NBS Report: I won’t give my advice on the Pages of a Newspaper – Sen. Udoedehe

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Sen. James Akpan Udoedehe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has insisted on not advising the present government of Akwa Ibom State on the pages of a Newspaper, what it should do regarding the recent unemployment rating of the State by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The Secretary of the APC Congress Caretaker Committee gave his stance when the Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) had his audience on Saturday, August 29, 2020.

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The business man, Pastor and politician who sits on the board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and a two-term governorship aspirant for the State gubernatorial election, gave his reason as being that his advice was not needed by the present government since he was not a member of its cabinet.

He however noted that APC will look into the issue of unemployment frankly in due course.

“I won’t give my advice on the pages of a newspaper. The present government does not need my advice, as I am not a member of its cabinet. “We (the APC) will address the NBS report on Akwa Ibom unemployment rate very soon. The opposition must study it, because it is a party versus party issue.”

Speaking on why the APC is often passive in political activities and actions, as well as the forthcoming Local Government elections in the State, the ordained Pastor stated that “the issue with the Local government election has to do with constitutional amendment. It is not peculiar to Akwa Ibom State alone”. He however averred that for the State, the election has always been a roll call of the government, “so, we don’t need to overheat the system. If you expect APC to go to local government election in Akwa Ibom state, it is a waste of time. Why do you want to go to a battle that is already won?”, he enquired.

Furthermore, Udoedehe decried the misconception of an opposition Party by some persons who interpret questions asked, as criticism or hatred for the government.

“We need to be educated politically to understand the position of the opposition. We need to educate Akwa Ibomites on what opposition is all about. Here, the arguments and questions of the opposition are often perceived as criticism instead of being seen as a call for appropriate action”.

Relating this norm to the high level of poverty in the State, Sen. Udoedehe observed that “the level of human worship and reverence shows the depth of poverty in Akwa Ibom State. Imagine a man calling another man ‘God’ and kneeling down at an event just for you to throw money on them. So, there is poverty in the land…there must be a programme everyone can key in to eradicate poverty irrespective of their party. Government programmes should cut across party lines, religion and tribe. Security is not all about alms, it is about eradicating poverty and idleness. If a government policy fails, the government has failed. An idle man is the devil’s workshop and if you want to address the issue of development, you must answer the question of poverty”, he expressed.

Speaking on his new course of life as a clergyman, the Senator told COOPA that he was counting his gains as a follower of Christ. “People should know that politics does not stop one from being a genuine Christian. It pays to serve Christ. The only assignment I have to do is God’s will.  I preach everywhere I go. I talk about Jesus Christ, and I model my life after Him. I will mark my first anniversary as a Pastor by praising God. My pastoral call has nothing to do with politics. I am not a theological pastor; I am a pastor by prophecy”, he said.

While lauding Governor Emmanuel on his proscription of cultism in the State, the Uyo indigene charged members of the public to refrain from secret societies and its likeness. ”I agree with Governor Udom Emmanuel that no cultist should rule Akwa Ibom because when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. It might be fashionable for you to form a pact with Satan to belong or to become, but the repercussions are unimaginable. Our people should live a righteous life and follow Christ. The gains are much.”

The APC caretaker committee Secretary who did not fail to recall his antecedents in the governorship race of Akwa Ibom, expressed confidence that the 2023 guber will favour him. “I have paid my dues, it is now my turn to become the Governor of Akwa Ibom State. Nobody will take it from me. The fabrications against me are all lies. I’m well learned, educated and travelled. People are agitating because they don’t like what comes from within them”, he said.