The preferred candidate to succeed Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno has been spotted kneeling before him, even as Akwa Ibom Youths under the umbrella of Akwa Ibom Youths Mandate has adopted Barrister Onofiok Akpan Luke as their preferred candidate and the next governor of Akwa Ibom State come 2023.
The date the picture was taken remains unclear but there are reports that it was after the governor publicly announced his support for the pastor.
Sunday’s public support for the commissioner for works by governor Udom Emmanuel had triggered a crisis among some stakeholders interested in running for governor in 2023.
But defending his choice at a programme on Monday, Emmanuel said it was God who picked Eno.
“Let me say this emphatically, I mean well for this State, that is why I waited for God to show me the man who would continue with the pace of developmental strides we have started in the last six-plus years and then move the needle even further.”
“Pastor Umo Eno is a highly respected person; he has enormous capacity, is an epitome of humility, and is blessed with the common touch, a compelling story, and is God-fearing.
“He is a successful entrepreneur who has employed our people, lifted thousands from poverty to prosperity. He will be coming to the office of Governor with an economic blueprint that will further guarantee employment, development, and economic prosperity for our people.
“He is a man of peace and will ensure that the peace and security of life we have enjoyed in the last six-plus years will be maintained. His life story resonates with the story of most ordinary Akwa Ibom people,” he had stated.
Akwa Ibom Youths Rejects Gov Emmanuel’s Choice, adopts Onofiok Luke
Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom Youths under the umbrella of Akwa Ibom Youths Mandate has adopted Barrister Onofiok Akpan Luke as their preferred candidate and the next governor of Akwa Ibom State come 2023.
Arising from a special stakeholders meeting of the organisation held in Uyo on Monday, the youths stated that they, “have witnessed a few political occurrences in Akwa Ibom State That has left some of us in shock, Some of us in disarray and some of us asking a few questions out of curiosity.
“…that stakeholders of Akwa Ibom State have come together to choose a successor for 6 million people in the population of Akwa Ibom State and we wondered why that was so? We have witnessed everything that has gone on in this State for the past few years, and first of all, we would like to thank the leadership of his Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, for consolidating on the gains of the infrastructure Renaissance, that was brought about by the leadership of His Excellency, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio and developing on that, coming up with the industrialisation agenda and pushing out Akwa Ibom State at the forefront of industrialisation in Nigeria. so we thank him. We thank him for having Akwa Ibom State in mind such that he has to painstakingly and patiently take time to choose someone he feels is a worthy successor for the 2023 gubernatorial election in Akwa Ibom State.
A communique signed by Comrade Victor Sage Thompson, Speaker South-South Youth Assembly on behalf of the Stakeholders, Akwa Ibom Youth Mandate, the youths declared; “we have looked around, we have searched the nooks and crannies of this State and we have come to a decision that at this point, we are not going to throw away our elders, we are not going to fight our elders and we are not going to kick out our elders but we are only going to tell our elders to give us a chance to grow as a young people, we are only going to tell them, please do not impose a person we do not want on us, because that is the essence of democracy, allowing the people to choose who will lead them. So now, we take a stand and we believe this resonates with the majority of young people in Akwa Ibom State.
“We take a stand, we have assessed and examined the process of leadership recruitment in Akwa Ibom State, we have examined and assessed every aspiratants that is seeking to occupy the office of the governor of Akwa Ibom State and we have come to a conclusion that it is only one person that meets our criteria, we have come to a conclusion that it is only one person we all yearn for who will be the governor of the people by the people and for the people and that is in the person of Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Akpan Luke. I believe that the majority of Akwa Ibom youths agree with me that with Onofiok Luke in the seat of the governor, we are going to breathe fresh air, we are going to experience a turnaround in politics, governance, and development of Akwa Ibom State.
“Onofiok Akpan Luke is the only aspirant in Akwa Ibom State that has clearly demonstrated capacity, experience, and ability to execute the demands of the office of the governor of Akwa Ibom State. Onofiok Akpan Luke is the only aspirant that has shown and demonstrated capacity to execute the content of his blueprint are, Onofiok Akpan Luke is the only person that has articulated what he intends to do when we give him the chance to become governor and with the knowledge, we have about what he stands for and about what the young people of Akwa Ibom State stands to gain with him as the governor of Akwa Ibom State we are pulling our full weight of support behind him.”
The communique continued: “ With that being said, We, Akwa Ibom Youth Mandate hereby declare Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Akpan Luke a one-time leader of the University of Uyo student union government, SUG, a one-time personal assistant to the Commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, a one-time personal assistant to the governor of Akwa Ibom State, a pioneer Speaker of the Nigerian youth parliament a two-time member representing Nsit Ubium State constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and a one time speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly of Akwa Ibom State and presently a member representing Etinan, Nsit Ibom, Nsit Ubium Federal constituency in the Nigerian House of Representatives and the Chairman House Committee on judiciary our full support to run for the office of the governor of Akwa Ibom State.”
They: “ urge every young person in Akwa Ibom State to look beyond immediate gain. Whatever decision we have taken now is the decision that will stay with us for the next 8 years and it is going to affect our generation yet unborn. This is not a gathering of senseless people rather it is a gathering of forward thinking upwardly Akwa Ibom youths and we are here to make history. And let us rise up and stand together as young people of Akwa Ibom State to choose a man after our heart, let us rise up and stand together to reject imposition of foreign candidate against the will of the people, let us rise up and stand together to uphold the will of the people against the will of a few who are after their Personal interest and let us rise up to make sure that our names and our faces are both represented in the history book of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.”
The youths maintained that as people who have been made with the direct impact of every government policies, every government decisions, every situation, and every happening, we believe we should have a say on who should be our governor and who should lead us in the next election cycle.
They argued that they are “ in consonance with what the stakeholders have done, because you believe that fathers are for directions, sons are for Speed. The stakeholders have given us direction and have told us that it is possible to anoint and adopt a candidate. As young people, we feel it is also possible to anoint and adopt our own candidate.”
The youths spelt out the basis on which the preferred Luke over Governor Emmanuel’s choice and other aspirants: “to clearly outline the qualities of who the young people of Akwa Ibom State yearn for to lead us in the next political dispensation: “We need someone with a proven track record of selfless services, someone with a proven track of dedication and commitment, someone with the proven track of selflessness in Akwa Ibom State.
“We need someone who has grown through the ranks, someone who has shared our passion, someone who knows what it means and what it feels to be a young person in Nigeria to struggle and go through the ranks to become somebody. We need someone who will give the young people of Akwa Ibom State a level playing field to become whoever we want to be, because our goal is to have Akwa Ibom State where the sons of nobody become somebody without knowing anybody.
“We need a man that we can relate with as a young person. We need someone who is Young at Heart, who is young in age, who is young in experiences, someone who is young and can relate with the young people of Akwa Abasi-Ibom State because we believe that young people in Akwa Ibom State make up more than 60% of population in the State.
“We need someone with experience, not just experience in governance but experience in public service. We need someone with experience that reaches out to the daily experience of the young people on the streets of Akwa Ibom State experience that can resonate with what we are facing on a daily basis. We need someone we can call our own, we need someone we can identify with. We are tired of elitist forms of governance. Are we not tired? the youths insisted.