Pastor Umoh Eno’s Trump Card By Etebong Akpan

Those who are used to the game of spades know the survival value of the trump card because it helps you pick up other cards on the table. Outside the card game, the phrase connotes some advantages or resources that provide one with a clear advantage.The resource could be intrinsic or clearly open but not seen by many because they are perennially blind. To this category of the blind, they will never accept the trump advantage even though within them they know that the game is over. Therefore it has become one of the difficult jobs on earth trying to explain the impacts of light to these blinds because it is their earnest desiresto remain blind as light and darkness have nothing in common. Light will always displace darkness at the end of the day because that is the order of the cosmic. 

When Governor Udom Emmanuel presented Pastor Umoh Eno as his preferred successor among the array of aspiring interests, he was not only initiating a personal succession ambition but a deliberate succession agenda for the economic development of the state. That the mantle fell on Umoh Eno was no accident, but a predestined process whose completion is few months away from today.  The governor of the royalty group has always been a governor so the ace ranking is not a mistake.

Before his grand entry into the race, the talk in town was how a home breed governor should succeed Governor Udom Emmanuel. The hue and cry of that call led to a healthy exchange of banter between Senator James Akpan Udoedehe and Mr Udom Inoyo during an NUJ event in the state.  It was an award night to round off the year by the union, and Inoyo and the APC secretary were guests of the pen pushers. Udoedehe in his usual character deviated from the issue on discourse topreach about why he should be favoured with the governorship slot of the state in 2023, having lived all his adult life in the state rather than going to Lagos to shop for a governor.

As usual he had the floor until Inoyo mounted the rostrum and invited him to come to Lagos and source for land in Lekki specifically so that by 2023 he can come down as a Lagos big boy to contest the election.  Nobody knows whether the reply was to smirk Udo but it achieved one singular purpose: that theme song of a home breed governor in 2023 was deactivated.It ceased to form the basis of any discourse as the challenge on Udo by Inoyo has exposed the thread behind it. It was a propaganda whose tap-root was anchored on poverty and lack of exposure.  

The issue of street credibility as one of the factors though not as popular as the home governor creed also dominated discourse along the line. It died as it came because it did not take the state governor anything to nip it in the bud before it became an anthem. It was easy to kill the street credibility swan song because of its alleged link to cultism and unwholesome behaviours. Some aspirants even complicated matters for themselves in the process of trying to extricate themselves from street gangs by admitting that they are cultists for Christ.

Apart from the two factors elucidated above, the other drivingforces that were considered in arriving on Governor Emmanuel’s preferred successor were private sector experience, records of loyalty in public service and finally track record as an entrepreneur and an employer of labour.

Most of those aspiring then boast of either of private and public sector experience, others have only public sector experience while the likes of Akan Udofia only have employer CeeVee. Senator Effiong Bob boasts of a rich public sector and an employer CeeVee but Pastor Umoh Eno dwarfs all them with his comprehensive CeeVe of a private sector person, entrepreneur and a public servant.

The new economic reality facing Akwa Ibom now needs a man who has traversed all the sectors of the labour market. This is Pastor Umoh Eno’s trump card. He has been an employee, is an employer and has also tasted the bureaucracy called the public service. Ironically, his wealth did not come from serving in the public service. He made his own money as an entrepreneur. Thisqualifies him as the man who is saddled with the responsibility of the new phase of the economic development of Akwa Ibom State. As earlier agreed by the economic development master plan of the state, we are in a phase of building the people. We have built infrastructure which includes roads, airport and about to enter the deep seaport, it is pertinent to build those who will come in and manage these infrastructure to avoid qualified strangers from other states displacing our people. Building people is far from doling out money or throwing money at the youths at the plaza. It is more complicated and far encompassing. It requires skills and maturity to see to its implementation. That’s where Pastor Umo Eno comes in. As a shepherd in the vineyard of the Lord, he is used to shepherding alarge flock of varied stock with peculiar character traits.

Those angry with his choice are only doing that because the governor refused to allow sentiment to blind him. He chose to stay away and alert to discern from God on his choice. God’s choice is and will always remain the best for the state if not for any other reason but for the mere fact that he is home-grown, street wise, as the son of a police officer who had his early life in the police barracks in far away Lagos. 

Let the PDP and the entire Akwa Ibom State stand in unison and confirm this man’s nomination and eventual election as the new governor of the state for our greater prosperity.


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