The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong has commended the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel over his concerted move to carve a definite and organic identity for the people of Akwa Ibom through a universally acceptable Anthem , Coat Of Arm, Flag, and Emblem.
The commissioner made the commendations during a public hearing on a Bill for a law to establish and regulate, Akwa Ibom State official symbols, and for other matters connected therewith, which took place at the Old Chapel Auditorium, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Complex in Uyo.
The Commissioner emphasized that the quest by the Akwa Ibom State Government to have a distinct and a recognisable identity was borne out of the acceptance of a preponderant similarities existing amongst states, tribe, countries and purpose, and with the consciousness that despite the glaring similarities there were still manifest differences existing between one state to another and therefore it became imperative for Akwa Ibom people and the state to be clearly defined through a commonly shared heritage and ideologies.
He espoused that all over the world, people, states and countries have always sort to acquire features that would differentiate them from competing and complementing peers, thus the desire by the state government to use the historic 33rd anniversary of state creation to introduce critical identity items like the proposed State Anthem, Coat Of Arm and Emblem was a commendable move by the Udom Emmanuel-led administration.
He further explained that identity sticks with humans and usually becomes synonymous with its bearers over a period of time and called for a deeper reflection of the proposed symbols which would later adorn the state as timeless symbols that would distinguished Akwa Ibom in the comity of states.
The state spokesman hinted that the symbols were selected through a citizen-participatory processes which made it very competitive and further applauded Members of the State House Of Assembly for their Intellectual Inputs and for the accelerated hearing with which the bill has been given.
Responding to questions from newsmen shortly after his keynote address, the information helmsman justified the move by the state government as a right step in the right direction towards given Akwa Ibom State and its people an identity through unique optics and symbols that would resonate with the ideologies of her founding fathers which would be appreciated and acceptable globally. He commended Governor Emmanuel for his continued commitment to foster peace and unity amongst the people.
Also addressing the public hearing , the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly ( AKHA ), Rt Hon. Aniekan Bassey stated that the bill was forwarded to the House by the executive arm of government for considerations and possible passage into law, thus it became imperative and appropriate for the House to conduct a public hearing as a deliberate policy of the 7th Assembly in order to ensure maximal participation of the Akwa Ibom people.
The Speaker also noted that the bill when passed into law, will give the people and the state a greater sense of pride and further unite the people, raised their hope and emboldened the uniqueness of the state. In compliance with the open policy of the House, he urged all stakeholders to freely interact, debate, contributes and called for civility and self – restrained in stating divergent opinions.
In a similar remark, the Member, representing Etinan State Constituency and the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Information, Hon. ( Bar. ) Aniefiok Dennis, expressed optimism that the members of the state legislature would bring their legislative competence to bear in the deliberations and eventual passage of the bill into Law.
The Lawmaker noted that the general principles of the bill has sufficiently indicated that when passed into law, the bill will entrench pride, hope, reference as well as inspire sentiments and psychological attachment between the people and the state.
Other lawmakers present at the public hearing included: Deputy Chairman, Akwa Ibom State House Committee on Information and Member, representing Mkpat Enin State Constituency, Hon. Victor Ekwere, and other Members of the Committee on Information.
Notable stakeholders at the public hearing: were members of Civil Liberty Organizations ( CLOs ), Akwa Ibom State Branch, Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Akwa Ibom State Branch, Bar. Aniema Etuk, Director of Strategy in the State Ministry of information and Strategy, Mr. Joseph Stem, Assistant Director in charge of Ikot Ekpene Zone, Mr. Aniekan Ukpong, Curators of National Museums, and many other dignitaries.
The Public Hearing was at the instance of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Information and also featured presentation of Memoranda by various stakeholders.