Entertainers kick-off 2023 Ibom Entertainment Week, Friday, to celebrate outgoing Gov Emmanuel
By Itoro Bassey
Entertainers in Akwa Ibom State, comprising singers, actors, presenters, dancers, musicians, and comedians, among other artistes in the entertainment industry, are bringing the entertainment world to Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital, with the Third Edition of Ibom Entertainment Week scheduled to hold between Friday, May 19 and Sunday, May 21, 2023.
At a media briefing to unveil the 2023 Ibom Entertainment Week held at Dueua Hotels, Uyo, on Tuesday, Mr David Sergeant, the SA to the Governor on Entertainment, said the three-day event tagged: “Gratitude” is being packaged by entertainers across the state to celebrate outgoing Governor Udom Emmanuel for his exceptional leadership and good governance that have brought sustainable infrastructural development and unprecedented economic growth in all sectors of the state, including the entertainment industry.
Mr. Sergeant, better known as Utang Akwa Ibom, who noted that series of entertainment events have been put together to mark the occasion, said the celebration would start with a gratitude road walk on Friday by 7 am, where over 10,000 entertainers are expected to march from Ibom Plaza through the streets of Uyo to the Government House, and in the process, will intimate residents on Governor Emmanuel’s remarkable achievements.
The line-up of activities marking the 2023 Ibom Entertainment Week also show that the first ever Ibom Entertainment Award Nite will hold on Saturday, May 20, by 7 p.m., while on Sunday, May 21, beginning from 4 p.m., the organizers said the state would stand still for entertainers at the mega thank-you concert scheduled to hold at the water fountain, along 4–Lanes, by Nwanina Road, Uyo.
During the award ceremony, Mr Sergeant said entertainment fans would be allowed to nominate deserving awardees into different categories of awards spread across the 13 sub-sectors that make up the entertainment industry in Akwa Ibom State.
According to the governor’s aide, key players from the entertainment industry will be on hand to thrill Akwa Ibomites. From Mr Xto, Sir Wilker Jackson, Ikpa Udo, General Odey, E-Plus, MC George, Comedian A1, to many other artistes will be making hit performances, sharing and developing ideas that would shape the future of the entertainment industry.
He said: “We have never had it so good before. This is the first time we are having a governor in the person of His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel who has decided to work with almost all the entertainers because he has appointed special assistants in all the sub-sectors in the entertainment industry.
“Just as he has succeeded in government sectors, like education, health, security, economy, infrastructure, agriculture/agribusiness, youth, and sports development, His Excellency has also touched the lives of entertainers.
“Mr Udom Emmanuel is the first governor in the history of this country to recognize entertainers to the point of appointing them into his cabinet. During his first term, we had about eight entertainers appointed by His Excellency the governor. In the second term, we had almost 11 entertainers working with the governor.
“The governor has not only given us appointments, he also provided an enabling environment for us to thrive in our entertainment and show businesses. That’s why we want to celebrate and thank him. I can say that the people of Akwa Ibom will enjoy because all the shows are free. We know well that as we appreciate our boss, the incoming governor will also see the need to do more for the entertainers”.
David Sergeant, who was accompanied by the Chairman of the events planning committee and SA to the Governor on projects, Mr. Godfada Uko, president of Ibom Comedians Guild, MC–Mista, popular Akwa Ibom xylophonist, Udo Mariam, and coordinators of entertainment groups during the conference, assured that the 2023 Ibom Entertainment Week would accommodate not less than 160 indigenous artistes, the figure which, he said, would be greater than the 156 and 139 recorded in the 2022 and 2021 editions respectively.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Godfada Uko assured all Akwa Ibom residents and fun -seekers of a well-loaded Ibom Entertainment Week filled with fun and thrills, saying the event would further open up economic opportunities for small and medium-scale operators, adding that adequate security arrangements have been put in place for all attendees in the respective venues.