A Clergyman has described the recent rating of Akwa Ibom State as one with the highest cost of living in Nigeria, as propaganda taken too far.
The clergy, Rev. Richard Peters, said this when he spoke about the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) rating to Platinum.ng on Thursday, March 21.
In his opinion, Rev. Peters noted that series of unsubstantiated, laughable and unverified propaganda linked to those who were defeated, have filled the air since the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded elections in the State.
He described the recent rating of HIV prevalence and the NBS assessment as executive lies by the bodies. “First, we were told that Akwa Ibom State is top on the list of states with HIV/AIDS cases. While we were still laughing at such executive lie, they bombarded us with another big one, deceiving us that Akwa Ibom tops the chart in terms of high cost of living. This is again laughable”.
“There is no accuracy, truth, sense and any justification as far as these recent ratings are concerned”, he said.
He explained that “there is food sufficiency in Akwa Ibom State. Apart from the fact that the government of Gov. Udom Emmanuel has invested so much in Agriculture in addition to empowerment of both subsistence and commercial farmers in the state, an average Akwa Ibom person is industrious, creative and productive”.
“I have interacted with people from both urban and rural communities of Akwa Ibom State, and none has complained of high cost of living”.
How can the cost of living in Akwa Ibom be said to be high when one can comfortably buy not less than 8 cups of garri for 200 naira? How is the cost of living high when people can still rent a single room at 30,000 per annum, or less, depending on the location? In fact, this is nothing but a post-election tantrum”, the clergyman said.
“I strongly believe that a person who has failed woefully to impress his people in a contest, if not guided can do anything as an expression of anger”, he continued.
“I won’t be surprised if Akwa Ibom is also rated the highest in having number of Internally Displaced Persons; highest victims of Boko Haram insurgents; highest number of Lassa fever patients, to mention but a few. This is indeed preposterous”, he lamented.
He compared the population of the State to that of Lagos state and wondered what informed Akwa Ibom’s position as number 1.
He also recollected that the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel “has revolutionised the health sector in the state. Our hospitals are equipped to standard, and any medical interventions available to HIV/AIDS patients elsewhere are also available to patients in the state”.
“Again, Public Service Announcements on the need for people to refrain from unprotected and illicit sex have been sponsored by the state government in different media stations. What else would a responsible government do in this regard than what Gov. Emmanuel is doing?”, he wondered.
He posited that Akwa Ibom people know the truth and will not “be intimidated by any satanic report. Infact, whose report should we believe? Is it the report of God that Akwa Ibom is a great and prosperous state, or that of the devil that we have the highest number of HIV/AIDS patients?”, he queried.
“We are a people blessed by God. Our land is rich and our soil fertile. We won’t be deterred from believing in ourselves, as contained in the Dakkada creed of the present administration”.
Whatever NBS want to publish about Akwa Ibom State is left for them. As for us, we are moving forward. Gov. Emmanuel is taking us to places, and more foreigners are coming in to invest in the state. More jobs will be created, in addition to the ones created in the first four years of Gov. Emmanuel administration”.
“No satanic report will stop us, because we are determined to rise and achieve greatness”, Rev. Peters concluded.