Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and political leader of the Ibibios, Obong Victor Attah, has defended the reason he and other stakeholders in the state chose Pastor Umo Eno as the 2023 governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Attah said he might be out of office but not out of ideas to decipher who means well for the people of Akwa Ibom and would deliver on the mandate.
Speaking at his residence in Uyo, on Tuesday, the former governor said that as a statesman, he was duly consulted by other aspirants, adding that major stakeholders in the state agreed that Umo Eno should be picked as he did not only have the capacity and experience but he is neutral and never belonged to any group as other aspirants.
He added that when the idea was mooted to the governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, he accepted it saying that the stakeholders were happy over the governor’s acceptance.
“As the crowned political leader of the Ibibios, I was allowed to welcome all aspirants on consultations and only raise the hand of the preferred at the right time.
“I might be out of office but not out of ideas, I see Umo Eno being humble and willing to seek advice.
“Among all the aspirants who were consulted to take over from Governor Udom Emmanuel, major stakeholders preferred Pastor Umo Eno because of his humility, capacity to deliver and experience in the private sector. It was also discovered that Pastor Eno was the only aspirant not fronted by any group, with his only group being Akwa Ibom people.
“It is the stakeholders that identified Eno along with a few other names and the governor also adopted him as the one he would like and we were very happy.”
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.
Attah noted that the existence of a fight between the present and the past, always jeopardizes the future.
According to him, “In this state, we picked a quarrel with the past, my science park was abandoned, my seaport project was abandoned, my University of Technology was abandoned, several other things were abandoned, and we started new things like Tropicana.”
He said for any government to succeed it must embrace the past and build on the achievements of the present and past administrations.
Reacting to the insinuation of certificate forgery instituted by Mr Akan Okon, the former governor said only a man who feels threatened by the success of another will put up efforts to eliminate or create doubts in the minds of People.
“When I learned about the certificate forgery case, I laughed, I quickly put up a call to verify and was satisfied, the outcome from the court will tell further,” he said.