• Saturday, July 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Umo Eno looks set to clinch PDP governorship ticket in A/Ibom

A note to Mr. Umo Eno

Former commissioner for Lands and Water Resources in Akwa Ibom, Umo Eno seems to be in pole position to clinch the governorship ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the primary election scheduled to hold next month.

Observers say that the coast seems clearer for Umo Eno, businessman-politician who has taken his consultation to all the nooks and crannies of the state with a view to emerging as the party’s governorship candidate,

This is coming after the initial opposition that greeted his endorsement by some stakeholders.

His endorsement as the likely successor to Governor Udom Emmanuel early this year sparked mixed reactions, which was akin to what happened in 2014 former Godswill Akpabio endorsed Emmanuel as his successor in 2014.

Between late January and now, the Akwa Ibom State political scene has witnessed series of activities including the sacking of some members of the state executive council said to be nursing political ambitions.

Umo Eno himself was dropped in a recent cabinet reshuffle which also saw the departure of the governor’s chief of staff, Ephraim Inyang who was seen as the governor’s right hand man.

In the same vein, some members of the state executive council who had resigned or dropped have either identified with other governorship aspirants or have themselves announced their intentions to run for the office of the governor of Akwa Ibom State.

It was reliably gathered that Akan Okon, a former commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport who had resigned is eyeing the governorship position, himself a veteran member of the state executive council who had served as commissioner for finance, economic development and special duties respectively, from the administration of former governor Godswill Akpabio until his resignation last month, and Sunny Ibuot, former commissioner for Labour and Manpower Development has moved on to team up with another governorship aspirant in the state.

Although other governorship aspirants have joined the fray, bought the party’s nomination and expression of interest forms, and after consulting with party delegates both ad-hoc and statutory delegates, Umo Eno is seen as leading the pack.

Read also: 2023: It’s payback time, Wike tells PDP leaders

He has received the backing of powerbrokers both from the political class, church organisations, youth groups and trade bodies as well as the cross section of the state, making him the most endorsed governorship aspirant in addition to enjoying the support of Governor Emmanuel.

Recently, the National Assembly members from Akwa Ibom who also include two governorship aspirants seeking to contest the governorship election, same office that is being sought by Umo Eno, had given their endorsement.

“God has used Governor Udom Emmanuel to bring so much development to Akwa Ibom State. We have seen roads, we have seen factories on the ground, we have seen Ibom Air flying and we must be able to convert our state assets towards job creation to stem the tide of unemployment. In our state, agriculture will serve as low hanging fruits that will create quick impact which we will explore,’’ Eno said while addressing members of the National Assembly caucus from Akwa Ibom State.

He has also visited all parts of the state, consulted with all the key stakeholders and the support has been massive with all delegates pledging their support and relying on his entrepreneurship credentials to continue in the development of the state from where his predecessors have left their footprints.