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Nigerians React As Akwa Ibom Unveils N32bn Dolphin Shaped International Worship Center (Photos)

  • Former Governor Emmanuel, who built the church, had said it was of great significance to a state named after God.
  • residents of the state had faulted the rationale behind the project

Nigerians have expressed both Negative and positive views about the construction of a massive mult-billion-naira International Worship Center built by the Akwa Ibom State Government.

It was gathered that the edifice, whose construction started in 2021 under the Udom Emmanuel administration, reportedly cost N32.3 billion naira.

Former Governor Emmanuel, who built the church, had said it was of great significance to a state named after God and consisting of a 99% Christian population.

Emmanuel added that the building would be an altar that will perpetually draw God’s pleasure and blessings to the people of the state.

Following the development, residents of the state had faulted the rationale behind the project, labelling the project as a “misplaced priority”.

However, the state government dismissed the critics, saying they were hypocrites.

Although the former governor said the church would be completed at the end of 2022, the inauguration was moved to May 28, 2023.

In an X post on Tuesday, Govenror Umo Eno disclosed that government officials and other political stakeholders held a “Special Inter-denominational Thanksgiving/New Year Service” at the worship centre.

He wrote: “As we usher in the new year, I joined my wife, Her Excellency, Pastor (Mrs) Patience Umo Eno, Deputy Governor, Her Excellency, Dr Akon Eyakenyi, members of the State Executive Council, and esteemed political stakeholders in a Special Inter-denominational Thanksgiving/New Year Service at the International Christian Worship Center, Uyo.”

The post by the governor has sparked fresh criticisms on social media platforms with many criticising the rationale behind the construction.

See some of the reactions below.

@blisstip wrote: “Mr Governor, happy new year. While you are inaugurating the worship center, there is hunger in the land. This data is from the @WFP hunger map. What is the economic significance of this center?”

@christiptop wrote: “Sir this is a pure waste of resources. More than half of your citizens are living in poverty with majority of them still doing gateman and househelp in people’s homes.

This money could have been channeled into poverty alleviation programs or into massive job creation projects. There are more than enough church buildings in your state with are mostly empty on Sundays. Mega is not what the state requires. No offence meant.”

@realamonal wrote: “Didn’t you know that building industries where the citizens would work with that fund could have been better? I see that project as a conduit for money laundering.”

@Ebobae_Okoli wrote: “Omo, you just wasted 36B on a project that doesn’t contain upto 50,000 capacity. That’s fraudulent. There are things you don’t use God’s name to do. This is one of it.”

@niskool wrote: “You sat down in your exco meeting, with 70% youth unemployment, and decided to build a worship center.

“A banker, a capitalist, an economist. You are empty. If I ever become a governor I’ll convert that waste of space to a business center or a mall. Unam ikot.”

@julischimanbah wrote: “It’s a total waste of tax payers money. God forbid. I thought you guys are educated and we’ll expose? You travel everywhere, how many foreign governors in the USA and Europe can try this ? That money shared to 30,000 akwaibomites is 1m each .. get sense”

@platidoe wrote: “This is what you Could budget…a whole State 32billion for? Tax payers money…. needless of talking much. Karma will finds its root soon.”

@wilexmaze wrote: “You categorically said that there’s no money in Akwa Ibom state to continue The Ibom Tropicana project, yet you spent billions putting up this, to the benefit of no one but you.”

@dapsieb wrote: “Better to convert it into a mall but I’m sure any one that makes such a move would be called an agent of Satan in a deeply religious country like ours.“

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