Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo has called on politicians across the country to bury their political differences and join hands with President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government to work for the common good of Nigerians.
Ekpo who stated this at a Thanksgiving Service held at Our Lady of Mercy Chaplaincy, Abak, Akwa Ibom State, pledged to collaborate with the state Governor, Pastor Umo Eno for the growth and development of the state.
The Thanksgiving was held to commemorate Ekpo’s appointment as minister, the emergence of Senator Godswill Akpabio as President of the Senate, and the Supreme Court affirmation of President Tinubu’s February 25 electoral victory.
It was Ekpo’s first visit to the State following his swearing in as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
At the church service, Ekpo, who read from Psalms 126:1, said his nomination for the office of minister could only have come from God Almighty and that he had returned to give thanks to Him.
The minister who first paid a courtesy visit to Governor Eno at Government House, Uyo before heading for the church service said though he is of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Eno is of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),it was important that those elected or nominated into public offices take a cue from President Tinubu by shunning acts that stoke hatred and division and build bridges that promote love, unity and economic prosperity of citizens.
“There must be an end to politics; we can’t continue to do politics when politics is over…the politics that we play must be the politics of the interest of the people. I am a Minister of Nigeria, and I want to assure you that I will collaborate with you for the development of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria,” Ekpo said.
He commended the governor and people of the state for living in peace and harmony and turning up in their numbers to receive him and also grace the thanksgiving service irrespective of party differences saying the unity that is existing in Akwa Ibom State is wonderful and should be emulated.
Governor Eno, in a speech lauded the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio for his role in recommending Ekpo for the job and also thanked President Tinubu for finding Ekpo, a son of the State, worthy of serving as minister in his cabinet.
Eno, who described guests at the event as coming from various political parties in the State, pledged to continue to work for the peace, unity, and progress of the state.
“This kind of gathering is very uncommon in Akwa Ibom, there is no division in Akwa Ibom State. We have APC and PDP in this gathering as proof that we are one. This is the kind of spirit we will bring to governance in Akwa Ibom State..work across party lines,” he said.
Senator Akpabio described Ekpo as humble and committed to the Nigerian project and commended him for returning to the church to thank God for lifting him to the position of minister in the country.
“The beginning of success is to know God,” Akpabio said.
He assured the people of his willingness to partner Governor Eno to attract development to the state. He also called on him to work for the peace, stability and prosperity of the state.
Catholic Bishop of Ikot Ekpene Diocese, His Lordship, Most. Rev. Camillus R. Umoh commended the spirit of brotherhood displayed by politicians from the APC and PDP in attending the church event even as he offered prayers for God’s mercies and blessings on Ekpo, Eno, Akpabio, Tinubu, the State and Nigeria.
Also in attendance at the event were the Minister’s of Sports, Senator John Eno, State for Health,Tunji Alausa, Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs, Hon. Zephaniah Jisalo, Deputy Governor of the state, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, lawmakers at the Federal and State levels, the Elema of Warri Kingdom, Chief Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan, and his wife, Senator Natasha Akpoti Uduaghan, chairmen of APC and PDP in the state, Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah, commissioners, business mogul/philanthropist, Prince Author Eze, top officials of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and NNPC, captains of industries, clerics, traditional rulers from the state, among others.