The Akwa Ibom commissioner for lands and water resources has called for issue-based campaign as the 2023 governorship elections in Akwa Ibom draws near.
Pastor Umo Eno dropped this hint, weekend, at Shakespeare Hall, Wattbridge Hotel Uyo, while unveiling Citywatch Newspaper, a local tabloid published by Dr Uwemedimo Umanah.
Eno, who was recently unveiled by Gov Udom Emmanuel as his preferred choice for the 2023 governorship election, said it does not matter who is chosen as governor rather what is important is the capacity of the chosen to meet the needs of the people and ensure that development is attracted.
“Let the forthcoming election be issue-based. It is not about who or what you are but what you can contribute to better the lives of the people. Don’t forget that elections are in phases. You must be nominated and voted for by party delegates before you face the generality of the people for votes. My choice does not foreclose others from contesting. We must be able to tell the people what we want to do differently to better their lives. We must tell them what we have done in the past, and what we hope to do in the future for their own good. The choice is theirs to make,” he said.
Eno noted that those complaining about his choice by the governor were also looking up to the governor to be the chosen, but since it did not go their way, they are now complaining, wondering why some persons will question the pigment of his skin noting that suddenly his skin colour has become a campaign issue. He urged all other aspirants to get to the field and tell the people what they can do better.
He said, “Destiny has a way of throwing up things on you. Two years ago, someone told me about contesting to be governor. I did not take it seriously. But today, reality has set in as God’s grace has found me such that the unqualified as myself was chosen.
“My choice is an act of God and it simply shows that God can use the weak things of this life to confound the wise. The reason for this is simple; the race is not for the swift, norbread for men of wisdom neither yet favour for men of skill,but time and chance happens to them. The Lord will show mercy on who He will. He has shown me mercy. I must appreciate His Excellency the Governor for separating governance from friendship and for preferring me above others”.
He added that his choice was an enormous responsibility that will ensure more rural development, robust programme for the SMEs, skills acquisition, empowerment for youths, continuity of the lofty programmes of the Udom Emmanuel-led government and connecting the dots.
The progenitor of Royalty Group of Companies urged youths not to be carried away by those who give them peanuts but should go for those who will help them find their feet in life and acquire employable skills that will assist them make a living.
He said, “Let us go beyond the days our youths carry placards and wait at Plaza for those who share money. The monies shared there won’t last a day. We must equip our youths from now on with requisite skills to compete intellectually and become job and wealth creators.
“We must teach our youths how to fish and not depend on others for fish. I started from the streets of Lagos before relocating to Akwa Ibom. I started my business from the scratch. Today I employ more than 500 persons. That is my story and I challenge our youths to engage in meaningful ventures that will help their families and society grow”.
While unveiling the newspaper, the soft-spoken business mogul turned politician, who was special guest of honour,said it was his first outing since being announced by the governor as his preferred choice.
He thanked Umanah and his team for the invite and charged the media to ensure objective reportage that are issue-based, development-driven and pro-people.
He asked that Journalists, as watchdog of the society, should always write in a factual manner devoid of tendencies that will destroy, slander or assassinate the character, integrity and well being of the people and the state.