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I’VE COME TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN THE RICH AND THE POOR – Umo Eno

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•••WINS SUPPORT FROM IKOT EKPENE STAKEHOLDERS

by Mfonobong Ukpong

The leadership of the PDP caucus in Ikot Ekpene local government area, led by the political leader of Ikot Ekpene, Senator (Dr) Emmanuel Ibok Essien, has endorsed the 2023 Governorship aspiration of the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Pastor Umo Eno.

This is even as Pastor Eno has assured that he came to bridge the gap the the rich and poor in the State.

The endorsement was announced, Wednesday when Pastor Umo Eno consulted the former Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, and Chairman, Pan-Niger-Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Emmanuel Ibok-Essien at his residence in Ikot Ekpene.

Receiving Umo Eno and the consultation train, Senator Essien who took time to narrate the history of the Peoples Democratic Party in the country and the role he and others played in bringing the party to Akwa Ibom, described Pastor Umo Eno as the right man for the job.

Senator Ibok-Essien, a politician, businessman, CEO of Ritman Group and Proprietor of Ritman University, assured Pastor Eno of his readiness to mobilize support within and outside the local government area for his electoral victory.

He advised him not to abandon his supporters and members of his campaign team, when he eventually becomes the Governor.

“I knew Umo far back in 1998 when the then Governorship candidate of our party, Obong Victor Attah penciled down my name as his running mate, and i said I wasn’t interested in being the Deputy Governor, and requested instead that Chris Ekpenyong should be made the Deputy Governor, as my interest then was the Senate seat.

“The party Chairman then, Joe Ating came to my house and drove me to Umo Eno’s hotel, Royalty Hotel in Eket where the meeting took place. I slept that night in his hotel”.

“I want to assure you that you are our next Governor. I’ve endorsed you as our next Governor. We support you, I support you. From now henceforth I’ll join your campaign train, and I’ll enlist die hard supporters from here in your campaign team”

“Don’t forget those who stood by you, and weathered the storm to ensure you emerge victorious. Don’t abandon them. Don’t forget any of these people that have accompanied you here.

“I know you will consult Ikot Ekpene as a whole in due time”

Addressing Engr. Ibok-Essien and members of the PDP caucus at his residence, the Governorship hopeful, Pastor Umo Eno who thanked the Senator for the warm reception accorded him and his team, said he was at his residence to consult him on his Governorship aspiration and to seek his blessing.

He said he was in the race to sustain the development efforts already initiated by the current and past administrations in the State. The Commissioner listed rural development, seaport development, the Maintenance Repair Overhaul, MRO facility, enterprise development, job creation, human capital investment, among others as key areas that he would focus on.

“I have come to visit my senior brothers in Ikot Ekpene, because when a man is from Ikot Ekpene udo and he has his senior brothers from Ikot-Ekpene, that means he has come to visit his people. That’s why I’m here to meet my brothers. We’ve come today to ask for your blessing”.

“Governor Udom Emmanuel is not my Godfather, rather he is my mentor and I’m his mentee. He teaches and encourages you to do your best, that’s why I call him my mentor.

“He has established small, medium entrepreneurs and we want to build on that. The gap between the poor and rich is very wide, I have come to bridge the gap”.

“We will focus on Rural development
So that the generality of Akwa Ibom youths, men and women would have what to do. I know how to build from bottom up, I’ve done that before as a businessman”.

“It is not a man who brings money and throw up here that loves you, it is a man who teaches you how to create wealth. A man who gives you job.

“I started small, today i can tell you clearly that God has been faithful”.

“The Ikot Ekpene people are good traders. We are close to Aba. By the grace of God when I’m Governor we will make Ikot Ekpene a business hub. I came to tell you there is a guaranteed future for our youths”.

Presenting Umo Eno to Senator Ibok Essien and other members of the Ikot Ekpene caucus, the DG of the Campaigns, Chief Assam Assam, SAN, National Chairman of Maintain Peace Movement, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, Proprietor Fortune Polytechnic, Senator Aloysius Etok, Senator Effiong Bob and the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Sir. Monday Uko, described Umo Eno as God’s answer to prayers for the sustenance of peace and prosperity of Akwa Ibom beyond 2023.

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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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