The Governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, has asked the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to join him in building the state.
Mr Emmanuel made the appeal during his inauguration for a second term in office, Wednesday.
He was ‘helped’ to become governor against all the odds in 2015 by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio. But, both politicians later fell apart due to political differences.
Mr Akpabio, who became a senator, later defected from his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and tried unsuccessfully to stop Mr Emmanuel from winning re-election.
He also lost his re-election bid to the Senate, surprisingly.
Mr Emmanuel, in his inauguration speech, said the “fleeting passion of politics” should not be allowed to “break the cords of our brotherhood.”
The governor, in an apparent reference to the senator and other leaders of the APC in the state, said, “As I said in my victory speech, I extend again my hands of fellowship and bond of friendship to my brothers and sisters on the opposite side of the political divide.
“I call on them to join me in building a State that we all, irrespective of political affiliations will be proud to call our home.
“We went to the polls as brothers and sisters and as the 6th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, said in his second inaugural speech on March 4th 1865, ‘We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection’.”
Mr Emmanuel said he and other politicians “remain the proud sons and daughters of Akwa Abasi Ibom State.”
The governor said the political atmosphere in the state during the just concluded general election “was poisoned by the manufactured instrument of division, where political power was defined as a matter of life and death, where certain tactics and approaches employed by the other side, challenged and called to question the foundational core of what we are known for: a peaceful and hospitable people”.
Mr Emmanuel said the elections have come and gone, and that the people have made their choices known on whom to govern and represent them.
He said the time has come for the healing of “our land”.
The governor, who mentioned his administration’s achievement to include the establishment of a state-owned airline, Ibom Air, promised he would not fail the people of the state.
“We are the first state in the whole of Nigeria and indeed Africa to have a commercial airline business. The Ibom Air today stands as a testament to visionary leadership and an acute determination to prove that what was once thought to be impossible can be made possible.
“This airline will prove the cynics wrong and show the world that a viable commercial airline can be achieved,” he said.