Nelson Effiong, the senator representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, has said that the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, had agreed with political leaders in the state not to seek re-election in 2019.
Mr. Effiong, elected in 2015 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, defected last week to to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. He cited “division” within the PDP as the reason for his action.
“The agreement we had when Akpabio was the governor was that (Governor) Udom (Emmanuel) will go for only one term, and then Oron people will produce the next governor before the thing comes to Uyo for eight years and then go to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District,” Senator Effiong said told Uyo-based Planet FM on Saturday.
He was not categorical about when and where the alleged agreement was made, and those who were the major actors.
The senator, who is a former speaker of the state house of assembly, is from the Oron area of the state.
“That arrangement subsists and must be enforced,” he said.
Mr. Effiong said it was “political naivety” for the Akwa Ibom governor to sponsor people to begin to adopt him for a second term in office.
He said the political leaders in the state would challenge the governor’s ambition for a second term when the time comes.
“The whole drama going on about adoption is a negation of that arrangement, and cannot stand the test of time. We will challenge it when the time comes,” he said.
The senator, during the interview, also launched an attack against the governor, saying he was inexperienced and incompetent to run the state.
“We didn’t know that the shoes (former Governor) Godswill (Akpabio) left behind was too large for Udom,” he said.
“The state has no direction. He goes here and there and does ground-breaking, and would be promising the people industry. Mention one industry he has built. He has no blueprint and no focus.
“I can score him 10 per cent for breaking grounds here and there. This is the worst governor we have had since the creation of Akwa Ibom state,” Mr. Effiong said.
“Udom’s idea of empowerment is to share N20, 000 to elders, women, and youth in the state.
“Because he has a chief adviser called Ephraim Inyang which he brought in from Lagos, he had to stop inter-ministerial direct labour project.
“Go and see how the state is like. Have you seen any prosperity in the state?” the senator said, adding that the commissioners in the state were getting richer and building new houses while the ordinary people were getting poorer.
Charles Udoh, the Commissioner for Information in the state, dismissed the claim that the governor had agreed to be in office for only one term.
“I wonder where he got such information from,” said Mr. Udoh. “I can authoritatively tell you that there’s no such agreement, and that is why you could hear and see the widespread endorsement of the governor to run for a second term.”
The commissioner said the Mr. Emmanuel left his blossoming job at Zenith bank to serve his people, and that what he needed most was encouragement and support from the people.
“He is a very transparent, honest and religious man. He is a man who keeps to his words. This is a man who didn’t come here because he is hungry or power drunk,” the commission said.
The commissioner said Akwa Ibom is one of the few states in Nigeria that pays salary regularly, and that is enough to disprove the allegation of inexperience and incompetence against the governor.