Governor Udom Emmanuel has expressed profound confidence in the character, disposition and capacity of Pastor Umo Eno to lead Akwa Ibom State, and has reaffirmed support for his candidacy in the 2023 gubernatorial elections in the State.
Similarly, a Governorship aspirant and political heavyweight from Nsit Ubium, Senator Effiong Bob, has announced that he has withdrawn from the race, and would henceforth work to actualise the aspiration of his kinsman, Pastor Umo Eno, who he believes has the backing of God.
Governor Emmanuel, accompanied by his wife, Dr (Mrs) Martha Udom Emmanuel, received the delegation of leaders and stakeholders representing the various sections and strata of the state, who were at the Governor’s Lodge, Government House, Uyo to present the 2023 governorship hopeful and seek his blessings to commence consultations.
Governor Emmanuel described Pastor Umo Eno as an embodiment of godliness and good character and one who has shown great capacity in various levels of leadership in the state.
He noted also that Senator Bob’s decision to step down for his brother was a display of maturity and statesmanship, adding that his respect for Effiong Bob has increased.
Mr Emmanuel was of the opinion that while some people where meant to be kings, there were others who where destined to be fathers of the king, adding that the Senator Bob is the father of the favoured gubernatorial hopeful.
He noted the composition of the campaign canvassers and extolled their capacity to deliver on the impending task, stating that such a band would not only ensure victory but strengthen the morale of a leader.
The governor appealed to those who may still be nursing mixed feelings about supporting the chosen successor to free their minds, assuring that God was involved in the decision as Akwa Ibom was in the heart of God.
Governor Emmanuel said accepting Pastor Eno was in the interest of the state as he was not interested in playing any godfatherism role or governing through a surrogate.
“The day I leave office, I leave. I don’t want even one minute more through a successor. This government has no godfather. For me, God is the father of everyone. All I want is the welfare of the citizens of Akwa Ibom”, he added, tasking the entire team to be courageous and continuously stand by the governorship hopeful and subsequently own up the government as a collective responsibility.
Expressing regrets over the ordeals of sudden behavioural changes by supposed political allies, the Governor thanked God for leading him not to follow mere sentiments, which would have amounted to grave mistakes.
“These, however, were necessary to reveal that what really defined some relationships were money, position and power, thus tempering with any of those redefined the relationships”, he added.
Governor Emmanuel encouraged Umo Eno to be strong, courageous and confident in God’s support and admonished him to avoid harbouring any form of anger against anyone, including those who sponsor hate media messages against him on the media, reassuring that with God’s hand in the project, victory was sure.
“Trust me, I personally do not harbour any anger against anyone. If I do, I wouldn’t have the space in my heart to conceive development and ideas to move the state forward.”
Speaking earlier when presenting the candidate to the Governor, the Director General of the Umo Eno Governorship Campaign, Ambassador Assam Assam, SAN, thanked Governor Emmanuel for providing good leadership for the state over time and his tact in managing the situations that culminated into the emergence of the preferred candidate.
The DG made presentations of traditional gift items to the governor, as he presented Pastor Umo Eno to the incumbent governor and prayed for his blessings and support, while promising to leave no stone unturned in ensuring successful delivery.
The National Coordinator of Maintain Peace Movement, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, described Umo Eno as a dent free, marketable product and assured that with the gamut of stakeholders’ that constituted the campaign team, victory is sure.
Senator Effiong Bob who was at the event both as the political leader of Nsit Ubium and a co-aspirant for the 2023 gubernatorial election, declared his withdrawal from the contest to support Umo Eno as Governor Emmanuel’s preferred candidate and offered to be part of the campaign team to ensure victory for his favoured brother.
The governorship hopeful, currently Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Pastor Umo Eno, in his speech, said he was humbled by the trust of the Governor and stakeholders in the state and surrendered himself to the service of the state.
He pledged to continue submitting to the tutelage of Governor Emmanuel for sustained God and people centered leadership in the state.
Pastor Eno however pleaded with the Governor to, not only support his aspiration to a success but, be willing to lend his wealth of experience and proven expertise in the next administration.