By Solomon Umanah
Moved by the desire to ensure continued peace and progress in the state, Akwa Ibom women on Thursday, endorsed and adopted Pastor Umo Eno as their sole governorship candidate for the forthcoming 2023 primary and general elections,respectively.
The women made their position known at a well attended meeting of women leaders and major political stakeholders which took place at the Women Development Centre, IBB Avenue, Uyo.
Moving the motion for the adoption of Pastor Umo Eno as the sole candidate for the 2023 governorship election in the state, the member representing Ukanafun State Constituency in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Dr Charity Ido, said since the governorship hopeful had received the blessings of Governor Udom Emmanuel and wife, Dr Martha Emmanuel, coupled with the fact that the women had been assured of equal and unhindered participation in the next administration that will be piloted by Pastor Eno in 2023, Akwa Ibom women had no option other than the endorsement of the Nsit Ubium-born entrepreneur and politician, Pastor Umo Eno for the top job.
The motion, which was seconded by the Senator representing Eket Senatorial District, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, was subsequently ratified through an “I” voice vote by the women, thereby confirming the decision.
Earlier in her speech, the commissioner for women affairs and social welfare, Dr Ini Adiakpan, said in view of the seeming opposing and conflicting interests, “a very insignificant percentage of the public, freedom of which democracy allows, the entire structure of women in Akwa Ibom have freely chosen without duress, but based on sound convictions to follow the popular and populist direction of the state governor, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, as regards who succeeds him in 2023.
Adiakpan said Akwa Ibom women were satisfied with the pragmatic, result oriented and people-friendly administration of Governor Emmanuel in the last seven and a half years which had culminated in the industrialization, job and wealth creation, massive infrastructural expansion, as well as aviation development.
She listed other achievements of the Udom Emmanuel-led administration as women and youths empowerment, agricultural revolution, rehabilitation and restructuring of the health and educational sectors for global competitiveness, entrenchment of the culture of peace as well as inclusion of Akwa Ibom women in governance.
The women affairs boss, who lauded the governor’s wife, Dr Martha Emmanuel, for her supportive role toward Governor Emmanuel’s superlative performance in the state, particularly in the execution of life touching projects and programmes for women and children through her pet project, the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path Initiative(FEYReP), said Akwa Ibom women were grateful to Governor Emmanuel for allowing himself to be directed by God in the choice of Pastor Eno as his preferred candidate for the 2023 governorship poll.
Adiakpan, who solicited support for the Umo Eno governorship project, described the governorship aspirant as renowned business magnet with passion for human empowerment and community development, maintaining that Akwa Ibom women have total confidence in Pastor Umo Eno’s capacity to sustain the peace currently prevailing in the state and consolidate on the gains recorded by Governor Emmanuel-led administration.
She reiterated the women’s unflinching loyalty and solidarity to Governor Emmanuel and his wife, Dr Martha Emmanuel.
In his remarks, the governorship aspirant, Pastor Umo Eno,thanked the women for identifying with his governorship aspiration and particularly thanked the governor’s wife, Dr Martha Emmanuel, for her support toward his aspiration.
Eno promised to continue with the programmes of the present administration by ensuring that the youth and women were gainfully employed in order to achieve self-reliance.
He pledged to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises through creation of business hubs for the overall development of the state, assuring that his administration will accord top priority on issues affecting the women.
Solidarity messages were received from various women groups, namely, Heads of Uyo, Eket and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts Women Forum; Female Chairmen ofBoards and Commissions; Female Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of Local Government Councils; Wives of Local Government Chairmen; Female Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants to Governor; Legislative Wives Association, among others.
Eno was accompanied on the visit by the director general of his campaign, Chief Assam Assam, SAN; National chairman of Maintain Peace Movement (MPM), Emmanuel Enoidem, Esq; Secretary, Prince Enobong Uwa; Dean College of Commissioners and Special Advisers, Dr Glory Edet, among other politicians.