2023 Governorship Race: Akwa Ibom Youth Oppose Gov Emmanuel’s Choice, Back Onofiok Luke

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Idom Emmanuel

By; PATRICK TITUS  Uyo
Youth under a platform called, Akwa Ibom Youths Mandate has opposed the choice of Pastor Umo Eno by Governor Udom Emmanuel as his preferred candidate to succeed him in office in 2023.

Governor Emmanuel had on Sunday during a Stakeholders’ Meeting of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at Governor’s Lodge in Uyo, announced his Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Pastor Umo Eno as the next person to succeed him in office in 2023, and presented him to the Party for adoption and support.
Barely 24 hours after that exercise, the youth group convened what they called, a special stakeholders meeting on Monday in Uyo and came up with a-six paragraphs resolution and rejected the candidacy of Pastor Eno, describing the exercise of his emergence as an imposition against the collective will of 6 million population of people in state.
The resolution which was signed by Mr. Victor Sage Thompson, the Speaker South-South Youth Assembly on behalf of the Stakeholders, read in parts.
“Yesterday we were met in the news that stakeholders of Akwa Ibom State have come together to choose a successor for 6 million people in the population of Akwa Ibom State and we wondered why that was so? We have witnessed everything that has gone on in this State for the past few years.

“… But as youths, as people who have been made with direct impact of every government policies, every government decisions, every situations and every happenings, we believe we should have a say on who should be our governor and who should lead us in the next election cycle. 
“So that being said, we are here in consonance with what the stakeholders have done, because you believe that fathers are for directions, sons are for Speed. The stakeholders have given us a direction and have told us that, it is possible to anoint an adopt a candidate. As young people, we feel it is also possible to anoint and adopt our own candidate.” 
In their position, they adopted the immediate past Speaker of the State House of Assembly member and currently, member representing Etinan/Nsit Ubium in the House of Representatives, Abuja, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke as their preferred candidate to succeed as the next governor of the State.  
According to the youth mandate group, Luke is someone with proven track record selfless services and who has demonstrated capacity, experience and ability to execute the demands of the office of the governor of Akwa Ibom State.
“We have looked around, we have sought the nooks and crannies of this State and we have come to a decision that at this point, we are not going to throw away our elders, we are not going to fight our elders and we are not going to kick out our elders but we are only going to tell our elders to give us a chance to grow as a young people, we are only going to tell them, please do not impose a person we do not want on us, because that is the essence of democracy, allowing the people to choose who will lead them.
“So now, we take a stand and we believe this resonate with the majority of young people in Akwa Ibom State. We take a stand, we have assessed and examined the process of leadership recruitment in Akwa Ibom State, we have examined and assessed every aspirant that is seeking to occupy the office of the governor of Akwa Ibom State and we have come to a conclusion that it is only one person that meets our criteria, we have come to a conclusion that it is only one person we all yearn for who will be the governor of the people by the people and for the people and that is in the person of Rt. Hon. barr. Onofiok Akpan Luke.
“With Onofiok Luke on the seat of the governor, we are going to breathe fresh air, we are going to experience a turnaround in the politics, governance and development of Akwa Ibom State. Onofiok Akpan Luke is the only aspirant in Akwa Ibom State that has clearly demonstrated capacity experience and ability to execute the demands of the office of the governor of Akwa Ibom State,” they concluded. 
It is however observed that on the platform of the ruling party in the State, PDP, no fewer than 10 persons have indicated interest to run for the office of the Governor in 2023 having consulted widely with the various need groups within the party.
For these aspirants, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s adoption of Pastor Umo Eno as his successor in office in 2023 is not just a step to create ill-feelings within the party but against the popular practise known to people of the state under democracy.

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