No discussion on Udom’s successor during exco retreat, says AKSG

Akwa Ibom Government has denied media reports that discussions on Gov Udom Emmanuel successor were part of deliberations during its recent retreat for members of the state executive council held outside the state.

The governor has kept the name of his likely successor close to his chest, maintaining that God is yet to reveal the next governor of the state to him, a development which has seen many commissioners having political ambitions waiting on the wings to throw their hats in the ring.

Among the commissioners said to be eyeing the governor’s position are Umo Eno, Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Akan Okon, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport and Commissioner for Finance, Linus Nkan.

In a statement signed by Ini Ememobong, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, the state government stated that at no time was the issue of the governor’s successor discussed up for describing such a report as false.

At no time during the retreat which had as its focus, teaming for excellence,’’ did any discussion on the political ambition of anybody come up.

What happened at the retreat was the delivery of seminal lectures by highly intellectual faculty and a comprehensive presentation of the status report of all ministries and ongoing projects.

“Furthermore, the commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Umo Eno who has been quoted massively in the report has denied granting an interview to anyone, through any media, after the retreat.’’

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Emembong who was responding to a newspaper report credited to the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources that Governor Udom had asked commissioners nursing political ambitions to declare their interest during the retreat.

Eno in the report allegedly stated that though he did not openly declare his interest when he was asked, he was sure that he would be the governor’s successor.

According to the information and strategy commissioner, the report is misleading and capable of tarnishing the image of the entire state executive council adding that it could also paint members as “those who use public resources to create an environment for the discussion of personal or group interest.”

Ememobong stated that the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources had already denied granting the said interview and therefore could not have made the statements accredited to him.

“We urge the public to ignore the story and treat same as an evidence of the imaginative capacity of the author whose only aim as can be deciphered from the report is mischief.’’

Earlier, Eno in his rebuttal had claimed that the report was planted in the media by “desperate politicians with the intention of positioning their sponsors and taking undue advantage of the public in the process,” describing it as fictitious.

He did not however state whether he was interested in being the governor’s successor.

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