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A’Ibom 2023: Umo Eno’s Wide Acceptability and Dissenting Voices

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Richard Peters

Since the unveiling of Pst Umo Eno as Governor Udom Emmanuel’s preferred successor, dissenting voices of the few christened as

of micro-zoning have not seized to lobby for a hearing in the public court of justice, but their efforts have always met the brick wall since theirs is an argument that doesn’t hold water. The exposure of Akwa Ibom people and their experiences over the years have put them in a position where they are good judges of conscience and can never be cowed into supporting an aspirant who won’t take them to where they ought to be. The massive infrastructural achievements of Gov. Udom Emmanuel and the blueprint of a 21st century Akwa Ibom clearly pictured in the global economic map is one that has given him a good place in the hearts of every good conscientious Akwa Ibom person, hence the wide and stressless acceptability of Umo Eno across the length and breadth of Akwa Ibom.

It is common knowledge to know that every leader knows the pains that accompany leadership and such leader has a critical role to play in ensuring that he produces a successor that will sustain such hard earned legacies, especially one gotten through hardship and during the economic downturn caused by the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.The corona virus pandemic that took the world by surprise in early 2020 grounded many world economies, but with Gov. Emmanuel’s excellent and prudent management skills, Akwa Ibom state was still up and doing, projects executed and completed, such that many state Governors came to Akwa Ibom to learn the magic fingers of governance from Udom Emmanuel. Who in Gov. Emmanuel’s shoes would not opt for a capable hand to sustain such legacies? Your guess is as good as mine.

It was as a result of the foregoing that Gov. Emmanuel sought the face of God for a successor. People wailed that it took so much time to name his preferred successor, but in the fullness of time after several confirmations, Pst. Umo Eno was named as a man after God’s heart to lead Akwa Ibom people come 2023.

Before now, the political climate was very tensed with blackmail, propaganda and politics of sentiments and pull-him-down dancing in the air, but after the unveiling, peace came and the hitherto toxic atmosphere was laid to rest. This is the first sign that God is involved in Umo Eno’s aspiration. This is also proven by the wide endorsement and support given to Umo Eno by party delegates, political structures, groups, professional bodies, christian bodies, and the common man in the village.

There is no gainsaying the fact that a good product sells itself. The seller doesn’t struggle to sell a good product. That is why it is not difficult to market Umo Eno who has a clean score sheet in both public and private services. He has served in many companies without any dent, and has run his companies for over 25 years without any dent. What a clean record! This necessitated the massive testimonies about his track records by political stakeholders and people who have had dealings with him in time past.

But why has the heathen raged and the few architects of micro-zoning imagined vain things? Truth is, light and darkness cannot stay under one roof, as one would always swallow up the other. Darkness will never comprehend light. Why the fuming, venting and open declaration of frustration by a few individuals who thought the governorship seat would be given to them as a birthday gift?

Gov. Emmanuel’s preference of Umo Eno does not in anyway close the door for other aspirants to show their popularity. The party is still open for any aspirant to make his intentions known. No order has been given that the party should not sell nomination and declaration of intention forms to others. The doors of consultation are not shut and the gate of endorsement is still wide open, so why the open show of helplessness by a few persons?

Umo Eno who understood the science of governance (maybe because of the fact that he studied political science) did not waste time in selling his ideas and plans to stakeholders of the party, traditional rulers, religious leaders, the youths groups, men and women associations and elders as well as other political blocs available. That is courtesy, respect and humility showcased by a man who understands the mechanics of governance and politics. Such move does not in any way prevent other aspirants from doing their bids, perhaps they may garner a few sympathetic endorsement and kinsmen sundry support. Umo Eno is so smart and ready for this job, and no one can beat that.

Instead of others to follow suit, they are looking for ways to stage violence and kidnapping to paint a picture that Akwa Ibom is not peaceful, so that they can have what to hold to discredit Udom Emmanuel’s administration. But it has failed again as their antics are brought to limelight.

Granted, the political space is like a market place where people go to buy and sell. Buyers go to where they see good products that fancy their desires. Why then are others afraid of marketing their products and ideas? Why is a greater percentage of the aspirants going back to their shelves and a few of their supporters crying and wailing when they have an open market to sample their products? The landmass of Akwa Ibom is said to be occupying over 6 million people, a large market to sell, but why are they against one product (Umo Eno) when they have a larger space to display their goods. Is someone afraid of the intimidating credentials of Umo Eno?

Umo Eno is sharing his ideas on a daily basis, and people are queueing behind his lofty plans and ideas for Akwa Ibom people. His idea of a Youth House for Akwa youths will take many youths off the streets and position them where they shall be useful to the nation. His Agricultural plans will turn Akwa Ibom into the food basket of Africa and his entrepreneurial initiatives will raise many entrepreneurs such as never been heard of in the history of Nigeria. Who would not go for a man who has these and more to offer?

While the people are still celebrating Umo Eno’s Wide endorsement and acceptance, we were greeted with a powerless argument from the number one house of comedy in the state- the APC, where they said the choice of Umo Eno will be the worst thing that would happen to the state. One doesn’t need to waste strength to respond to a party that is on a life support machine; a party that is still divided against itself and one that cannot organize ward congress without war. The APC has lost its little voice in the state and can only show sign of life by communicating through shedding of crocodile tears. The people have noticed their frustration and have sympathized with them.

