Immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel has assured his successor, Pastor Umo Eno, that he will be governor for eight years.
Udom gave this assurance while delivering a speech at the Akwa Ibom Dialogue, hosted by the current governor to discuss the Arise Agenda of the new administration.
In the event, duly attended by past governors like Arch. Obong Victor Attah, deputy governors, stakeholders, owners of industries, local government chairmen, among other notable dignitaries, Udom who said he was overwhelmed, commended Eno for supposedly starting well.
He insisted that politics was over, that it was time for governance, hence, charged Akwa Ibomites to support governor Eno to succeed, even as he warned those he said were out to distract the governor to leave the governor to work and focus on his blueprint, insisting that it is in the interest of everybody.
The former governor commended the governor for, “trying to redefine the palm Akwa Ibom that we are expecting and I could see that this cuts across a whole lot. It’s developmental, it’s transformational, and also it’s transitional, and nothing could beat this.”
He said unlike his predecessor, Donald Duke, who only congratulated him(Udom) close to the end of his tenure, that he(Udom) was going to congratulate Eno in every year of his administration. “I will say congratulations different from what Donald Duke told me when I became a governor. He called me and said, I will not tell you congratulations, I will tell you welcome, that talking out of experience he said I can never tell you congratulations on swearing in, that the day you leave office, that’s the day I will let you know whether I should say congratulations or not, so, few days before I left office, I asked him, what do you now have to say, he said congratulations, but for you, I think the foundation is well laid, you’ve hit the ground running, I can say congratulations now, then eight years after now, I say congratulations eight times.”
Udom who said been a former governor was more peaceful than a governor and that he was enjoying every bit of it, described Eno as, “our leader” adding that, “if God wants to give a direction about this state, he is going to give it to you, then you will now tell us, no other person. So we must have that impact and readiness to follow you. We must also be ready to make sure we sustain even the outcomes out of this.”
According to him, “I really want to thank God for today, I think I am one of the happiest people in this meeting today, because, when you say arise agenda, arise agenda starts with man, and that man today is Pastor Umo Eno.
“Mr. governor sir, I want to say that you have started well, the whole idea is to improve, no man is the custodian of all the knowledge, and building a state like this is continuous, I mean, we put a single block, you come and put another, until we get what we want and get to where we are going to. So, I really want to thank you for inviting all of us and making this thing cut across all; religious leaders, political leaders irrespective of their party formations and the rest of them, students, all, youths, women, every single person is brought into this agenda, and I really want to thank you for that.
“I think all of us will need to support you because you are not doing for yourself, you are not doing for your family, that’s what a lot of people forget, so even in the course of doing this, you will be misquoted, I keep saying so, you are a leader, you will be misconstrued, you will be misunderstood, it does not matter just keep the eye on the ball, but one thing I can assure you we have in Akwa Ibom, we have the human resources, we have it in abundance, and you can also tap and draw from it. Anything you want to do, the first thing you need is the people and I think we have the people and ones we have the people I think we can see the success down the line. But the people also owe to support the process rather than making it actually not to work.
“I looked at the blueprint documents you gave me, I looked at the deliverables and I feel so excited, I said how will Akwa Ibom be if all these deliverables tomorrow we measure them and we can thick them one by one, it’s going to be a great state, a shining light in Africa. And I want to say here that all of us we have a roll to play.”
Udom further explained that, “the word arise, whenever you hear that word arise, something is expected and what is expected infront of the word arise is execution, which is what the chairman called implementation, ones you hear that word arise, the next thing that will follow anywhere; from the holy bible, to a command, to military, to parlimilitary, ones you hear that word arise, the next thing that follows is execution, so, I believe we are all ready to join in executing the agenda that you’ve spelt on for us.
“The arise agenda if well implemented, and well executed, as I will like to say, and processes are followed, and then we have the people’s backing, ease of acceptance, and also we reduce resistance of our people, I want to say here that arise agenda is here to create change and by the special grace of God that change will be created.
“So ones again, I say congratulations number one, next year I owe you another congratulation, then at the end, after eight years, I tell you eight congratulations.”
While presenting the arise agenda, governor Eno described Udom as his political father, adding that since Udom left office, Udom had never brought pressure on him, rather he; Eno, runs to Udom for direction and advice.
The governor recalled that, “in the course of my electioneering campaign, I had made a firm promise and commitment to run a strand of thoughts from Akwa Ibomites across party lines and other policy experts drawn from all corners of our dear nation and in the diaspora will be brought and canvassed.”
Eno explained that, “We envisioned a vibrant, inclusive, diversified, and highly industrialized economy for this state, using highly developed human and material resources. My blueprint focuses on the achievement of eight ambitious but lofty goals, through the provision of five group aspirations, collectively called the arise agenda.
“The arise agenda is an acronym which stands for the bold spirations; agricultural revolution, rural development, infrastructural maintenance and advancement, security management, educational and health sector management, this is further broken down into 17 focal sectors, detailing what we expect to achieve in each of the sectors, in the short to medium and long term.”
While calling for synergy, the governor urged all to, “eschew hatred, bitterness, politics of destruction, and join together to deepen the course of our unity, and we must invest in the sustainable growths and development of this great state.”
Eno further stressed that his government was determined to improve the condition of living in the rural areas, and insisted that chairmen of local government should get ready to live in their domain.
He said this was because, “they are chairmen of their local government, they are not chairmen to live in Uyo, because we need to take all of these to the local governments. We will build 31 local government chairmen lodges across this state, and we will beg them to live in their local government because they are the ones that will help us oversee the development we want to bring to the rural areas.”