Governor Udom Emmanuel has disclosed the person he wants to succeed him as Akwa Ibom governor in 2023.
He is Umo Eno, a cleric and the current Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources in the state.
Mr Emmanuel was said to have presented Mr Eno to a select group of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains, Sunday evening, at the Government House, Uyo.
Among those who were present in the meeting was a House of Representatives member who has over the years indicated his interest to run for the 2023 governorship election in the state.
Governor Emmanuel did not allow the lawmaker to speak at the meeting, a source told PREMIUM TIMES.
“Before he left the meeting, he made it clear to them that he would rather contest and fail at the party (PDP) primary than abandon his ambition and step down for anyone,” the source said.
The spokesperson to Governor Emmanuel, Ekerete Udoh, confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES.
“Yes, completely truthfully, correct. Governor Udom Emmanuel this evening at the PDP stakeholders meeting that took place at the lodge, Government House, presented Pastor Umo Eno as his preferred candidate to succeed him.
“He was thereafter presented to the PDP stakeholders that were present by former governor, Victor Attah, and it was widely received.
“So, I want to confirm that that is true,” Mr Udoh said, Sunday evening.
The aspirant, Mr Eno, who is relatively unknown in Akwa Ibom politics, was appointed commissioner in January 2021. Before then, he was preoccupied with his hospitality business – running a hotel in Eket and doing food supplies to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.
Mr Eno was in the spotlight a few days ago when Vanguard newspaper ran a story about him boasting that Mr Emmanuel would soon declare him as his preferred choice.
Mr Eno’s ambition is bound to encounter some stiff resistance within Governor Emmanuel’s cabinet and the PDP in Akwa Ibom, going by the quiet comments and moves within the party and government circles.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999