Finally, it is still difficult to situate the recent attack on the Apostolic Church over what the church described as the home coming of their son. Umo Eno was an ordained pastor of the Apostolic Church before he received the call of God to start his ministry. Leaving the church to start his own didn’t put him at enmity with the body of Christ, as he still maintained a good relationship with the church. His decision to seek the blessing of his fathers at the Akwa Ibom state territory of the Apostolic Church was not out of place. No father would deny to bless a good son who seeks His blessing. Even the Bible records that if an evil father would not give his son who asked for bread a stone, how much more God who is righteous?
A greater percentage of those who fumed and threatened to leave the church if checked, only visit church during children dedication ceremonies or ordination services because their stomachs would be filled.

Needless to say that the Apostolic Church, just like the Akwa Ibom chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) did no wrong to pray for and bless a humble servant who has gone to them for prayers. Any other aspirant can do same, and then we can judge if they would be denied such privilege.

Truth is, darkness will never support light and there is little or nothing one can do about that. Umo Eno is light and those with dark hearts will never say anything good about him. For him to have gone this far in just few weeks of his unveiling is a sign of capacity, passion for leadership and preparedness to still put Akwa Ibom on track, and bring his wealth of experience in the business world to bear in the economic turnaround of our dear state. This is the best gift for Akwa Ibom people. “Mmebó Enö.”

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Status Quo: OBA, Akwa Ibom Absalom on a free fall

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The rebellious disposition of Obong Bassey Albert (OBA) is congenital. His constant biting of the fingers that fed him is a pronounced character that defines his person. That was why the former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Sen. Godswill Akpabio in 2015 referred to Bassey Albert as the biblical Absalom. Remember, OBA was his Commissioner for Finance, but fell out of the grace of his master when he chose the path of the biblical Absalom by betraying his political father. He literally bit the fingers that fed him. He was cursed and declared that he would never have a chance to rule in Akwa Ibom state. Read the story in the link: http://saharareporters.com/2014/07/21/2015-gov-akpabio-curses-guber-aspirants-akwa-ibom-pronounces-death-all-his-opponents .

Akpabio’s anger against OBA started when he(OBA) defied the zoning arrangements of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) wherein they zoned the governorship seat in 2015 to Eket senatorial district. Bassey Albert who hails from Uyo senatorial district decided to aspire as governor against the decision of the party. This implies that OBA’s disloyalty to the party that made him didn’t start today. He is known for fighting his fathers and benefactors: A rebel in the similitude of Lucifer, just like Akpabio addressed him in 2015.

The zoning arrangement in Akwa Ibom state is a long standing one, and power has always been rotating within the 3 senatorial districts of the state. Obong Victor Attah in 1999 took the turn of Uyo Senatorial District, Senator Godswill Akpabio came to power in 2007 for Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, and in 2015, it was the turn of Eket senatorial district, when Mr Udom Emmanuel as at that time came into the political picture for Eket senatorial district. But like a rebel, OBA rose against the long standing political tide. It was at this point that Akpabio called him Absolom, one of David’s sons who rose against his father.

But out of pity and much pleas, OBA was offered the Uyo Senatorial District ticket, panel beaten and “packaged” to the Senate.

Today, the same scenario is playing out. In his usual character of rebellion, he is standing against the tide, the same tide that packaged him in 2015 just to give him a soft landing.

First, he started by agitating for the right of consideration for the governorship seat on the ground that the party promised to give him the party ticket.
If the party had promised him the governorship ticket, why did he not decline to take the senatorial tickets in 2015 and 2019?

Second, as if that is enough, he is sponsored series of attacks on the person of the governor of the state and the Peoples Democratic Party, the party that made him who he is today. He attacks party stakeholders and call everyone names. Is this the type of governor Akwa Ibom people need?

Now, he is conniving with Ephraim Inyang, who has turned himself into the Judas Iscariot of our generation, to attempt to truncate a very peaceful and credible ward congress conducted in the state.

This is exactly what Absalom did. He raised an army against his father. He betrayed his father and the people of Israel.

OBA and Ephraim Inyang have risen against the fingers that fed them and brought them to prominence. They are fanning the embers of disloyalty and destruction of the party that made them. What a height of betrayal?

Finally, on the status quo issue, the PDP should put their house in order, stand with the governor and mobilize the delegates to support Umo Eno, and OBA will be beaten hands down.

His last move to seek court injunction to stop the ad-hoc delegates from voting is aimed at sending fear to weak hearts. This alone should boost the people’s morale to stand against his disloyalty to the party. The party should massively vote him out of the race. The PDP is too big for one person to destroy.

Richard Peters

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Alleged Electoral fraud: Prof. Uduk’s lawyer plans to abandon case

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If the recent absence of Prof Uduk in court is anything to come buy, indications are that the defence lawyer, Abasidiong Ekpeyong is planning to prevent the prevalence of justice by frustrating the conclusion of the trial, having exhausted and exploited all available legal tactics at his disposal.

