A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) in Akwa Ibom, Bassey Dan-Abia Snr, has said that the peace and bond of brotherhood that has long existed among the people in the state should not be sacrificed for politics.
Mr Dan-Abia, a former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), stated this on Sunday in a message of felicitation to Akwa Ibom people on the 31st-anniversary celebration of the state, according to a statement from his media office in Uyo.
Mr Dan-Abia said the state, being uniquely blessed with abundant human and natural resources, has the potential to become the economic leader not just in Nigeria, but in sub-Saharan Africa, only if its leaders and the people could shun divisive politics.
“We are a very peaceful and hard-working people so blessed by God,” he said.
“The enchanting green vegetation around us, our awesome seashores, the oil and other natural resources beneath our earth, and above all the human talents that abound in this land is enough reason for us to hold on to the hope that our tomorrow will definitely be greater,” Mr Dan-Abia said.
“I am happy to celebrate our dear Akwa Ibom State and congratulate my dear brothers and sisters, both at home and in the Diaspora, as well as our political, religious and business leaders.”
Mr Dan-Abia said for Akwa Ibom to utilise the enormous human and natural resources, its leaders and people must be brave enough to put aside attitudes, utterances, and actions that could only bring in disunity, hatred, and strife among the people.
“Though we are a people of diverse culture, diverse experiences, and diverse socio-political orientation, we remain one big family under a big, beautiful, and mighty God. And one sure way to appreciate God is to appreciate and love your fellow brother, despite individual differences.
“For the sake of our common good, I am hereby making a passionate appeal to my fellow politicians, brothers, and sisters out there to please play down on issues that could divide us as a people.
“Political parties are vehicles for the realisation of ambitions and goals, and therefore brothers should not be seen and treated as enemies merely because they belong to different political parties,” he said.
Mr Dan-Abia, a lawyer and a former attorney-general of Akwa Ibom, said if elected as governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2019, he will see to it that the people are truly empowered economically for them to become the very foundation upon which the much-needed industrialisation can truly take place in the state.
“The number one investors in any land are the owners of the land. If the land-owners are so impoverished that they lack the capacity to invest in their own land, then foreign direct investment could remain cosmetic or too little to have any meaningful impact on the people.
“When I am elected governor through the people’s goodwill, by God’s grace, I will ensure that the government turns the local people into the much-needed investors by first investing in them. Our people need lifting. It is time we do just that.”