A group in Akwa Ibom State has appealed to the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, to name the Akwa Ibom International Airport after the former governor of the state, Victor Attah.
The group, Greater Peoples Forum for Social Economic Development, said on Monday in a statement issued in Uyo that it would be of “tremendous” benefit to the state and the people if such honour is given to the former governor.
“Obong Victor Attah fought and won several battles for Akwa Ibom state, the chief among them being the 13 per cent oil derivation fund which we are currently enjoying in the state. It will be a befitting recognition and honour, therefore, if we as a people do at least this one thing for him,” said the statement, signed by the group’s President, Emmanuel Udofia.
The group said now was the best time to honour Mr Attah.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel, from his utterances and actions, has proven that his administration stands for political inclusiveness, peace, and the overall well-being of Akwa Ibom State.
“Any person that sees the iconic group photograph of Governor Emmanuel, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and Obong Victor Attah, where the governor stands in the middle and all the three leaders put on white traditional wears, a critical look at that photograph will reveal that there is a spiritual dimension to Governor Udom Emmanuel becoming the governor of the state against all the odds.
“An international stadium has been named after Senator Godswill Akpabio, while the beautiful state secretariat has been named after the former governor, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga. It is only natural at this point in our history that the Akwa Ibom International Airport be named after Obong Victor Attah,” the group said.
“Your Excellency, we know that you are a leader with a good heart. We know that you mean well for the state and the people. You have thought us, through the Dakkada creed, to be courageous and to rise up to the faith of greatness. We implore you to rise up with courage and give Obong Attah his due honour, and the people, even the generations yet unborn, will live to appreciate you for this.”
The Akwa Ibom airport is wholly owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
The administration of Mr Attah conceived and began building the airport in 2006, but its first phase was completed in 2009 by Mr Akpabio’s administration.
The current administration is building a second runway at the airport.