The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has called on the people of the state to shun divisiveness of the Ibiobio nationality because it represented the entire Akwa Ibom people.
The governor said this on Monday at the inauguration ceremony of the 2,500 Asan Ibibio Edifice.
He lamented that such divisiveness had resulted in deviation from the ideals of the Ibibio forebears who paid no attention to trivial differences that only ended up in reducing the Ibibio into segments.
He said, “Ibibio connotes the entire Akwa Ibom. Ibibio does not refer to the tribal sentiments some people are trying to play with now. Not at all.
“We had the likes of Chief Sampson Udoidiong, Akpabio, Attah, and others who formed what was then called the Ibibio State Union, with which they started the agitation for the Akwa Ibom State we have today.
“So when we are talking about the Ibibios, it refers to the entire Akwa Ibom people and even some across the rivers”, Udom said.
He explained that the Asan Ibibio edifice was built to strengthen the heritage and unity of the Ibibio people and by extension, the entire Akwa Ibom State and called on the people to own up the Asan as a symbol of unity and utilize the economic advantage of various components of the edifice which, he maintained, had the largest auditorium in the state with modern facilities for conventions, conferences, wedding ceremonies, among other events.
Also speaking, the Governor-elect, Pastor Umo Eno, said that the inauguration of the Asan marked the beginning of a new era of unity for the Ibibios and urged all Akwa Ibom people to bury the disaffection that could thwart the growth and development of the state.
In his remarks, Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Professor Eno Ibanga, said the auditorium, completed with three galleries, had a 2,500 seater capacity, larger than any event centre in the state.
He added that the facility had seven offices, three conference venues of 200 capacity each, 25 conveniences and a parking space with a capacity for 200 cars.
In his goodwill message, the President-General, Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers Council and Oku Ibom Ibibio, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk, described the governor’s gesture as housing and covering for the nakedness of the Ibibios and prayed the blessings of the fathers of the land on him.