Akwa Ibom not in a hurry to conduct council polls, says Emmanuel
• Institutes insurance cover for journalists
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has appealed to political parties in the state to be patient over the conduct of local government elections as government was not in a hurry to carry out the exercise because of the prevailing economic realities.
According to him, government’s stance on the issue is not deliberate as it would not take loan with high interest to embark on conducting free and fair elections in the state.
He made these clarifications while fielding questions from journalists during an interactive session to mark his second year in office. The governor however acknowledged that, the state was not the only one in this political quagmire at that tier of government, but noted that, once the economy improves, the government would embark on the conduct of the elections.
Since coming into office on May 27, 2015, the governor has not conducted local government elections; the tier of government has been handled by transition or caretaker chairmen or committees.
“Because of the prevailing economic situation, because of recession and once the economy improves, we will conduct elections. Government will not borrow money with high interest rate to conduct local government elections.’’
He said that, his cardinal programmee on industrialization was being pursued with vigour, noting that such has led to the commissioning of some industries and ground breaking for new ones to mark his second year in office.
Udom called on the people of the state to appreciate government in establishing small and medium scale industries, noting that, in many developed economies, such ventures drive their economy and thereby create wealth and reduced unemployment.
The governor thanked the media for the support and cooperation so far, adding that, their role should continue to be that which would grow the state and thereby placing the state above parochial sentiments.
Earlier, the state commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh, charged journalists to always report to promote the potentials of the state instead of destroying same through unsubstantiated and unverifiable reportage.
He said that, the state government was appreciative of the support in the past two years, disclosing that, such partnership has resulted in government instituting an insurance policy to cover 250 journalists in the state in the first instance.