D.P)
Akwa Ibom State.