The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, has restated the commitment of the Commission to complete all on-going projects in the nine Niger Delta states.
Mr Ekere was speaking at the funeral service held in honour of Elder Inyang Willie Akpan, a one-time sole administrator of Southern Uruan Local Government Area and Caretaker Chairman of both Ikono and Obot Akara LGAs, at the Primary School, Afaha Itam in Itu, Akwa Ibom State on Saturday.
In addition to completing on-going projects, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer promised that the Commission will construct the Mbiabong-Mkpanobong-Itam Road in Itu LGA next year. He declared: “We shall send a team to carry out a survey of the road. We shall in the year 2017 construct the road in the memory of Elder Akpan. We will be glad if at the completion of the project the local government can name the road after him.”
He appealed to the people to continue to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the other levels of government in the country, stating that he was confident that the policies of the Federal Government would bring the country out of recession very soon.
He remarked that Itu and Ibiono local government areas benefited from many NDDC projects because they had a very vibrant member in the Senate for many years. “I know that Senator Ita Enang, who represented Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial district in the National Assembly attracted many NDDC projects to the area,” he said.
Speaking about the departed Elder Akpan, Mr Ekere said: “I did not have the privilege of meeting our daddy, but I have known his son, Nseobot Willie, for the past ten years. And if the qualities I have seen in Nse are a reflection of who his father was, then I can easily say he was a good man, because it takes a good man to raise a good son.”
He noted that the joy of every man was to be old enough to raise good children that would carry on with his legacies, adding that the late Akpan lived a fulfilled life, raising children that will not be a reproach to him.
Mr Ekere again commiserated with the Akwa Ibom State Government and families of the victims of the recent Reigners Bible Church building collapse in Uyo. He said that the tragedy which occurred while thousands of worshippers were inside the church was avoidable.
“That tragedy affected the entire state. Our prayer is that this type of affliction will not arise a second time,” he said.
Mr Ekere prayed for the repose of the souls of the dead and God’s healing upon those who were at different hospitals with injuries sustained during the collapse. “I wish them quick recovery. And I pray for comfort to their souls, spirits and bodies and declare that this tragedy will not befall us again,” he said.
He said that at this time when Christians all over the world were preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, everyone should pray fervently to God, so that this season would not be one of tears and sorrow, but would truly be one of peace, joy, charity and goodwill to all men.
The officiating minister, Rev Dr Moses Edem, extolled the virtues of the late Willie Akpan, remarking that he lived a life worthy of emulation. He commended the NDDC Chief Executive Officer for identifying with the people of the area as well as the church.