From the ongoing 2023 election campaigns in Akwa Ibom State, it is conspicuously obvious that Pst Umo Eno (PUE), is well accepted by the Akwa Ibom people to serve as the Governor of the State, at the exit of Governor Udom Emmanuel on 29th May, 2023. This is for that single-minded thrive behind the voter’s mind which has to do with the sustenance of peace and the prosperity in the State as experienced presently, else, we slide back to the days of nefarious practices, in a manner hostile to liberty and democracy given politically motivated killings, assassinations, kidnappings and cult wars. Therefore, we are reassured by the leadership qualities of PUE, known to be incomparable to that of his contenders as a man of integrity and with strong moral principles to consolidate upon our experiences for peaceful co-existence and the development strides/legacies of the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration. Stake holders of the political system of the State emphasize that “never again” shall we plunge the State back to the dark days of heightened insecurity and into the hands of an evil leadership.
Invariably, with the 2023 race for the Office of the Governor of the State, we have seen many politicians in pursuit of power, for reasons other than promoting policies for common good and with their interest in politics tied to “hidden group” interest, with limiting capacity to serve the purpose of governance beyond a reason to protect their political clout among a self-perpetuating oligarchy with deep division amongst rival group interest, at the cost of causing insecurity breeches to the generality of Akwaibomites, that could divide the State. Thus, they are found to be untrustworthy to earn the voters confidence not only for the lack of their capacity to govern the state, but more importantly, for lacking the personal attributes of character and the humility for peace to reign.
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It is against this backdrop when compared to PUE’s innate leadership attributes that the stake holders of the Akwa Ibom State political system as acknowledged by Obong Victor Attah, a former Governor of the State, choose Pst. Umo Eno (PUE), based on his “neutrality” from group influence and as one with the humility “to learn, to listen” and “the capacity to implement his blue-print”, given his wealth of experience from the private sector as an entrepreneur/business man per excellence and as well given his exposure in the public service as an acclaimed public administrator which earned him the unmatched leadership qualities over other contenders for the Office of the Governor of the State, to represent the collective dignity of Akwa Ibom people.
However, in the light of the 2023 Governorship campaigns in the State, Akwaibomites have become more or less better enlightened of the intrigues of our local politiciansas attributed to the politicking in the State, being that we get to see fraudsters and shenanigans groping in the dark and collaborate to mislead the courts to obtain what is being referred to as “black-market” judgments, just as noted with the case involving Hon. Michael Enyong, said to be given to falsehood of the truth on the PDP 2023 Governorship primary in the State. Thus, he claimed to have been duly elected the PDP Governorship candidate in the party’s primary election he never participated on presentation of false documents to mislead the court. Presently the case is on appeal by the PDP against the Federal High Court judgment granting Hon. Michael Enyong the Governorship candidacy of the State PDP, coupled with a Notice of Stay Execution of the judgment. However, in new dimension in cloning the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) website on social media showing the substitution of Pst. Umo Eno with Hon. Michael Enyong but without a Deputy Governorship candidate, tells of the workings of a criminal syndicate as an addition to their narrative of fraudulence, in that, it is common knowledge that given an appeal of the said High Court judgment at an appellate Court, therefore, INEC would not act on the High Court judgment until the appeal is held and determined with no further encumbrances. Nor can the acuity of Akwaibomites to think accurately be taken for granted by some ill motivated elements with attempts to smear PUE’s name and image in bad light, with frivolous claims of his certificate being forged yet unsubstantiated in court. Neither was the case of an illogical “conviction” and then “an order of arrest “of PUE sponsored by blackmailers believing this could affect his electoral fortunes for the worse successful but rather it reinforced the positive trend of the support that he has earned for victory at the 2023 polls as a man of integrity.
On his part PUE has taken to the path of honor for his proven integrity in court. Thusrather than join issues with his traducers on the social media he has however, as right-thinking members of the public would, always consider it fit and proper for the matter to be determined by a court of competent Jurisdiction to prove his distractors wrong on their allegations. This has kept the confidence of Akwaibomites on PUE in support of his ambition to govern the State for common good as the choice of light over the dark past politics by leaderships with dubious characters.
Political observers in the State therefore generally agree that PUE is a leader with probity and the capacity and competence as well as clear headed, as a gentleman of integrity with the verifiable performance records from his antecedents in the private and public sectors suited to govern the State with the promise “to build an inclusive, diversified and industrial economy” as against the spontaneous habits that we find with most of our politicians when compared with PUE, who as contenders for the Office of the Governor of the State, seek our happiness as a means, not as an end in order to satisfy their desires for power. Therefore, they have nothing to offer for the purposeful governance of the State as political charlatans with a lack of their policy inclinations in the public domain other than for a darkened self-serving interest, against which the electorate is determined to put all distractions behind in pursuit of our common good given the light of victory of PUE at the March 11, 2023 Governorship election.
Consequently, in the light of the aforementioned, Akwaibomites are resolute and do insist on the use of their voters card to enthrone light over darkness as they do equally proclaim that “never again would they allows darkness to prevail over light in Akwa Ibom State”.
By The International Co-ordinator, Barr. Kufre Udosen, ENO ABASI AKWA IBOM, The Golden Gift Support Group
Barr. Kufre Udosen is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria