After much dilly-dallying and buying of time with claims that he is waiting on God to reveal his successor to him, Governor Udom Emmanuel on Sunday superintended over a meeting that saw him present one of the newest members of the his exco, Pastor Umo Eno as his choice.
Former Governor of the State, Obong Victor Attah did the presentation of Umo Eno to the stakeholders. He spoke glowingly about the sterling qualities and leadership attributes of the fair-skinned hotelier. It could be recalled that Umo Eno served in Attah’s government between 2004-2007 as Chairman Akwa Ibom Hotels and Tourism Board.
Back then when Umo Eno through his company, Royalty Group bided to be awarded catering contract by Mobil Producing Nigeria, it was Victor Attah (then as a sitting governor) that insisted that if Mobil does not award the contract to Umo Eno and his group, it must not be awarded to any other person or company. In 2013, Attah said he did this because of his believe in Human Capacity development.
So in essence, Attah and Umo Eno have a fine history together and sources say it was not difficult for the governor and the system to co-opt Attah into the Umo Eno project.
Since the advent of his second term, when the issue of successorship was mentioned, the governor never wavered in saying he is waiting on God to reveal his successor.
“The governor announced he (Eno) was the one God has revealed to him as the next governor of the state and he was unveiled to the stakeholders from the three senatorial districts of the state by Attah, who then commended the choice”, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ekerete Udo said while confirming the choice of Umo Eno as the preferred.
While not discountenancing that he may have heard from “God”, the undeniable fact is that there is a cabal that foisted Umo Eno on Udom. They have been the ones playing the Umo Eno card and piling pressure on the governor to settle for Eno.
The Governor himself on Monday said with his choice of Umo Eno as his preferred for the office of Governor come 2023, he has the interest of the state at heart. The Governor stated this shortly after inaugurating a privately owned radio station in Uruan.
“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 developmental strides we have started in the last six plus years and then move the needle even further.
“Pastor Umo Eno is a highly respected person; he has enormous capacity, is an epitome of humility, and is blessed with the common touch, a compelling story and is God- fearing.
“He is a successful entrepreneur who has employed our people, lifted thousands from poverty to prosperity.
“He will be coming to the office of Governor with an economic blueprint that will further guarantee employment, development, and economic prosperity for our people.
“He is a man of peace and will ensure that the peace and security of life we have enjoyed in the last six plus years will be maintained.
His life story resonates with the story of most ordinary Akwa Ibom people.
“He came from the Police barracks, where, as he said during his Thanksgiving Service last year, life was dreary and hope seemed a distant ingredient. Through hard work, he summoned hope and overcame his early difficulties and ended up as one the biggest employers of labour in our State.
His story is a testament to our Dakkada philosophy; one that will inspire and motivate our youths.
“I will never use God’s name in vain”, the Governor stated at an interview at the Spectrum Television Studio with host, Ekaete Afia.
TheMail Newspaper unmasks the cabal that reportedly sold the dummy of Umo Eno being God’s choice to the governor.
Gabriel Nkanang: This is the leader of the pro-Umo Eno cartel. He is the elder brother of the governor. He is operates behind the scene but has a huge influence on the governor. Though he is a step brother, he has the love and respect of his younger brother the governor. In June twenty fifteen, the governor appointed him as a member of the technical committee on Agriculture and Food Sufficiency. In November 2019, the governor again appointed him into Committee on Agricultural Investments as member. Umo Eno was appointed as Secretary of the same Committee. But Government House sources confirmed to TheMail Newspaper that it was Umo Eno and Gabriel Nkanang that were running the show in the committee. This paper understands that huge resources were channeled into the committee.
He is alleged to be the owner of Signature by Royalty Hotel, Ewet Housing. Those who are in the know say the hotel is a joint venture between Eno and Nkanang as it is running under the Royalty Group franchise owned by the former while the chief financier of the business concern is the latter.
Rev. Dr. Sylvia Imoh: It is a much easier task to contend when outsiders put pile pressure on someone but it can get to an octane level when the pressure is from one’s beloved family members. Rev. Dr. Sylvia Imoh (Mama Bishop) is someone the governor has very deep respect for. She is the governor’s elder sister. TheMail understands that at some point in the governor’s life, he lived with his elder sister and her husband. Her husband is said to have been a reputable accountant man who rose to the top echelon in the country’s accounting sector. He is said to have been one of those who inspired Udom into becoming an accountant. Hence, it can be said that the sister and the hubby played a crucial role his life, especially his career path. She is mostly behind the scene. Unlike Gabriel Nkanang who has been a bit in the spotlight, she is largely unknown to most members of the public. She is the General Overseer of The Humility Glory Mission located in Osongama Estate, Uyo. Most of her demands to the governor always met almost with an immediate alacrity. She has been awarded some contracts, including road projects. She is one of those who mounted pressure on Udom, saying God has anointed the Lands Commissioner to be his successor.
Apostle Lawrence Achudume: The Governor is a deeply religious man who has large respect for notable “Fathers in Faith”. One of such “men of God” he respects and listens to is his friend, Apostle Lawrence Achudume. He has a strong hold on the governor. He is a very influential figure in the cabal. He is the one who has given Udom the prophecy that Umo Eno is the one chosen by God to succeed him. Many Pastors in the state have resisted and voiced out their displeasure over the grip Achudume has on the governor. Some of the Pastors include John Linus and Nyeneime Andy. A Lagos based Pastor, Pastor Benson Offiong has equally asked the governor to disentangle himself from the “fake prophesies” of Achudume.
Pastor Offiong warned Udom to be careful of fake prophecies from Canadian, Ghanaian and local pastors who are on Achudume’s payroll but take out time to go on a personal retreat and seek the face of God again.
Apostle Achudume is the Senior Pastor of Victory Life Bible Church International based in Ogun State. He was one the key persons in the Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly (ACA) during the governor’s second term bid in 2019. To underscore how important he is to the governor, each time he comes into the state, he is said to always stay at a palatial guest house at Government House, Uyo.
Ekerete Emmanuel: He is the governor’s younger brother. And he is the governor’s sibling with the most prominent face in society. In other words, he is the most known of the governor’s siblings. He is the governor’s look-alike especially in facial looks and dressing. He is otherwise known as “Small Governor”. He was the key financier in the Mandate Preservation Group (MPG) during the 2019 election. Not as influential as his elder siblings in the Umo Eno project, but he is certainly a factor to be reckoned with too.