All clues point to the assumption that he connived with his client not to appeal in court at the next adjourned date of 18th Wednesday where he will be expected to open his defence in the trial that has been delayed by the defence team unwilling to open his defence for a period of five months.

It will be recalled that INEC’s prosecution counsel had closed its case since on the 27th of January after calling five witnesses some of whom the defence lawyer could not cross examined and had tendered several documentary evidences to prove the criminal attempt to up-turn the North West senatorial election in the 2019 election.

The no case submission filed, had been Dismissed at the on the 23rd of April sitting by the erudite Justice Bassey Nkanang for lacking merit.

At the last court sitting, the defence lawyer tested the waters when he deliberately failed to come to court with the defendant, Professor lgnatius Uduk who ought to be in court at every court sitting, given that the case is a criminal trial.

That the defendant will always be in court was one of the conditions for the bail granted him that he will make himself available throughout the duration of the trial. But at the last court sitting, the accused initially was not in court when the case was called and the matter had to be stood down for professor Uduk to be brought to the court.

It would be recalled that the professor was compelled to appear in court only after a bench warrant was issued by the court for his arrest after evading Court summons and was hiding in Abuja.

The reluctant defence lawyer pleaded to be given more time and asked for any date in the month of June but the court order for both counsel to choose a date within the next ten days.

Even though the defence counsel’s dairy was free within the period, yet he refused and when both counsel could not agree on a day, the court fixed on the 18th of May for the defence to open his case and matter adjourned.

The defence lawyer and the accused may not appear in court on Wednesday as being contemplated and this may lead to the revocation of the bail earlier granted professor Uduk by the court or in the alternative, he will appear but his lawyer will not come to court to avoid opening his defence and thus compel the court to adjourn the matter again to frustrate the case.

The people of Akwa lbom state and Nigerians are waiting the outcome of this case whether the justice Bassey Nkanang will courageously do justice and it will be served timely and irrespective of position in status of the parties before the court.

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GOV EMMANUEL ADVISES WARD COUNCILLORS TO BE AGENTS OF PEACE AT GRASSROOTS LEVEL

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Governor Udom Emmanuel has called on Ward Councillors in Akwa Ibom State to be agents of peace and discipline expected of them as leaders given the task of community development

Governor Emmanuel made this known while addressing ward Councillors during a two- day Leadership Retreat, with the theme ‘Leadership for Service and Victory’ on Sunday, at Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort Uyo.

The Governor said the essence of organizing the retreat for the 368 Ward Councillors in the State has been a fulfilment of his promise to prepare them with requisite leadership skills for an effective interface with the rural communities.

“The reason we pass this knowledge is that you can also use it to build your families because in your homes, families and wards, you are a leader and once you are a leader there are certain things expect of you.

“Some of you lead groups, committee, communities and you must provide leadership at wards, at any level that you have an opportunity you must provide leadership. I want you to see this as an opportunity to lead a good life”, the governor stated.

Governor Emmanuel harped on the need for Ward Councillors to inculcate loyalty as an essential leadership virtue which can stand them out in future.

Mr Emmanuel who gave reasons for neglect of the Local Government Areas, principally due to poor funding, however advocated the need for Local Government Areas to access more revenue allocation from the federal government, stressing that adequate funding and attention will serve as a major support to build thY oue rural communities.

“You need to know how much you get as a Local Government, I am one of those who still emphasize that if the grassroot must be built we need to look at the revenue allocation, take more from the center and give it to the grassroot because they are closer to the people so that we can build a stronger society”

The Chief Executive however thanked the facilitators Peculiar People Management ( PPM) in conjunction with Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, for organizing the retreat and also commended the orderliness of the ward Councillors during the retreat.

Earlier in his remarks, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, described the councilors as leaders in their various wards and urged them not to give themselves to prejudice or allow it influence their official conduct at any time.

Dr. Ekuwem, further enjoined the councillors to be self- confident in themselves and exhibit a high sense of discipline without inferiority complex so as to lead boldly by example.

Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Frank Archibong in his welcome remarks thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for keeping to his promise with the Councillors and called on the 368 councillors who participated to make the retreat count in order to replicate the knowledge gained at the grassroot level.

In a goodwill message, the immediate past Commissioner for Lands, Pastor Umo Eno, commended Governor Emmanuel for organizing the retreat which he noted will build capacity and ideas of the ward leaders and empower them to harness resources towards the development of the rural communities.

Also in a goodwill message, the National Coordinator, Maintain Peace Movement (MPM) Barr. Enoidem, urged councillors to take advantage of the retreat as leaders at their various communities and apply the knowledge gained positively as they have the onerous task to select leaders that will sustain the legacy of the present administration.

The Chairman of ALGON, Engr. Iniobong Robson, thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for keeping to his promise in approving the retreat for Councillors in the state.

One of the resource persons, Dr. Maxwell Ubah, spoke on the importance of leadership and the four principles of leadership, pointing out that leadership has a generational impact and it is about securing the future of the next generation.

Certificate of participation and souvenirs were presented to all ward Councillors.

Media Unit
Govt House,Uyo
15/05/22

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