The Akwa Ibom Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission (EARCOM) has advised citizens to sustain the peace in the wake of Gov Udom Emmanuel’s endorsement of Pastor Umo Eno as his preferred successor.
The executive chairman of EARCOM, Dr Dorothy Thompson, who gave the advice in Uyo in a chat with newsmen also advised aspirants for various political offices in the upcoming 2023 general elections and their supporters to shun resort to blackmail and hate speech as a strategy, but rather become change agents in the country’s electoral process by adhering to democratic tenets and electoral guidelines.
Thompson argued that while it is within the rights of the governor to support any aspirant of his choice, that should not become an excuse to cause trouble in the state by those who do not agree with his choice.
She charged all those interested in the 2023 general elections to go about it with decorum, stressing that they should avoid anything that can overheat the polity and lead to crisis.
She further advised political actors against any form of violence that could hinder growth, adding that the only way youths and citizens could progress was to continue to maintain the peace.
Thompson expressed displeasure at the sudden spike in blackmail and hate speech freely used by supporters of aspirants, the various political parties or groups against opponents, against leaders and the governor of the state on account of political differences, observing that such a trait was strange and inimical to our socio-cultural values as a people.
The EARCOM chairman particularly advised youths to key into the Dakkada creed and engage in productive ventures to earn a living, thereby becoming self-reliant.
While urging citizens not to indulge in acts that could jeopardise their future, she also advised the youths not to allow themselves to be used by desperate politicians as political thugs throughout the processes leading to the 2023 elections.
The EARCOM boss appealed to political leaders and their supporters to be committed to ensuring credible elections and stressed the importance of aspirants actively engaging the people to sell their vision and manifestos for the state so as to inform voters to make credible choices that can deliver good governance.
She commended Gov Udom Emmanuel for what she described as his sterling performance in office, unfettered support for EARCOM, being a committed advocate of peace and sued for support for the Completion Agenda.
While acknowledging the role of Akwa Ibom first lady, Dr Martha Emmanuel, in fostering peace and in campaigns for attitudinal change, she said EARCOM would not relent in pursuing the objective of moral rectitude and developing socially responsible citizens.
Thompson, however, charged the citizens to pray for a peaceful transition and conduct of the elections in 2023 disclosing that children, under the initiative of Akwa Ibom Children Prayer Network (AKC-PRAN), put together by EARCOM have been praying fervently for God’s intervention in the state and nation for peace, development and prosperity, which she argued is an intercession that has availed much.
She emphasized that citizens should pray for God’s supernatural peace to engulf the state and for frayed nerves to be calmed since the governor, as leader of the state has spoken.
Thompson also prayed that God should make his word penetrate hearts and bestow the spirit of acceptability to engulf the populace and engender support for the Completion Agenda.