By Dan Etokidem, Uyo
Less than 24 hours after his adoption, endorsement and unveiling as the preferred successor of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel by Akwa Ibom stakeholders, the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Hon Pastor Umo Eno, accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, National Chairman of Maintain Peace Movement (MPM), Hon Barr Emmanuel Enoidem, National Secretary, Hon Prince Enobong Uwah, National Executive Officers of MPM, Commissioners, House of Assembly members, Board Chairmen and Council Chairmen led by the ALGON Chairman, Hon Iniobong Robson, on Monday paid a consultation visit to Elder Statesman and former Governor, Obong Victor Attah at his Shelter Afrique residence in Uyo.
Speaking during the visit, former State Attorney General and former Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Chief Assam Assam, SAN, thanked Obong Attah for what he has done for Akwa Ibom State, noting that his singular efforts has made the state the toast and envy of other states in the country.
He explained that the visit by Team Umo Eno was aimed at presenting the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources to him for his blessings following his adoption and endorsement by Akwa Ibom stakeholders.
“Your Excellency, we have come here to present to you our hope for 2023. Somebody we believe will be able to manage the stakes that will be left behind. We thank you for presenting him to us (yesterday). Now we want to come to consult you and to inform you that he is the one we want to succeed Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2023”, he declared.
Chief Assam commended Obong Attah for his resource control struggle noting that “that single contribution by that single individual propelled us into the comity of states and the envy of all other states in the country”.
On his part, the National Chairman, Maintain Peace Movement, MPM, Hon Barr Emmanuel Enoidem, said the visit to Obong Attah, being the maiden consultation after the official unveiling of Pastor Umo Eno, was symbolic and significant. Barr Enoidem who went down memory lane described Obong Attah as a believer in the Akwa Ibom project who fought for the retention and preservation of the wealth God has given the state.
“You retired from politics but you did not leave leadership. You have remained a very vocal voice who believe in the unity of Akwa Ibom State. You laid the foundation for peace and the balance of power through rotation in 2007. Umo Eno who is a good student of yours will continue in the path to greatness you started”, he assured.
Speaking on behalf of Eket Senatorial District and Akwa Ibom women, Senator representing the Senatorial District, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, noted with delight that the choice of Pastor Umo Eno was timely, assuring that the enthusiasm of the people is an indication that Akwa Ibom people are ready to run with Umo Eno project.
Also speaking, Prince Dr Godwin Ntukudeh, who spoke on behalf Uyo Senatorial District said the delegation were in Attah’s residence to honour him for who he is. “We are in your house to honour you because you deserve honour. You designed the state and God gave you the opportunity to set the parameters for governance, courage and doggedness of the Akwa Ibom man. We are here to continue with the Completion Agenda and to urge you to give a handshake and transfer that dodged spirit of yours to Pastor Umo Eno”.
According to Dr Ntukudeh, Akwa Ibom State is today enjoying the many privileges of the resource control struggle Obong Attah championed, noting that if he did not fight to the end, the State would not have gotten to where it is today. “Please give him a handshake and with your blessings, we’ll keep the Akwa Ibom flag flying”, he submitted.
Speaking during the consultation visit, the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Hon Pastor Umo Eno, thanked Obong Attah for mentoring him at a very early stage of his life and for always supporting him grow both in business and public service.
He recalled that the former Governor gave him his first public appointment as Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Tourism Board even when he never had a party card and thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for giving him a second chance at public service and expressed sincere gratitude to Obong Attah for the endorsement. He recalled that though his father died when he was just 23 years old, God has always raised destiny helpers at every point of his life.
“Today the grace of God has found me out through the benevolence of Governor Udom Emmanuel. The Akwa Ibom project has to be furthered. My goal is to further agriculture, Industrialization, employment, and with Ibom Air, make the state a destination. Your Excellency, Ibom Science Park will be revived as you envisaged. We will continue your good works. I am pleased to be scolded, tutored and mentored at your feet”, he declared.
Responding, the host and second civilian Governor, Obong Victor Attah, thanked Team Umo Eno for honouring him, describing Pastor Umo Eno as a man of integrity. He noted that tough he moved the motion for the adoption of Pastor Umo Eno, he was not the one who nominated you.
“I was the one who presented you, not the one who choose you because there is no one person that could have chosen you. Maintain your integrity. Unify Akwa Ibom. Be governor for all Akwa Ibom people. Be a listening Governor. Please, read all documents before you sign, don’t sign any document blindly. You must read, you must be careful what you sign but most importantly, let this be a government of all Akwa Ibom people”, the former governor admonished.