Saturday, 3rd June 2023

Umo Eno to continue Akwa Ibom’s good governance

By Peter Adobamen
25 December 2022   |   2:14 am
It is a common saying that government is a continuum. Little wonder when a great government and economic pattern of excellence is modeled by one government, there is a need to replicate such success in successive governments.

Umo Eno

It is a common saying that government is a continuum. Little wonder when a great government and economic pattern of excellence is modeled by one government, there is a need to replicate such success in successive governments.

Paraphrasing the words of Najib Razak, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, one can say that “The mandate that Akwa Ibomite seek is about continuity and sustainability against disruption and stagnation, about moving forward versus regressing” In order not to put at risk what has already been set in place and gamble away the future of the state, it is extremely important to have a thoroughly and carefully selected person to pilot the affairs of the state. This singular assignment was excellently carried out by Governor Udom Emmanuel when he picked his preferred successor in person of Pastor Umo Eno, who eventually won the Gubernatorial Primaries of the Peoples’ Democratic Party.

Unlike some states in Nigeria that have been plagued by the monster of poor leadership, the people of Akwa Ibom State have been blessed with leaders who have left footprints of immense growth and development. In 2007, when Governor Obong Victor Attah was about to leave office, he doggedly searched for a worthy replacement that will continue the delivery of democratic dividend for which Akwa Ibom is now widely known for. Godswill Akpabio, a member of the state cabinet and a huge part of the success story of Obong Victor administration was chosen to wear the hat. On assumption of office, he watered the seed of development beautifully well, so much, that Akwa Ibom experienced  socio-economic transformation.

In the same vein, when Governor Akpabio was about to leave, he launched a search, and Governor Emmanuel Udom became his successor. Governor Emmanuel leveraged on Akpabio’s Performance and transformed the state through his 5-point Agenda in his first term, and 8-point agenda in his second term. It is in this same light of continuity that Pastor Umo Eno has been found worthy to move the people of Akwa Ibom state to the next level of development.
Pastor Umo Eno, prior to his election as the PDP gubernatorial candidate has contributed immensely to the economy of the Akwa Ibom as the largest private employer of labor. He has successfully managed his enterprise; the Royalty Group, a company he founded in 1997, which has grown into different arms in hospitality, manufacturing, oil and gas. No one can indeed achieve this great feat in the absence of Character, Capacity and Competence.

The ongoing campaign further establishes beyond all reasonable doubt that Pastor Umo Eno understands the principle of continuity and further advancement. He beautiful portrayed this in his ARISE AGENDA, geared towards a forward movement as opposed to a backward slide.
On November 8th 2022, in the presence of the people of Akwa Ibom , Umo Eno began his campaign speech with a pledge to continue the legacies of Governor Emmanuel Udom Administration. In a speech titled “My Contract with Akwa Ibom People”,  he made known his economic blueprint for Akwa Ibom through which revolves around Agricultural Revolution, Rural Development, Infrastructure Maintenance and Advancement, Security Management, Educational and Economic management.

In his words, it is “A contract to continue on the path of peace and security through our security management system and development enjoyed in the last seven years, a contract to create jobs, a contract to maintain and advance the infrastructures in Akwa Ibom state, a contract to ensure food security through agricultural revolution, a contract to ensure that children are made ready and equipped to compete favorably with their counterparts all over the world through advancement in education, a contract to stir rural and urban migration through robust engagement in rural development”. He did not fail to acknowledge that these works will ride on the present existing work done by the Emmanuel Udom’s administration. “We will work tirelessly to further ensure that our people continue to live in peace as we strive to turn our state to a tourist haven and promote our creative industry to make Akwa Ibom a destination of choice” he further said.

In 2019, Governor Udom Emmanuel improved on the Victor Attah International Airport by creating and starting the operations of Ibom Air. The birth of Ibom Air showed a great example of continuity and history is about to repeat itself as Pastor Umo Eno is sold out to this vision, with plans to expand the aviation sector both in Nigeria and beyond by adding cargo terminal and beginning cargo flight along the west coast; a feat he is certain will attract development to the state.

Another area where continuity is certain is in the massive input in the Agricultural sector by the Emmanuel Udom’s administration. In Governor Udom’s current tenure, the data base of all farmers in the state have been computed that at the touch of a button, one can easily find out specific details of farmers. This is advantageous to Umo Eno. In his words, his administration will take advantage of the already vast opportunity in agriculture in the state “Through our Agricultural Revolution, we will ensure that there is enough food at affordable prices. We will tap into our comparative advantage in this area and create wealth for our people. We will turn our recently revived acqua farm estate into a wealth creating enterprise. As a former executive director of Agric Investment and former chairman of Ibom Fadama Micro Finance bank, I know the issues and will ensure that we bring about a revolution in that critical sector of our economy” he said.

The plan to continue on the good works of the outgoing administration will also be felt at civil service sector. The outgoing government has commenced the payment of gratituity. Umo Eno has pledged to continue this good work by developing the capacity of civil servants as well as ensuring that every retiree is paid his gratuity. Umo Eno’s managerial skill with proven success will undoubtedly be replicated in the state.

His past successes as a business mogul and current Commissioner for Lands, are part of what have contributed to Governor Udom Emmanuel’s unwavering assurance in his capacity to deliver the dividends of democracy to Akwa Ibomites.  Speaking after Umo Eno’s emergence as the PDP Governorship candidate, Governor Udom said “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 development strides we have started in the last six plus years and then move the needle even further.” The Governor continued: “Pastor Umo Eno is a highly respected person; he has enormous capacity. He is an epitome of humility and is blessed with the common touch, a compelling story and he is God fearing.”
Akwa Ibom state has been blessed with good leaders, especially since its return to democratic rule in 1999. Pastor Umo Eno is set to continue the godly heritage in Akwa Ibom, and for this, must be supported.

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