…As Fmr Lawmaker Mobilizes Uyo Youths to Secure Investments in the City
Youth leaders across Akwa Ibom State have risen to reciprocate efforts of government in preventing further looting in Uyo, the state capital after the violent #Endsars protest there and in surrounding cities.
This follows appeals to youths for calm by the state governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, in his statewide broadcast after widespread looting and burning of public and private property in Uyo and other parts of the state by criminals within the ranks of protesters.
Convener of the Uyo Youth meeting, Hon. Monday Eyoh, who is the Chairman of Local Government Service Commission in Akwa Ibom State, said it is crucial to call all youth representatives from the 14 wards making up Uyo Local Government Area, to analyse the situation and brainstorm on ways to protect property and investments in the state capital against hoodlums.
#ENDSARS: Gov Emmanuel Addresses Protesters, Call For Community Policing
The meeting which held on Sunday, had in attendance Dr. Uwemedimo Udo, the Peoples Democratic Party flagbearer for the coming Uyo Local Government chairmanship race; Akparawa Prince Emmanuel Sam, Special Assistant to the Governor on Local Media, political stalwarts including Hon. Tony Asikpo, Hon. Kufre Mendie, Hon. Idongesit Okponsak, Hon. Nsikak Udoekong, Hon. Ifiok Akpan, Hon. Stella Okpon, all Councillors in the LGA, all supervisors in the LGA, and youth leaders from the 14 wards in the LGA and others.
In his remarks, Eyoh, who served as the Member Representing Uyo State Constituency in the sixth Assembly, thanked youth for responding despite such a short notice.
He said the violence that erupted following the #Endsars protest and subsequent destruction of private and public property were unfortunate and condemnable.
The former lawmaker, while commending the Nigeria Police Force for quickly swinging into action to recovery of stolen property, noted that from information available to him there is no single indigene of Uyo among those so far arrested.
He thanked the youths of Uyo for exercising restriant during the violence and for assisting the Police recover items looted from business concerns in the state capital. He however noted that youths won’t close their eyes while investments in the metropolis get plundered.
“We can’t close our eyes as aliens put knives to our necks. We are here to discuss how to prevent a recurrence of such violent and barbaric acts of arson and looting of businesses because if violence continues and we are pushed out of our homes where will we go?
“I’m urging perpetrators of these widespread acts of violence to put an end to this hooliganism. We will not allow people come to raze down private and public property in Uyo”. He warned.
In addition, Hon. Eyoh informed youths that Governor Emmanuel has announced various job opportunities through interministerial direct labour projects and commended the state chief executive for reconsidering the case of stopping salaries of those whose appointments were deemed illegal.
“I wish to inform you that these category of workers have been reinstated therefore starting from November 1, about 200 of them will be recalled and then by January 1, 2023 another 200 will start work”.
Also speaking, Dr. Uwemedimo Udo, the Peoples Democratic Party flagbearer for the coming Uyo Local Government chairmanship race, recalled that what happened in Uyo that fateful Thursday was very unfortunate and a serious dent on the image of Uyo as a peaceful city.
He stressed that indigenes of Uyo were the ones who would bear most of the brunt of any form of violence in the state capital since they are the landlords as such it was needful to protect Uyo from criminals masquerading as protesters.
He further pointed out that choatic and violent environment is toxic to investment and investors will avoid them.
“If you check the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation AKBC administrative office and other buildings razed down or destroyed that fateful Thursday, it may belong to Uyo indigenes. We are encouraging investors to Uyo but they won’t come in an atmosphere of chaos and violence”, he cautioned.
He commended Monday Eyoh for the idea of the meeting and thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for announcing several jobs for youths in the state while pledging that when he assumes office, his adminstration will be youth friendly, one and will put in effort to provide needed skills for youths of Uyo in preparation for countless employment opportunities that government investments in oil and gas free trade zone and Ibom Deep seaport will bring.
In his vote of thanks, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Local Media, Akparawa (Prince) Emmanuel Sam, commended the youths for such a massive turnout despite the short notice of the meeting.
He thanked his boss, Governor Udom Emmanuel, for setting a template to keep the state on a peaceful and progressive path, noting that his timely response to the crisis by imposing a curfew and addressing the state helped a great deal in quelling the carnage and giving hope to a state that was so traumatized by the violent attacks.
Sam, commended Hon. Monday Eyoh for his spontaneity in initiating a process to sustain the peace that Uyo is known for and for always putting the interest of the people first.
He used the opportunity to thank the youths for rising up to defend investments in the city, saying these investments have provided jobs to indigenes and that inorder to encourage more investors to invest in the city, there must be concerted efforts to ensure the safety of their investments.