By Nkeremwen Cosmas
Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and his Katsina State counterpart, Right Hon. Aminu Masari have said they are committed to forging a relationship towards a united Nigeria.
Governor Emmanuel who spoke at the palace of the Emir of Katsina, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Abdulmumini Usman, said the two sister states of Akwa Ibom and Katsina had planned to mark their 30th anniversary celebrations in a special way and that is why they both agreed to come together to celebrate it.
According to him “I think we have a lot of destiny between these two states and it is our renewed hope that what we are building on today, we will take it to the highest level.”
The governor explained to the monarch that his inability to visit the palace when he was in Katsina about a week ago was because as protocol demands, he needed to be on hand to receive the Vice -President who was visiting Akwa Ibom for the celebration.
Emmanuel said as government, he appreciate the true sense of leadership that the Emirate Council has demonstrated in fostering unity in the country especially through statements and positions of the Council in some burning national issues.
He also expressed his pleasantness to the Emirate Council and the government and people of Katsina state for their accommodating spirit of Akwa Ibom indigenes posted to the state for Youth Service as they were now beginning to speak Hausa language and assured of the safety of Katsina state’s indigenes serving in Akwa Ibom state.
A Katsina official welcoming Emmanuel while Masari,(m) looks on
Speaking further, Emmanuel admonished that intermarriages between the two states will further cement the bond of unity of the two states as no man on earth determined where he was born.
The governor assured the people of Katsina his government’s unflinching loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
On his part, Masari said what Katsina state has started with Akwa Ibom should be emulated by other states. He warned the people not to allow the elites to divide the country, assuring that both states are committed to take the bond of their creations to another level.
Going memory lane, Masari recalled that when Shehu Shagari wanted to contest the President in 1979, he got more votes in the old Rivers and Cross River states than what he got in Sokoto (before the creation of Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom from those states).
While noting that there is a bond of relationship that has always existed between North and South-South, Masari added that “the people of South-South has always identified with the people of the North politically.”
He said the bond that has now been established by the two states would be further cemented when the Emir visits Akwa Ibom to see that parts of the Country.
In his remarks, the Emir, said like twins, though the two states were created same day, Katsina was older. He said Katsina as a state is a home of hospitality and the Emirate Council will not condone any form of discrimination against anyone living in Katsina.
He said as a demonstration of the desire towards the unity of the country and brotherliness with other tribes in the country, there are Igbos and Yorubas who are working in the palace. He said every Nigerian was free to live and work in any part of the country without fear because of tribe and religion.
The high point of the occasion was the presentation of the 30th Anniversary Roll of Honour Medal to the Emir by governor Udom Emmanuel as well the presentation of a Horse and Royal Regalia to the governor by the Emir.