Mixed reactions trail A’Ibom Gov. declaration of Farm holiday

Paulinus Nta

The recent declaration of first and last Fridays of every month, as holidays to enable Akwa Ibom people engage in farming activities to mitigate the current food crisis in the state, by the governor, has generated commendations and knocks by residents of the state.

The state governor, Pastor Umo Eno, had on 1st May, during the Workers Day Celebration, made the declaration..

A retired director from the ministry of Agriculture and Food sufficiency, Dr. Emmanuel Akpabio, while reacting to questions from our reporter, described the policy as vocal exercise that will have no practical impact, except the governor personally constitute a non- partisan task force, whose progress will be monitored and reviewed periodically.

He expressed dismay over what he described as eye -and- lip service attitude to agriculture by successive administrations in the state.

According to him, no agricultural policy and programe will work untill the government demonstrates sufficient political will, sincerity and separate politics from governance.

Dr. Akpabio berated the former state governor, Udom Emmanuel for playing politics with agricultural projects in the last eight years.

He called on past. Umo Eno to engage real farmers with attractive motivation meaningful encouragement and particularly, disband the much -criticized market unions, if intends to make any impact at the end of his tenure.

He appreciated the governor for his goodwill, humility, simplicity and Political inclusiveness, but noted with regret that the governor’s political environment has no capacity to translate his political philosophy to physical reality.

Also speaking, a special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Mobilization, Ubong Frank said the governor has demonstrated sufficient sincerity to mitigate the effects of food Scarcity, which is occasioned by rising cost of petroleum products.

He however agreed that the project needs proper mechanism for monitoring and evaluation, but said the governor should first be appreciated and encouraged to do more.

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