By Rev’d Richard Peters
23rd Sept will forever remain memorable for this generation and generations to come.
Though we were optimistic for the Creation, yet we didn’t know when it will certainly be realized.
History holds it that on the morning of Wednesday 23rd September 1987, the day began with a thick rain featured with a solar Eclipse. When everyone might have retired from work and other struggles to their abode. There was a sudden shout of joy and happiness sprouting, following the Presidential broadcast as Gen Ibrahim Babangida officially created Akwa Ibom and Katsina States.
The information came through the 9pm network news.
This news re-awoken the hope and aspirations of the citizenry. Citizens who resides across the globe took to the streets and nearby joints to show gratitude and happiness to the creation of Akwa Ibom State of our Dream.
It was on this fact that Lt Col. Tunde Oghehe was sent in as the first military Governor.
Upon his arrival he was presented with gifts of Holy Bible and Sword.
Many well meaning individuals donated their Houses to be used as offices while special Church service was held to officially inaugurated the administration among the list of events.
Our State creation was symbolical with the Biblical account of the journey of the Israelites to the promised land.
The State that started as a small unit, donated offices and a people of one indivisible entity is now globally known, well Structured and equipped, center of investment/industries and uncommon transformation State courtesy of former and present Governors and majority of concern Akwa Ibomites.
Indeed the words of Lt Col Tunde is not in vain, here him “I urge you to be dreamers; dreamers of broad, tarred and lighted Streets in our towns and cities. Dreamers of industrial Estates jotting all over our country side. Dreamers of blooming economy, where our Children will receive quality education and full thereafter.
I most sincerely thank our leaders especially His Excellency Obong Victor Attah, His Excellency Chief Dr Godswill Obot Akpabio CON, senate minority leader, His Excellency Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as well as all others who despite many circumstances have moved Akwa Ibom State to not only a land of Promise but also a land of fulfillment, a land of uncommon transformation, a land of investment and industries, a land of liberated visibility.
Please let all Akwa Ibom indigenes at home and diaspora bury all political, religious, economic interest and work in fulfillment of more of Akwa Ibom interest which is love, peace, unity and progress.
Since our State creation is unique, symbolic and spiritual, just as God commanded the Israelites to observe various annual festivals, these festivals symbolizes facets of redemptive works of Jesus Christ. There are
1. Passover (Exo 12:1-10,Matt 26:26-29)
2. Unleaven bread (Exo 12:15-20)
3. Grain harvest (Lev 23:10-14)
4. Sabbatical years (Exo 23:10-11)etc.
These festivals were to be observed by believers.
Apart from the Thanksgiving organised and observed by the State Government.
It will be more honorable if all the Churches in Akwa Ibom State will set aside a special Sunday and observe a Thanksgiving Service in commemoration of our National Independence and State Creation.
Owing to the fact that Thanksgiving
1. Unlocks many doors
2. Ushers in showers of blessings
3. Strengthen our faith
4. Keeps our lives clear of darkness
5. Draws us closer to God.
Akwa Ibom is named after God and we cannot do without God.
There are great industrial, economical, educational, administrative differences etc from how we started and now.
To the glory of God and God be Praise. Let’s rise in Unity to celebrate Akwa Ibom State @30 with total love, Peace and unity.
We remain optimistic, sociable, creative, hospitable and industrious.
Rev Richard Peters
Religious Affairs Commentator