Umo Eno’s ‘That Same God Philosophy’ In Akwa Ibom

Umo Eno

By Sam-Loco Smith.

Since September 23, 1987, when the Military Administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, created the Akwa Ibom Abasi State, the state has been fortunate to be governed by purposefully driven and goal-getting military and democratically elected governors. Among them are; Tunde Ogbeha; Godwin Abbe; Idongesit Nkanga; Akpan Isemin; Yakubu Bako; Joseph Adeusi; John Ebiye; Obong Victor Attah; Godswill Akpabio and the incumbent Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.

Akwa Ibom Abasi state, “turned the corner” when Obong Victor Attah planted the seed of infrastructural developmental phenomenon that the impact has spread across the state till date.

Sequel to the fact that those that came after him have maintained and improved the momentum and the tempo. When it was time for the Akwa-Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, to pick the best man who would sustain the transformation agenda already set in motion by Obong Victor Attah since 1999, he did not disappoint. Gov Emmanuel, like his predecessors, starting from Atta to Godswill Akpabio and now himself, keyed into the already established tradition, kept his eyes on the ball, until he found Pastor Umo Eno; the immediate past Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources under the current administration in Akwa Ibom.

It is clear to every discerning mind that in Akwa Ibom State, there is a structural layout that pops up a cabinet member of the incumbent Governor to be endorsed by God and men to succeed his principal. From Akpabio to Udom and now, Eno, the thread has remained the same, and may probably not change any time soon.

When tongue started wagging as to why the Governor’s choice was Eno, he did say that apart from finding in him the peaceful disposition, humility and exceptional capacity to continue with the development trajectory of his administration, God had chosen him.

He said: “Let me emphatically say that I mean well for this state and that is why I waited for God to show me the man who would continue with the pace of development strides we have started in the last seven years and even move the needle further.

“Pastor Umo Eno is a highly respected person. He has enormous capacity. He is an epitome of humility, and is blessed with the common touch, a compelling story and fear of God.”

“He is a successful entrepreneur who has employed our people and lifted thousands from poverty to prosperity. He will be coming to the office of the 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 years is maintained,” he stated.

The Governor noted that Eno’s life story resonates with the story of most ordinary Akwa Ibom people, having grown up in the barracks. “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 the Grace of God and hard work, he summoned hope, overcame his early life difficulties, and ended up as one of 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.”

Stressing that Eno was chosen by God, the Governor insisted that he would never use God’s name in vain and enjoined all peace-loving and progress-minded Akwa Ibomites to rally around and support the man whom God has revealed as his successor.

Recall that in January, Gov Emmanuel ended months of speculations, anxiety and permutations, when he presented Pastor Eno to succeed him as directed by God. Also, recall that it was the former governor, Attah, who made the formal presentation of Eno to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders, comprising major and leading political chieftains from the three senatorial districts. They all applauded the choice and pledged to work with the Governor in 2023 to ensure victory for the party and the incoming Governor Eno.

Eno’s choice opened a floodgate of endorsements, corroborating Gov Emmanuel’s insistence that Eno was the choice of God and man. The Akwa Ibom State National Assembly caucus, the Akwa-Ibom State Executive Council, the Nigeria Labour Congress Akwa Ibom chapter and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and midwife (NANNM), Nigeria Union Local Government employee  (NULG), the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and all Nigerian Confederation Principals of Secondary Schools  (ANCOPSS) and the PDP stakeholders in the state among others, all endorsed the choice of Eno as Gov Emmanuel’s successor.

Born some 58 years ago and bred in Police Ikeja Barracks, Eno acknowledged that he started from the lowest of the low as he was not born with a silver spoon. Conceding his achievements in life to the grace of God and dint of hard work, he said his upbringing in the barracks had offered him ample opportunity to understand the community and inter-tribal living, which are the twin weapons needed to succeed in governing a cosmopolitan state like Akwa Ibom. Eno’s humble disposition, honesty and hard work, inculcated in him by his parents coupled with his experience as a barracks boy combined to propel him to where he is today.

As the people of Akwa-Ibom State troop out on Saturday, March 11, to pick their Governor, Eno’s ‘Same God Philosophy,’ should be their watchword. The Akwa-Ibomites are constantly reminded that ‘That Same God,’ who led Attah to plant the transformation agenda in the state, recording unparalleled success stories, was the same God that helped Akpabio to water the plant the transformation agenda to maturity, thus leading a government that was widely known and identified with uncommon transformations. It was the same God that led Emmanuel to stand out among other governors in Nigeria.

Gov Emmanuel superintends over the only state in Nigeria, and probably Africa, that has a functional airline, Ibom Air. Even Nigeria as a country does not have any airline. Ibom Air is the only airline that goes to almost all the state capitals in Nigeria and is now about to venture into international flight operations. It is ‘That Same God factor’ that has guided Gov Emmanuel to achieve such a feat and many others. The state has been blessed with innovative leaders as governors and each of them has performed creditably well, but Gov Emmanuel took it to another height with Ibom Air. Pastor Eno believes that it is that same God that has been with the predecessors that will be with him too as he takes over from Emmanuel on May 29, 2023.

During the flag-off of his campaign, in what he called ‘my contract with Akwa-Ibom people,’ he promised to spend the state’s resources to water the seeds of the people’s collective prosperity. He told them that his contract with them is couched in what he also called the A.R.I.S.E. Agenda, which includes among others his determination and preparedness to build on the legacies in the aviation sector, and ensure that Ibom Air is further strengthened to maintain its pacesetting role in the country, even as the state hopes to commence regional flights to other countries very soon. “We will build a cargo terminal and begin cargo flights along the west coast; a feat that will attract a lot of development to our dear state,” he added.

Espousing on his contract with the Akwa-Ibomites, which “That Same God Philosophy,” adumbrates, he said: “A contract to continue on the path of peace, security and development we have enjoyed in the last seven-plus years; a contract to create jobs for our people and enlarge our path for economic prosperity; a contract to maintain and advance our world-class infrastructure; a contract to ensure food security through agricultural revolution; a contract to ensure that our children are made ready and equipped to compete favourably with their counterparts all over the world, through advancements in educational curricular and the provision of the necessary tools to help drive the vision; a contract to stem rural-urban migration through robust investments in rural development, and a contract to ensure that our people continue to live in peace and that the sanctity of the human life would be protected through our security management.”

With Pastor Eno in the driver’s seat as the Akwa-Ibom State Governor, the Akwaibomites have been assured of a contract for peace, unity and brotherhood, as well as a contract whose finer details are couched in Christian virtues and values, and above all, a contract with God as the author and finisher of the life of every living soul.

Eno has everything going for him as the state goes into the 2023 governorship election. He is humble, large-hearted, hardworking, experienced in both the public and private sectors. He is a man of impeccable integrity and high moral standard, an obedient servant of God and above, God’s anointed. Akwa-Ibomites, behold your incoming Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, as of May 29, 2023.


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