Akpabio’s former CPS mocks Udom Emmanuel over N10bn worship centre

Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel
Udom Emmanuel

Usoro Usoro, a former chief press secretary to immediate past Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has mocked the current administration over its plan to build an 8,500 capacity worship centre in Uyo.

Incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel is committed to building what the state government calls “first of its kind of a standard worship centre for Akwa Ibom State, the only state in the world named after God, 30 years after its creation.”

The government believes its time the state stops moving “from playgrounds to stadia and even uncompleted buildings in search of a conducive non-denominational place to worship, pray and sing praises to God.”

For that reason, Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God was invited to lay the foundation of the centre estimated to cost N10billion on January 21.

Usoro, a journalist and columnist with The Sun newspapers, is, however, not impressed with the investment.

The satirist, in a Twitter post on Sunday, wrote that with the centre, “all unemployed youths and forgotten villages with dilapidated infrastructure can go there to get their ‘miracles’”!

Governor Emmanuel, who calls himself spiritual leader of the state, narrowly escaped death when the roof of the newly built Reigners Bible Church International collapsed in Uyo on December 10, 2016, killing at least 30 people.

The government still owes N100 million as outstanding medical bills accumulated by patients who received treatment in private hospitals in the state capital.

On funding for the new worship centre, Emmanuel said during the foundation laying ceremony: “We have found favour in the eyes of the Lord, and it’s instructive to note that religious bodies, non-profit organisations and even individuals from all over the world heeded our call for support to actualise this dream,” adding that “government’s contribution is a very negligible percentage.”

Figures released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) places Akwa Ibom as the state with the second highest unemployment rate in Nigeria, despite receiving over N2 trillion in federal allocations from 2007 to 2015.

Akpabio governed the state for eight years, handing over to Emmanuel, who served under him as Secretary to the State Government, on May 29, 2015.