… Onofiok/Umo Eno alliance a political masterstroke – Eno’s Campaign Organization
In a move seen as a political masterstroke that has further consolidated Pastor Umo Eno chances and given him a “comfortable edge” ahead of the March 11, 2023 Governorship election in Akwa Ibom State, former Akwa Ibom State Speaker and member representing Etinan Federal Constituency, Rt Hon Onofiok Luke, on Tuesday endorsed the PDP Governorship candidate, Pastor Umo Eno for next year’s governorship election.
The move has sent shock waves and panic into the camp of other gubernatorial candidates in the state and Senator Bassey Albert who recently defected to the YPP after failing to secure the PDP Governorship ticket. Hon Luke’s endorsement of Umo Eno coupled with the support and goodwill he has from a large segment of the young voting population in the state, has further consolidated his bid to occupy the Hilltop Mansion come 2023.
It will be recalled that Luke, who was one of the PDP Governorship aspirants during the primary and Pastor Umo Eno who eventually won the ticket both hail from Nsit Ubium LGA in Uyo Senatorial district, where the Governorship seat has been zoned to in the state.
The reconciliation between the duo was brokered by the Oku Ibom Ibibio and President General of the Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers Council,
His Eminence, Nteyin Solomon Daniel Etuk, who admonished the two politicians to go work together as great sons of Akwa Ibom and get the victory come 2023.
The Royal Father charged them to work together in the interest of peace and overall development of Akwa Ibom people, submitting that it was his duty to ensure that politics does not divide his children because as a father, he could not stay alive to watch his children stay at opposite directions.
He urged the PDP Governorship candidate to carry his brother and others along, as more hands make the job a lot easier.
“It is like a farm, with more hands, the weeding is easier…Go and work together as great sons of Akwa Ibom and get the victory.” Ntenyin Solomon admonished.
Responding, Hon Luke who collapsed his campaign structure and support base to Pastor Eno, said the reconciliation meeting was symbolic because it was instituted by his fathers and as a child from a humble home, he couldn’t disobey the monarchs.
“It would have been very difficult for me to be convinced if this meeting had been at the instance of any other set of people. I never haboured any intention to betray my party PDP because everything I have achieved, has been made possible by the PDP”, Hon Luke declared.
“I have to honour my people, my fathers – the traditional rulers, the PDP which gave me a platform to serve the people. I will work for the emergence of Pastor Umo Eno as Governor of Akwa Ibom State come 2023”, he vowed.
On his part, an elated Pastor Umo Eno thanked the Etinan Federal Constituency representative for his show of love and solidarity and promised to integrate all his supporters and work together with him in the overall interest of the state.
He used the occasion to share his blueprint with the erstwhile Governorship aspirant, noting that his governorship ambition was borne out of his desire to replicate his experience in managing businesses with the aim of supporting and encouraging small and medium scale enterprises to grow in the state.
In his words, “I will work with you with open heart. I am your senior in age but God has raised you as my senior in politics. I will never take this for granted. Help me reassure your teeming supporters that your people shall be my people.”
He promised to partner with Hon Luke in his quest to sustain the peace and economic development in the state.
Reacting to the development, the Head of National Media, Umo Eno Campaign Organization, Mr Anietie Usen described the endorsement of Pastor Umo Eno by Hon Luke as patriotic, selfless and commendable, noting that Hon Luke has once more demonstrated that his philosophy is about service to humanity and the larger interest of the State above self.
He explained that Hon Luke’s action comes with great courage which amplifies and gives credence to the quality of his character and noted with delight that the former Speaker has once again demonstrated that he is not a desperate or greedy politician but one who is ready and willing to sacrifice self interest for the greater good of the State.
Mr Usen urged other aspirants to emulate Hon Luke’s example, stating that Pastor Umo Eno is a man willing to embrace teamwork, partnership and tap from the wealth of experience and knowledge of others so as to take Akwa Ibom State to the next level of development.
He assured that the PDP remains the party to beat, and called on Akwa Ibom people to keep faith with the party because the PDP remains the only party that has “consciously, systematically and progressively developed and transformed the state from where it was in 1999 to what is is today that has made the state a major destination and reference point in Nigeria”.