There are emerging indications that some northern politicians and traditional rulers are pushing for the emergence of the Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel, as the next president of Nigeria.
Apart from the northern elites, some governors are also said to be interested in the Akwa Ibom governor as their choice for the office.
TNN learnt that some of the governors hold the opinion that their colleague from Akwa Ibom will be a better candidate for the exalted position. They believe he is calm and appears more at home with stakeholders across the country.
A reliable source who confided in TNN said the governors will make their position known very soon. A meeting of the governors from the south is being planned to hold next month, barring last minute changes. The source said a clue on the choice of Udom may emerge at the meeting.
The source, a top politician from the north, said “Udom appears to be the preferred choice. I can tell you that very top northern elites are comfortable with him. I don’t want to call names for you but very very highly rated natural and traditional rulers of northern extraction believe that Udom will be a better person to succeed Buhari.
“Just keep your ears on the ground and your eyes widely open. Monitor what is going on in the polity. Very recently, you must have heard that some of these top northerners have been visiting Akwa Ibom. More will be visiting in the days ahead, to confer with him and cross fertilise ideas, even as they urge him to hasten and make a declaration to that effect.
“There are other governors from the south who are also nursing the idea. The south-east is ruled out for obvious reasons. So, the searchlight is on the south-south and the feeling is that Udom stands taller than the others.
“Udom has displayed so much in terms of leadership and friendship. Recall his role in the recent election that produced the governors of Bayelsa and Edo states. Not many people knew his silent and quiet contributions in helping the PDP to win.
“Remember his role in stabilising the PDP in Ekiti State, even though he doesn’t make noise about the things he is doing, unlike others who prefer to make issues out of what they are doing for their party. He is doing everything possible to stabilise the PDP and he is also showing leadership in his state. A lot of the governors see him as a partner in progress; that is why they are supporting him.”
The source said Udom will likely make a public declaration before around the beginning of the next quarter. He said if the APC decides to bring up a former president of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
Only recently, the Arewa Movement For Actionable Change (AMFAC) threw its weight behind Udom, urging him to join the 2023 presidential race.
The group said that Nigeria needed visionary and dynamic leadership to take the country out of its present security and economic challenges and ensure good governance.
The group made the call in a statement made available to the media by its spokesperson, Sabitu Magaji, adding that “in a society where the bond between leadership and followership is at an all-time low, and one in which a divide exists within the polity, it is important to bring in an experienced man who has bridged the gap of both worlds.
“With his experience in financial management and his years as governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel’s leadership is a testimony to the fact that when vision, pragmatism, and experience meet at a junction, great things are inevitable.
“The people of Akwa Ibom can testify to his excellent style of leadership. He has transformed Akwa Ibom into one of the richest states in the country. Despite his remarkable achievements which cut across different sectors, he still maintains a close relationship with the people, going as far as the doorsteps of villages and wards.
“As the 2023 election is fast approaching, there have been lots of uncertainties in the upcoming general election, the current state of the nation needs a progressive and innovative mind to take over the affairs of the country. A man like Governor Udom with such a great reputation and track record shouldn’t be in the back seat.
“He should take over the wheel of leadership to consolidate his legacy and to continue within a bigger capacity where his influence and impact can be felt on a national level.
“That is why the Arewa Movement For Actionable Change calls on Gov Emmanuel Udom to come and take over the affairs of the country so as to take us back to our glory days,” the group said.