Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state has dismissed as false, insinuations in several quarters that his government is spending N9.1billion on a new lodge in Lagos.
Mr Emmanuel who spoke at the opening of the 2017 Conference organized by the Christian Lawyers’ Fellowship of Nigeria(CLASFON) in Uyo, said it was the handiwork of some persons who habitually cook spurious and laborious stories against his administration.
“Someone called me last night and said I beg you in the name of God please don’t spend 9.1bn to build a lodge in Lagos, you know when you have a theocentric Government, when they don’t have anything to say against you, they fabricate Stories and I just asked my people can I have a look at the budget again, do we have such thing in the budget, they told me no sir.”
He dismissed the allegations saying, “and I answered all of them by saying I know politics is like a church everybody seats on the pew, but said despite their antics, power comes from God and there can only be one Governor at a time.”
He said his administration is God inspired and driven by Christian values easily seen by the love, transparency, humility and charity towards everyone irrespective of political interests.
“And even those who constantly wish us ill, we don’t wish them bad, and those who constantly write spurious and labourious stories about us, receive our spiritual fruits of love and charity.”
Mr Emmanuel charged Christians not to shy away from public service or politics, saying if there must be genuine change in the polity, sincere and patriotic people must get actively involved.
He charged Christians to learn from the precedence set by God and to desist from being passive in the developments in the polity.
“Let’s draw from God, when man was out of relationship with God, for God to change things and restore man back to his proper place God had to come down and get involved as man. He even had to go back and learn humility and then became a man to change things.”
“So there is no point for Christians to just keep staying outside, and calling this one murky waters of politics. If people of conscience and values skip grounds of participation in politics to the impulse of secularism, then the waters will continue to get murkier.
The governor was of the opinion that God-fearing people should show active interest in politics to drain, “the swamp of politics with bitterness, politics of personal destruction, politics of zero-some game, politics of blackmail and character assassination, among other vices.
He stressed the need to replace such tendencies with the politics that emphasizes on selfless services to the people, upholding Godly values and telling the world that government can indeed be a force of good and not an avenue for destruction.
Explaining his initiative in seeking the wellbeing of the people, Mr Emmanuel recalled a biblical account where Jesus, after blessing the food told his disciples to feed the people.
“He never told them to eat before those people, it not recorded if Christ himself ate, that’s a clear example of what is expected of a God centered administration, that you can’t serve yourself first before the people,” he concluded.
The Governor harped on the need for God sent leadership, explaining however that, “you will be misunderstood, you will be misquoted and you will be misconstrued but it doesn’t matter. What matters most is your conscience and sincerity and with that as time goes on people will begin to appreciate it.”
He said his administration will always prioritize the welfare of the people irrespective of the negative criticism from detractors, “we wanted to do something and someone said to me: you know you are a first timer, why do you want to go and spend money to first of all take the drainage out of Nsikak Eduok, Keke goes there to wash their motor whenever it rains, that nobody will see what you are doing that the money can actually do what people will see.”
He said he went ahead with the project since his intention was to serve the people and not to seek vain glory and applause.
“Let God see my heart and what I’m doing will benefit a common man, and then that will change things for people.”
He charged lawyers in CLASFON to represent the core value of Christ and portray Christ-like patterns in dispensing justice so that the confidences of Nigerians in the judiciary will rise to an unprecedented level.
Earlier the Chairman on the occasion, Justice John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court commended the governor for the support to Christian lawyers in the hosting of the event.
He recounted that the fellowship started in 1980 with three senior Lawyers who could not even afford a lunch for the meeting, and appreciated God who has raised the bar, making CLASFON a very large assemblage.
“When I arrived, your Excellency I was told that you did so well to support CLASFON, on behalf of CLASFON I thank you.”
He described Governor Emmanuel as a good man, saying “if the enemies say they will cut short your life, they are wasting their time, I am so excited to part of this conference which God has ordained for us.”
The Supreme Court Justice described Akwa Ibom as a place to be, and said, “it is one of the cleanest city in Nigeria.”