The Akwa Ibom state government has named the Ibom International Airport after Victor Attah, the second civilian governor of the state.
Mr Attah, widely revered as the “father of modern Akwa Ibom”, conceived and began building the airport when he was governor between 1999 and 2007.
The airport, managed by the state government, is one of the busiest in Nigeria’s South-south region.
“By the special resolution from the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, I now rename Akwa Ibom International Airport to Victor Attah International Airport,” the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, said on Saturday, during a state banquet organised in Uyo to honour Mr Attah on his 80 birthday.
There was a loud ovation from the crowd at the banquet.
The people kept shouting and clapping, joyfully, as Mr Udom and Mr Attah hugged each other passionately.
“Because you have honoured me tonight, in future somebody will also honour you,” Mr Attah told the governor.
One group in Akwa Ibom, Greater Peoples Forum for Social & Economic Development, has been leading a campaign for the naming of the Ibom airport after the former governor.
“Obong Victor Attah fought and won several battles for Akwa Ibom state, the chief among them being the 13 per cent oil derivation fund which we are currently enjoying in the state. It will be a befitting recognition and honour, therefore, if we as a people do at least this one thing for him.
“An international stadium has been named after Senator Godswill Akpabio, while the beautiful state secretariat has been named after the former governor, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga. It is only natural at this point in our history that the Akwa Ibom International Airport be named after Obong Victor Attah,” the group had said in June this year while pleading with Governor Emmanuel to take steps to name the airport after Mr Attah.