by Mfonobong Ukpong

A former Minister of Lands and Housing, Chief Nduese Essien, says ‘the ongoing vilification” of Governor Udom Emmanuel by aggrieved aspirants was unwarranted, despite the Governor’s open support to his Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Pastor Umo Eno for the 2023 Governorship position in the State.

He says Governor Emmanuel has the inalienable right to make a choice as an individual and more so, as a sitting Governor of the state.

In a press briefing held, Tuesday at his Shelter Afrique residence in Uyo, Chief Essien who is also the Political leader of Eket Senatorial district, and a former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Abuja, observed with dismay how the media has been awash with commentaries, insults and ‘all sorts of propaganda’ from those not favoured by the Governor’s position.

Chief Essien maintained that the Governor’s choice before the primary election is not the final position in the election, saying all other aspirants and their supporters still have an option of either accepting the Governor’s choice or continue to press their luck to be chosen at the next level.

He reminded those aspiring to succeed the Governor to rather go ahead with their consultation and gear up for the Primaries and subsequent election coming ahead, as the PDP would definitely conduct primaries to select a flagbearer for the party, to be followed by a general election to be conducted by INEC, adding that the Governor’s decision does not make him a dictator.

“It is unimaginable that a sitting Governor would not be interested in who succeeds him in office.

“His choice at this level does not represent the ”anointing” “imposition” or “insult” to Akwa Ibom State people where there will be Primaries and subsequent election.

“It does not make also make the Governor a “dictator” with other unprintable names”.

“As an active participant in politics since 1979 and an avid student of electioneering processes, I have not seen an election where individuals do not have preferences for aspirants.

“It is the conglomeration of these preferences of individuals that result in the production of a candidate at the primary election of the parties. The candidates of the parties then vie at a general election to produce one person to occupy the office”.

Wisdom Bassey

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