The leadership of Akwa Ibom has changed hands with the swearing into office Pastor Umo Bassey Eno as governor of the state.
Governor Eno, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), took the oath of office for a four-year term as the fifth democratically elected governor of the State with Dr Akon Eyakenyi as his deputy.
He succeeds Mr Udom Emmanuel, who was on the saddle for two terms of eight unbroken years.
The oath of office, which was administered on Monday, May 29, 2023, by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom, His Lordship, Justice Ekaette Obot, at about 1:27pm at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium also known as The Nest of Champions, Uyo, was followed by the signing up to the instruments of office, by the newly sworn-in governor, in accordance with the fifth column of the Nigerian Constitution.
In his inaugural speech, Pastor Umo Eno dedicated the day to God Almighty and Akwa Ibom people, who, in spite of the welter of falsehoods and morally objectionable propaganda against his candidature as governor, choose to align with the ARISE agenda and expressed appreciation to the fathers of faith for supporting his campaign with prayers.
Governor Eno particularly thanked his predecessor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and wife, Martha, for their diehard support through the struggle which, he maintained, has made his swearing in a reality.
He also paid tributes to past governors of the state for the foundation laid and series of developments that have taken Akwa Ibom to where it is currently.
The governor said the actualisation of his administration’s vision is a collective responsibility and called on patriotic citizens of the state to join hands with him to further the developmental strides of his predecessor.
Also, he appealed to all Akwa Ibom people to come together and build the state with assurances that the success of Akwa Ibom is the success for all and promised to set up a bi-partisan reconciliation committee to jaw-jaw on critical issues of development rather than war-war, while soliciting the outgoing governor’s continuous availability as reference point for counsel and help.
“Elections are over, and our kindred spirit must be renewed and deepened. We are all Akwa Ibomites first before politics. Politics, therefore, must not separate or severe the ties of our brotherhood and common heritage and aspirations. I pledge to you that I will be Governor for all Akwa Ibomites, irrespective of political persuasions or affiliations,” he stated.
He said his administration will invest heavily in education, human capacity development, rural development, sports, tourism, security and mostly agriculture to ensure utilisation of the state’s comparative advantage and build the economy which will give the fishermen and farmers proper financial value for their work.
“We will continue to construct roads, link the remaining communities that have not yet been connected to the national grid, and ensure that they have electricity, clean water and primary healthcare facilities to complement the great strides recorded by my worthy predecessor as well as provide secondary healthcare facilities,” Eno assured.
In a brief handing over ceremony at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Uyo, Gov Udom Emmanuel congratulated Governor Umo Eno for having emerged the governor of Akwa Ibom and for his swearing into office.
Emmanuel advised him to be various things to various people in various situations and urged him to be ever ready to take full responsibility for whatever happens in the state under his watch.
Meanwhile, Governor Umo Eno has approved the appointment of Prince Enobong Uwah as the new Secretary to State Government (SSG).
The appointment, which was contained in a press release, yesterday, signed by the permanent secretary, Government House, Uyo, Dr Nathaniel Adiakpan, listed other appointees as Mr Ekerete Udoh, chief press secretary (CPS); Mr Anietie Usen, senior special assistant, Media and Publicity; Mr Otobong Edemidiong, chief of Protocol; and Dr. Uduakobong Inam as Economic Adviser.
The release urged all to accord the new appointees necessary support to enable them discharge their duties creditably.