As the race towards the 2023 gubernatorial polls hots up in Akwa Ibom State, a Chieftain and founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Anietie Okon, has frowned at what he described as attempt by Governor Udom Emmanuel to impose Pastor Umo Eno on the people.
Senator Okon while interacting with newsmen from TheMail Newspaper and other select media platforms over the weekend, said Akwa Ibom people will abandon the state Governor and the Umo Eno project in 2023.
He the Governor has violated the provisions of the PDP by not following constitutional procedures in his bid to produce a successor.
The Elders statesman said the Governor’s actions have caused division and serious political tension, a development he noted will not promote peace and fair political processes in the state.
“We want to avoid crisis and avoid a disorganised approach to government decisions. The Governor (Udom Emmanuel) has already messed up the process. There is no language, no provision in the party (PDP) that says someone can just wake up and impose an aspirant. It’s a new dimension in our politics and we’re not in support of it. We are not, because it dampens and ignores completely, the will of the people. He (Udom) came by popular endorsement. When he was introduced by former Governor God’swill Akpabio, it was before the state caucus of the PDP.
“There are recognised constitutional procedures for choosing any aspirant. The Governor has ran avow of the party’s constitution and I have to say that.
“If he (Udom) has decided to hijack the process of selecting the candidates, then he can wait for the consequences because the state will abandon him”, he said.
TheMail Newspaper reports that Senator Anietie Okon also took a swipe on former Governor Victor Attah for his involvement in what he said was against the principles of zoning.
“What Udom has done is against the principles of zoning and would not allow for free and fair elections in this state.
“You talk about Obong Attah. What was he? I made him Governor too and he failed the people, because when it mattered, be ran away from the debate that took place over revenue allocation. He was trying to posture himself as a candidate for the Vice Presidential slot. I have challenged in the public and in the newspaper, to say where he was, when the battle for derivation and fair treatment of the state happened.
“Obong Attah has sold out cheaply and I don’t want to speak about it. It is the same attitude of his that has led him into the difficulties that he has. What is statemanly about him?”, the Senator insisted.
Speaking on the Stakeholders Meeting where Pastor Umo Eno was purportedly presented as the Governor’s choice, Senator Okon said that the PDP was not involved in the process and gave reasons why he was not invited to the said meeting.
“I know the party respects its constitutional provisions but everything that happened at the stakeholders meeting did not go to the party. The party people were brought in like other invitees, they had no role to play there. What right has the Governor to impose his own choice on the people?
“There must be something sinister about it. He (Udom) should not let us start asking what he wants this fellow (Umo Eno) to cover up for him. The party will frown at the attempt to suppress the freewill of the people.
“I was not invited for the stakeholders meeting. It was a deliberate thing. They were afraid. If I was there, nothing like that would have happened”, he revealed
While urging the Governor to completely abort the idea of imposition, Senator Okon said the people of Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency will explore all available means to get their right.
“I’ll advise him to completely abandon the process because first, it will divide the state. Secondly, it’s building tension in the state.
“We can go to the court and make it impossible for even the party to contest election. I don’t want to reveal how he was treated yesterday. He did not dare mention his so called choice. The man who dared it so what he saw. Enoidem, he was booed, he was echoed”, he said.