May 25, (THEWILL) – Pastor Umo Eno, the preferred successor of the incumbent governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has emerged the flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), for the 2023 general elections in Akwa Ibom State.
At the delegates election, held at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, on Wednesday, Eno pulled a total of 993 votes out of the 1,018 delegates accredited for the exercise, to defeat 13 other aspirants.
Others, who took part in the exercise included: James Iniama, with 1 vote, Aniekan Etim scored 2 votes, Mike Enyong had 1 vote, Senator Bassey Albert scored 1 vote, while Akan Okon polled 3 votes.
Others include Onofiok Luke, who got 3 votes; Umoh Idorenyin James 2 votes and Mr Ide Owodiong 1 vote, even as there were two voided votes.
THEWILL reports that before the commencement of the exercise, Onofiok Luke, Senator Bassey Akpan Albert and Prince Aniekan Etim, among others had issued statements boycotting the exercise.
They cited a subsisting court order in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/606/22, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, as the reason for their decision to boycott the primary.
However, when the matter came up Tuesday, Counsel to the 2nd –1st defendants, Uwemedimo Nwoko SAN, argued that the status quo ante bellum advice by the court was misrepresented by the plaintiffs to mean an order of court to stop the primaries from holding.
The court had agreed that it never stopped the primaries of the PDP in its order and urged the Plaintiffs to go ahead with their arguments on the preliminary objections over jurisdiction and locus standi brought by the defendants.
Counsel to Plaintiff, Ahmed Raji, also appealed for more time to study the preliminary objections filed by the defendants. The defendants raised no objection to his plea, after which the matter was adjourned to Wednesday, 1st of June, 2022 for further hearing.
The exercise was supervised by the Akwa Ibom State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini, alongside other officials of the Commission, were on hand to monitor the exercise in line with Constitutional provisions.
The Akwa Ibom PDP Governorship Primary Committee had Edo Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, as Chairman, while Mr Edwards Ayo-Odugbesan served as Secretary. Other members of the 6-man Committee were Hon Mamman Usman, Hon Stephen Ibrahim, Barr K, Njoku and Mariam Bala.
Some aspirants, who lost the primary have congratulated Pastor Umo Eno for emerging victorious at the primary.
In his acceptance speech, the PDP Gubernatorial flag bearer expressed appreciation to God and all the delegates for finding him worthy of the office of the state Governor as Udim Emmanuel’s tenure winds down.
Eno, who broke down with emotional tears said he never envisaged such elevation in his life, considering his background as a poor barrack boy, coupled with the fact that he lost his father at a very tender age.
“This moment, therefore, represent the intentions of those who trust in God and in accordance with Psalm 125; that those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abides forever.
“I want to assure you all that you have made the right choice, I will not take light the trust and faith you have reposed on me.
“I wish to extend hand of fellowship to my fellow contestants, wherever they are, that it is only one person that can sit on the seat of Government of Akwa Ibom State at a time. I extend this hand of fellowship to you. Each and everyone of you have fought a good fight, but it has pleased the Lord that at this time, I should represent the PDP.
“I will work with you, I will respect your ideas, we will work together. I urge you to join hands to build our party to make it to the next level, so that PDP in Akwa Ibom will continue to thrive.
“Let’s bury our swords, let’s come together and work for the success of our great party”, Pastor Eno beckoned.
Addressing the crowd at the end of the exercise, the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, decleared the contest as no victor no vanquish, stressing the plan by the party to set up a reconciliation committee to offer all the chance to join hands to make the government and PDP family strong.
He, however, insists on the fact that God is doing a new thing in Nigeria, opining that all that is happening in the country is the hand of God and definitely for the good of the people.
“God does not go for what is qualified, but He qualifies the man that he chooses. At this time, He has chosen Umo Eno. Whatever you see happening, is the hand of God. No one lost the election, but God has chosen someone”, Gov Emmanuel stated.
Attached: pic of Pastor Umo Eno with wife, Patience, casting their votes during the delegates’ election