Following the re-election victories of Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, and his Enugu State counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the peoples of the two states are expecting greater performance from them in their second-term.
Handlers of the governors however, say their principals are aware that their re-election was an invitation to deliver more dividend of democracy.
To embolden Udom to do more in Akwa Ibom, the state House of Assembly has passed the state’s appropriation bill of N672.984 billion for the 2019 fiscal year into law.
This is coming as traditional rulers and workers in Enugu were rejoicing with Governor Ugwuanyi on his electoral victory and urging him to brace up for more enduring legacies. The workers through the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) said the ‘’jubilatory election is a true representation of the wishes of the entire Enugu workers’’.
For the traditional rulers of Eastern Nigeria who spoke through the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, said they ‘’join the people of Enugu in thanking God for the peaceful elections that took place in the state’’.
Achebe pointed out that the resounding victory Governor Ugwuanyi recorded at the poll was a re-affirmation of the confidence the people of the state reposed in him ‘’by giving him the mandate to lead them for another four years of laudable achievements’’.
Continuing, the Onitsha monarch said the victory ‘’shows that his previous four years was done very well”, saying: “We thank God for that and hope that he will build on his achievements in the last four years to give him room for stronger days in the next four years’’.
He however, said that they were in Enugu for their quarterly meeting where they deliberated and took decisions on issues of great importance to the people of the region and Nigeria, and accordingly thanked the governor for his hospitality and other necessary support he provided towards the successful hosting of the event.
He also expressed gratitude to Ugwuanyi and other governors of the Igbo people for their leadership role in closing the ‘’little gap in communication’’ that had existed among the traditional rulers, in the interest of the East.
In their congratulatory message signed by the Chairman and Secretary of TUC, Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe and Benneth Asogwa, respectively workers in Enugu maintained that Ugwuanyi’s victory ‘’speaks volumes of your good works in the state. Your administration will continue to put smile on the faces of Enugu workers as you will do more to improve the welfare of workers in the state’’.
They therefore, prayed God to continue to bestow the governor with Divine wisdom and strengthen him as he carries out what they described as the ‘’onerous task’’ of governing Enugu.
However, in Akwa Ibom, the passed budget is against the N670.718billion proposal presented by Governor Udom Emmanuel on November 13, 2018 on the floor of the House.
The 2019 Appropriation Bill was passed, after the consideration and adoption of the report submitted by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation chaired by Usoro Akpansoh, the member representing Ibeno/Esit Eket state constituency.
Speaker of the House Onofiok Luke, who is heading to the Green Chamber of the National Assembly in his remarks said they tailored the appropriation bill christened, Budget of Industrialisation for Poverty Alleviation, to meet salient socio-economic agenda of the government in the areas of infrastructure development, job creation and revenue generation.
According to him, ‘’and to keep the budget in sync with current needs and having considered the opinions of Akwa Ibom people and stakeholders, we decided to increase the total budget by a little over N2 billion to bring the 2019 estimate to N672.98 billion. It must be emphasised that what we approved emanated from the wishes of stakeholders who considered the parameters for the 2019 proposal during the public hearing on the budget.
‘’Our overall objective was to see that priority was given to areas of immediate importance to the people while we pursue the larger goal of full-scale industrialisation. This House believes that the 2019 Appropriation Bill, having been anchored on identified needs of the people will give impetus for our sustained industrial development.
‘’It gives all of us great joy therefore, to play the noble role which we have played to see that this bill becomes a law on this day. I commend our collective resilience and loyalty to the people whose mandate we hold.’’