Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Udom Emmanuel has disclosed that he has no intention to rule the state through proxy after leaving power in 2023.
He said he was not ready to arrogate to himself the powers of a godfather regarding the emergence of a new governor next year.
This was stated by the governor while receiving the leadership and members of the Ibom Patriots, a socio-political group based in the state, at the Government House in Uyo.
The group, which paid a solidarity visit to the governor, declared support for the choice of Pastor Umo Eno as Emmanuel’s preferred candidate for the upcoming governorship election in the state.
The governor, who described the Ibom Patriots as a group of dignified men and women, expressed gratitude for the visit, adding that it was the first official visit by a group for such a purpose.
He described Akwa Ibom as a state named after God and loved by Him, and urged the people to handle state matters with such consciousness.
Emmanuel stated, “The era of godfatherism in politics is gone in Akwa Ibom. It is the government of the people, for the people, and by the people.
“God is interested in the people and God is about the people. We are going into an era where power has changed hands into the hand of the Holy Spirit so that no man can boast that I did this or I did that.
“I will never arrogate to myself that kind of power. You’ll never hear me even one day say to even a councillor that I made you a councilor.
“All power belongs to God. It is God, who makes people what they are and not man; so, we must not arrogate such powers to ourselves.”
The governor, who spoke on the crises in the country, said he was confident that God must have chosen him to lead the state for a reason.
He asserted that he had done his best to serve the state during his tenure, and expressed optimism that his successor would build on what he had done and even surpass his record when he emerges.
Emmanuel added, “Before I came, who knew that we would go through what we went through in that period of recession. It’s only God, who knew what was going to be ahead and made me here. Today, even if Akwa Ibom people do not appreciate it, I think the whole world can beat their chest and say this guy has not done badly.
“I know the sacrifices we made; I know what it took and I know how much we did to be where we are today. I also believe the person coming will do much better than I have done.”
Affirming that Eno had the required humility for the service of the state, he said, “Nobody can serve 7.2 million people if you are not humble at heart. If you are a proud person, you cannot serve the people because at some points, there will be a need to play the fool and it takes a humble person to play the fool so that peace may reign.”
In his remarks, the Chancellor of the Ibom Patriots and leader of the delegation, Obong Inuaeyen, said the group was fully behind the governor, not just for the office, but as a grand patron of the group.
Inuaeyen expressed confidence in the Eno project in the best interest of the state, especially to sustain the peace and prosperity established by the Emmanuel administration.
He called on the people to desist from all sorts of personal attacks on the governor on social media platforms, describing the office of the governor as representing the collective dignity of the Akwa Ibom people.
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