A governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State has advised against using the state as an “experimental ground” for learners in public service.
Mr Okon left the administration as commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport to focus his attention on his governorship aspiration.
“At 34 years, Akwa Ibom State cannot afford to be an experimental ground where people come to learn public service,” said Mr Okon who holds the record as the only person to have served two administrations in the state as finance commissioner.
He was the finance commissioner under Godswill Akpabio’s administration and later that of Mr Emmanuel before he was moved to the ministry of Economic Development.
“God helping me, I discharged my duties to Akwa Ibom State Government creditably. I served in all the offices I was assigned to with integrity. EFCC has not invited me and will never invite me.
“Some of the deliverables under my supervision as commissioner are the 21-storey smart building, the new Governor’s lodge in Lagos, new terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport, Ibom Air and others,” he said.
Mr Okon said he had served long enough in government and has garnered the necessary experience that has prepared him to lead the state.
“A lot of people say I am a missionary in government (because of my long years in service),” he said, with a smile. “I have traversed a lot of ministries, this is a training for me.”
“I have the experience, I have been trained for this leadership position and there is a need for someone who will be able to complete the several projects initiated by Governor Emmanuel.
Mr Okon said Governor Emmanuel and other governors before him had done well to develop the state, and that it is left for others to continue from where they stop.
The former commissioner said he and Mr Emmanuel have been friends for 40 years now and that nothing, including politics, could come in between the two of them.
He said he officially informed the governor on September 23, 2021 about his governorship aspiration.
“Myself and the governor, we have the same interest to see to the development of Akwa Ibom State,” he said.
When asked by a reporter if he did not think his ambition looks unrealisable since Governor Emmanuel had already picked his cabinet member, Umo Eno, as his preferred successor for the 2023 election, Mr Okon responded: “God is in control of the affairs of men”.