JOE EFFIONG, UYO
Barely seven years after its foundation stone was laid by Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the Federal Polytechnic Ukana, in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom State has finally moved to its permanent site.
The formal relocation took place on Thursday where religious leaders prayed not only to dedicate the new campus, but also for the well-being of the staff, students, and even the host community management of the institution.
In his remarks, the rector of the polytechnic, Dr. Uduak Sunday Ukekpe, said the religious event was to formally hand over the affairs of the Institution to God for His guidance and direction and to dedicate all activities to Him.
Ukekpe said with the exercise, the polytechnic will have made God the chief cornerstone of the institution which will yield greater exploits in the new year. According to him, the reason for this Solemn Assembly can not be over emphasised, hence needs to be observed.
“One of the reason for this religious converge is to thank God for those you who have been antagonising the polytechnic, we need to thank God for thwarting their evil plots and also making the Polytechnic gain more strengths through their criticism” he said.
Again he highlighted the second reason, is to thank God for those who have been supportive to the progress of the institution that God should continue to protect and bless them.
“The stage we are now is far from when we want to be, we have gathered to ask God to continue to be with us until we get to where we want to be, hence this solemn assembly is organized”.he said.
He posited that it is his intention to grow the polytechnic to a level where it will be recognized as one of the best three institutions in the country.
The former council chairman of Essien Udim, who spearheaded the acquisition of the permanent site of the institution, praised the rector for his effort to grow the polytechnic to the present level.
He lamented that though thecommunity sacrificed their massive land for the school to be sited therein, no native of his community has so far been employed there, but expressed the hope that the anomaly would corrected
Mr Ibanga Akpabio who respresents Ukana host community in the governing council of the school, enthused that what used to be a jungle a few years ago has now turned into a glorious citadel of learning.
He said there was however more job to be done provided the political gladiators in the area would use politics for development instead of it see as a game of destruction.
While delivering the homily, Rev. Emmanuel Ekere, who later dedicated the institution, admonished the polytechnic congregation on the topic ” Stand Firm, Hold on”, taking his text from the book of Exodus 14 : 13″.
He said ” when you refuse to change your mind on a particular thing irrespective of the persecution, that means you are standing firm “. When you have God to backing you up
and directing you ways, you are indeed standing firm”. He added.
He charged the institution to stand firm in God at all times as it is the sure way of attracting His unending blessings.