By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
A former governor, Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom State has said that he and other stakeholders in the State endorsed Mr. Umo Eno because he has the humility to listen, learn, and the capacity to implement on his blueprint, coming from the private sector.
Speaking with newsmen at his Shelter Afrique residence in Uyo on Tuesday, Attah, recognized as the political leader of the state, said they also supported Eno because of his neutrality from groups.
According to the former governor, other aspirants in the state examined, are linked to certain groups the elders feared could divide the state along such lines.
The former President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects who became governor after 60, having traversed the various levels of his professional practice, expressed the optimism that Umo Eno would bring his wealth of experience in the private sector to the governance of the state.
“Umo Eno has the humility to listen and the capacity to deliver. Among those that came out to contest, Umo Eno is the only aspirant who did not belong to any known group and has Akwa Ibom as his own group. The argument was that if you hand the state over to this one, you have it over to this or that group.
“As the leader of the Ibibios and by extension Akwa Ibom State, I had the responsibility of presenting Pastor Umo Eno as the best to take over from Governor Udom Emmanuel. It was not a decision of one person, but collectively a decision of stakeholders”. He said.
Speaking on Governor Udom Emmanuel’s willing acceptance of the man identified and endorsed by the stakeholders, Attah said having a successor who would not continue on the legacies of his predecessor could be detrimental to the future of a state.
“Lagos State government has benefited largely from continuity, the reason is because if you pick a fight between the present and the past, then you have lost the future. That was why most of my legacy projects such as the Science Park and the University of Science and Technology were abandoned,” he pointed out.
While reiterating his optimism that Umo Eno will bring his private sector zeal and energy into governance, he also advised the PDP governorship hopeful and other youthful leaders to be willing to consult past governors/leaders for ideas to make the state better.
“I do not think you are smarter than your fathers, have respect for the elders, listen to what they have to say. If we build on the past, then the future is limitless”. He said.
Commenting on the ongoing certificate scandal on Umo Eno, Obong Attah who acknowledged the case was ongoing in court, however, suspected the move was initiated by those who felt threatened by the PDP aspirant’s emergence.
He however, regretted that Nigeria was not practicing a parliamentary system of government, where all who had indicated interest to govern the state could have formed part of a parliament, to bring their wealth of experiences to the development of the state.
He noted that the future of Akwa Ibom, as a state with minimal landmark for large scale agriculture lies in technology. Such realization, Attah said, necessitated his establishment of the university and park, as well as sponsorship of 72 graduates who were projected as pioneer lecturers, for post graduate studies in Canada.