OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE
Mr. Udom Emmanuel,
Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Our dear Governor,
WE ARE SHOCKED BY YOUR DOUBLE STANDARD; DID YOUR SOOTHSAYERS SAY YOU WILL BE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA?
The recent purchase of the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for presidency on the platform our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for you by the popular Brekete Family Radio/TV show is heart warming and inspiring. However, much as we appreciate calls by a group of Nigerian media practioners on your Excellency to contest for the office of president of Nigeria, we owe our compatriots the responsibility to expose your double standard on choosing who to serve in public office.
Recall Sir that you raised a concern over qualification and experience of our would-be president while accepting the N40million worth presidential nomination forms in Uyo last Thursday, when you reportedly ‘frowned at a situation where high level qualification and experience were set as requirements to engage someone to manage organisations, but only a Secondary School Certificate is required constitutionally, to manage a country with over 200million people’. You further said that “…it is unfortunate that if we are looking for a Managing Director of a particular company, the CV we seek, spans 3-4 pages, but when we are looking for a President of the country, based on the constitution, all we need is WAEC, no experience.”
It is absurd how easily you could demand for a highly qualified and experienced manager to serve as president of Nigeria when you have shown Akwa Ibom people, by your proposal of a relatively less qualified and inexperienced man as successor, that qualification and experience does not matter in choosing a governor as long as it was “divinely” revealed. Nigerians ought to beware that you have abandoned reason, thrown caution to the wind and succumbed to all manner of prophesies from your retinue of ‘prophets’ both international and local. Yet, you expect Nigerians to logically search for the best qualified technocrat to preside over the country.
If, by your recent submission, you value qualification and experience that much in governance, what qualification and experience does Umo Eno, your proposed successor have? Does family ties and clannishness equate qualification and experience? Of course, you should know that there was a governor (Obong Victor Attah) in our history, who similarly attempted to impose his relative on us and failed superlatively. You are on that same path, making exactly the same mistake, our dear governor. Retrace your steps now before it is too late. If by chance you succeed as president, do you intend to lead Nigeria by listening to soothsayers?
If you can recall Sir, when our former leader and governor, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio was shopping for who to succeed him, he selflessly resisted the temptation to accept Mr. Michael Sebastine (his in-law) as successor in order to bring you to serve our people. We believe he was impressed by your 3-4 page curriculum vitae. He then moved heaven and earth to have you become governor for the simple reason that Akwa Ibom State needs a world class financial guru to survive debilitating effects of national recession and still achieve growth. Alas, in your time, rather than sustain such selfless precedence, you are pursuing your family agenda, claiming to be ‘divinely guided’!
Your Excellency, we insist that your choice of Umo Eno is self-serving, unacceptable and against the overwhelming interest of Akwa Ibom State PDP and against the will of well meaning Akwa Ibom people. You smuggled Umo Eno – a man notorious for high-handedness and maltreatment of his hotel staff – into the State Executive Council to achieve your immediate personal gain, knowingly mortgaging the welfare of our State. If you conduct an independent survey across the State, you will find that Akwa Ibom people have already rejected your choice of Umo Eno. So, with due respect Sir, we the founding members of the party will not allow you truncate the chances of our party winning the 2023 governorship election. We have invested our time, energy and resources for many years to build this party to its enviable height therefore we will not allow people who joined by default destroy it. We call on the national working committee, the presidential primary screening committee and national delegates to take our observations to heart.
While there is still an opportunity for redressal, we urge you to revert. There are several well qualified technocrats and experienced public officers, within our party, who have served both the State and nation meritoriously. If you retrace your steps from soothsayers toward reason, we can work together to choose our next governor as is the norm. Just as Akwa Ibom people accepted your candidacy in 2014 on the strength of your much touted qualification and experience, we will likewise accept only a suitably qualified and experienced candidate in 2022. We will not settle for less.
We wish you success in your presidential ambition.
High Chief Samuel Ukpabio
Eket Senatorial District
Barr. Andem Andy
Uyo Senatorial District
Atuekong Uyoata Udofa
Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District
For and on behalf of FORUM OF PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDP FOUNDING MEMBERS AKWA IBOM STATE