The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has announced the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Umo Eno, as his preferred successor.
According to TheNation, this development has created anger and a big division in the State Executive Council and the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with many members standing against the governor’s pronouncement.
Governor Emmanuel unveiled Eno on Sunday night during a meeting with some selected leaders in the state and interested aspirants for the governorship post, including the National Assembly members.
The announcement ended months of speculations and tension in the state over Emmanuel’s preferred successor.
It was gathered that former Governor Victor Attah and some influential church leaders in the state influenced the governor’s preference for the Commissioner.
Emmanuel invited some party elders, including some of those nursing gubernatorial ambition to the governor’s lodge without disclosing the meeting’s agenda to them.
But the announcement reportedly caused a rift in the State Executive Council with some Commissioners nursing governorship aspiration very uncomfortable with the development.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Onofiok Luke, said to be eyeing the governorship in 2023 reportedly stormed out of the meeting after the announcement.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Iniobong Ememobong and his Economic Development and Ibom Deep seaport counterpart, Akan Okon, were also absent at the meeting.
Emmanuel’s Chief Press Secretary, Ekerete Udo, who confirmed the development to The Nation, said the action was taken by a cross section of stakeholders in the state.
“The Governor announced that he (Eno) was the one God has revealed to him as the next governor of the state and he was unveiled to all the stakeholders from the three senatorial districts of the state by the former governor, Obong Victor Attah, who then commended the choice.
“It was an array of the political elders made up of Senators and House of Representatives members,” Udo stressed.
When asked if there were some dissenting voices at the meeting on the choice of Eno, Udo said he wasn’t aware of any.