Afi-Uko Ntighe bridge project executed by Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has been inaugurated.
The Afi-Uko Ntighe bridge which is part of the 19km Etebi-Enwang road linking Mbo and Esit Eket local government communities becomes the fourth longest bridge in Nigeria following the 10.5Km Third Mainland Bridge, 1.36Km Lekki–Ikoyi Link Bridge, 1.35Km Eko Bridge and followed closely by the River Niger Bridge measuring 1.024Km.
Inaugurating the bridge project at Afi -Uko, Mbo, the immediate past Nigerian President and Special Guest at the event, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan GCFR, described the bridge as unique and a flagship project of the Udom Emmanuel led- administration.
He posited that the bridge, besides being the fourth longest in the country is the longest ever constructed by a state government in Nigeria.
The former President extolled Governor Emmanuel’s ingenuity in leadership, explaining that his strategic development plan has delivered great dividends to the people of his state, such that has given hope to the nation’s democracy.
Dr Jonathan observed that the bridge is of great value as it would promote economic growth and improve the lives of the people.
“Bridges are very useful. I commend the governor very very sincerely, and his team for this visionary leadership. I’m very delighted to be here again to bear witness to the considerable development strides recorded in Akwa Ibom State.
” What I see whenever I visit Akwa Ibom is a substantial evidence of well structured growth promoting projects in the last seven and a half years of my younger brother, Governor Udom Emmanuel, ” he stated.
Describing as worrisome the negative energies being exerted ahead of the 2023 election, the ex-President said Nigeria needs more people like Udom Emmanuel to ensure that her democracy is not drained, adding that it takes a leader with total commitment to improving the quality of life of his people to embark on such projects that Governor Emmanuel is identified with.
“He’s a young, innovative, peace loving and committed nation builder. The governor has an enviable bridge building disposition. The type that helps to cement the fibre of our unity and makes our unique diversity more profitable.
“People like him are the stars and heroes of our democracy. He does not build physical bridges alone, but also build human and social bridges”, Dr. Jonathan affirmed.
The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, attributed the success of the project and other accomplishments of his administration to God, thanking him for wisdom, capacity and drive to make things happen.
This, he maintained, is evident in the state hosting the only MRO and the smartest Airport Terminal Building in Africa, the only subnational owned airline and other developments.
He thanked the former President for identifying with the state and the host communities for supporting the project, restating the commitment of his administration to fulfill his promises to the people through undistracted service.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Election Council stressed the need for Akwa Ibom and other South-South state’s to support PDP to take over the centre, with certainty that an Atiku Abubakar led federal government will help secure and consolidate on the Industrialization drive of the state government.
Presenting an overview of the project, the State Commissioner for Works, Professor Eno Ibanga, gave dimensions of the bridge as 1,150 meters long, with 52 spans of 22.5m each sitting on 408 piles with 416 main beams of 22.5m and attested to the quality and adherence to stipulated standards.
Personalities present to witness the inauguration spoke glowingly of Governor Emmanuel’s innovations and political will to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of the state without much noise.
Among those who presented goodwill messages were former governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, the Catholic Metropolitan Priest of Calabar Archdiocese, Most Reverend Dr. Joseph Ekuwem, Member representing Mbo in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Effiong Johnson, National Presidents of the Nigerian Society Engineers, NSE, Engr. Babagana Mohammed, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, Mallan Muktar Sirajo and that of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Chris Isiguzo.