From multiple sources, I have gathered seven reasons Governor Udom Emmanuel endorsed Pastor Umo Eno, as his successor, on a cool Sunday night, January 30, 2022:
- Governor Udom, I am told, is convinced that Pastor Eno would continue with the developmental projects and programs that he is executing in the State now.
- Governor Udom, like a typical Christian, depends on God Who sees tomorrow, for guidance on major issues of this magnitude and the Christian credentials of Pastor Eno weighed significantly in his considerations.
- Pastor Umo Eno is a highly respected person because of his enormous capacity for hard work and visible managerial skills, even in his own private businesses and chosen field of endeavor. He earned his wealth from his personal labor and sweat, yet has remained an epitome of humility, with a common touch, and a compelling grass to grace story.
- As a successful entrepreneur who has employed more than 500 Akwa Ibom people in his businesses and lifted hundreds out of poverty and lack; he has his legs planted firmly in the upper, middle and lower classes of Akwa Ibom community, and to that extent very much at home with the elites and people at the grassroots.
- That, as a mature and level-headed businessman, Pastor Eno would be coming to the office of the governor with an entrepreneurial blueprint that will further guarantee employment and economic prosperity for the people of Akwa Ibom State. This implies that he will be a good manager of the State resources for of the majority.
- That Pastor Eno is a man of peace and that the peace and security of life that Akwa Ibom has enjoyed in the last six and a half years, would be maintained and sustained.
- That, as a grassroots man, whose life story resonates with most ordinary Akwa Ibom people, he will not turn his back on poor rural people across Akwa Ibom villages.
I know we the politically exposed Akwa Ibom people all have or had our personal preferences for this job. That’s why Governor Udom cannot be faulted for having his preference, even from his vintage position. It is a perfectly legitimate entitlement of any person to choose one out of many competent and well-qualified aspirants and candidates. And I think any man in a leadership capacity, such as Governor Udom Emmanuel, would certainly fall for the above attributes and track record of Pastor Eno. Whether Pastor Eno will live up to expectations when he becomes the governor is a matter of conjecture, given the familiar scenario in our political terrain.
What is certain is that any aspirant Governor Udom would have thrown his weight behind would have generated equal or more political brickbats and discontent. Concerning Pastor Eno, I have read disagreements and criticisms that border even on the colour of his skin. But to echo the words of the legendary Martin Luther King Jr, I would love to see a governorship race where candidates will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Ultimately, we all believe that it is God that chooses leaders for reasons best known to God Himself, and as the Bible says “… God has selected the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence”. [1 Corinthians 1:27-29 KJV].
I was interviewed on a LIVE radio programme by the inimitable Michael Bush last Thursday for nearly two hours. One of the things I said was that we in Akwa Ibom have been so fortunate to have quality governors who are visionaries, go-getters and very result-oriented. Other States are not so lucky. So let’s join our hearts and voices to pray for better governors and governance. The truth, as I also said in that marathon interview, is that if we don’t help ourselves and build our State, nobody else will, as evidenced in the degree of federal absence in our State for many years now.
NOW, YAK EMEM AKAISO AND LET THE WILL OF GOD BE DONE IN AKWA IBOM.