Finally, the much awaited successor has been unmasked by Governor Udom Emmanuel, he is someone least expected for the job and this revelation has greatly unsettled big contenders for the seat. Speaking at a thanksgiving service to mark his six year administration, the Governor remarked satirically that the person who will succeed him when unveiled, will shock Akwa Ibomites because he may not look qualified for the job but that God will qualify and him to further the groundbreaking progress his administration has recorded in line with the Completion Agenda of his government.” God will pick someone that people think is not qualified and qualify him.”


It is no longer news that Mr. Udom Emmanuel does not have passion for politics, the way it had been – the popularity seeking approach that will see shrewd politicians preying on the collective intelligence of the poor and subjugated electorate. Popularity especially with spraying of money to crowds had been a major tool utilized by aspirants to woo the masses who badly would care less about the track records of whoever they follow, as long as the politician doles out money, food items, wrappers and hundreds of promises.

For Governor Udom Emmanuel, there must be a clear break from such politics to face the real issues of creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship to thrive. This way, he believes, people will be more empowered on a sustainable basis, create wealth and reduce unemployment data, than doles out money to few who have little or no ideas on what to do with money.

This philosophy is captured in the Governor’s recent statement: “Let me now ask you my dear Akwaibomites: Do you want a successor who will cancel out all the great strides in industrialization we have started? The peace we currently enjoy and return us to the years when violence and kidnapping reigned and sowed fear in the hearts and minds of the people? Do you want a successor who will come with anger towards all we have done, as opposed to continuing with the great works we have started?  Do you want a leader whose approach to testing his popularity would be to drive in a long convoy to “Ibom Plaza” and throw money at the hapless people, watching them scramble for the money and the people would say that’s “Ano owo Mkpo”! Is that the kind of a successor you want?  Is that the kind of empowerment our people deserve? Someone who will bring out the worst in our youths rather than challenge them to seize the future and unleash their potentials? Do you want a successor who will relegate God to the background and assume an all-knowing power? Or do you desire a successor with a known e-mail address that the International business community recognises? Do you want a leader who will fritter away our commonwealth in search of cheap popularity or one who would utilize the resources and continue investing in projects with enduring value? Do you want a successor who would see Government as a cabal where our commonwealth would be shared among a privileged few or do you desire a leader who would continue to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our people, a successor who understands the economic dynamics that shape our globalized space and would utilize those skills to advance our well-being? These are questions you have to provide answers, and the answers you provide would determine the type of a successor you deserve.”

He went in to vow against a successor that will retrogress the achievements his administration he made in the last six years. “…mark my words, we will not return to the type of leadership that is big on noise and small in the execution of the big picture items. We will never go backward on the peace in our land, the steady and focused developments we have started. The line in our State anthem has made this faith manifestly clear: Forward ever and backward never!

 So my dear Akawa Ibomites, if what you are desiring is a successor who will not have the capacity and the discipline to build a State where you and your children will live in peace and strive to excel, if you are desiring a successor who will turn back the clock of our developmental strides, if you are desiring a successor who will bring out the worst in our youths as opposed to galvanizing their energies and challenging them to be the best  they can be, if you are desiring a leader who would not  efficiently  utilize the  resources of this State on projects that have redeeming value then I am sorry to disappoint you, God will not give us such a successor.

 We have gone too far ahead to retreat backward. So as you are engaging in prognostications, creating camps of loyalty and getting consumed by who you think my   successor would be, always bear these thoughts in your mind. God is doing great things in our State and that invisible Hands will continue to steer the ship of this State and will not bring anyone who will negate our gains.”


Primate Udofia agrees with Governor Udom on a Successor, in his statement, the primate said:

“Everyone should be made to understand that Akwa Ibom more than ever, needs someone whose signature is recognised in the corporate world nationally, globally and who is equally God fearing.”

“The state needs someone who will be able to strike the right cords for better offers for its vast economic potentials and rich natural resources.”

“It would be so unfair to lay the foundation for a skyscraper, only for a power-drunk leader to turn same into a bungalow later in the future.”

“We should all be on the look-out for one with a high pedigree and expertise in administration, whose  years of service in previous leadership roles have not been muddied.”

“This should be our collective wish in our desire for a better Akwa Ibom.”

Barr Mfon Ben of MPG also agrees with the primate. He said: “What the governor is saying is that we need someone with an entrepreneurial capacity and the exposure to meet with other businesses because you do not play politics with people’s investments, you must secure investments with trust, we need someone who can manage these investments.”


As at now, we have many names on the dial, most of them practical politicians. They made their names through politics and political appointments. Obong BASSEY Albert is the two time senator of the Federal Republic, representing Uyo constituency. Obong BASSEY Albert, popularly known as OBA made his name through politics and appointment as the Commissioner of Finance during the Senator Godswill Akpabio’s administration. He has a lot of influence among the youths who eagerly seek his emergence as the candidate for 2023 elections. But little is known about Obong Bassey Albert in entrepreneurship.

Obong Paul Ekpo has also been drawn into focus as a potential candidate but like OBA, Paul Ekpo’s name is synonymous to politics. He came to light as Commissioner during Godswill Akpabio’s administration, before his emergence as the State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, where he held sway, until lately. He is the current Chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB. Ekpo has no known business acumen such that fits the Industrial capacity needed to rejuvenate the private sector.

Onofiok Akpan Luke

He is also touted as a successor in waiting. He is the current House of Representatives member, representing Etinan Federal constituency. Friendly and intelligent former Speaker of the Youth Parliament, came to the klieglight through political appointments. He pulls large crowd of youths to his advantage and he is also known for grassroots mobilization but he has no known entrepreneurship capacity needed to sustain the industrialization tempo of the current administration.

Udom Inoyo

Former Vice President, ExxonMobil is an administrator, who while working with the global oil and gas giant, was involved in supporting public education at post Primary level through Inoyo Toro Foundation, where he was giving scholarship to Students and awards to teachers, as well as donations of books and other educational facilities to schools.

He has extensive global exposures oil and gas top administrator but has tested the waters in the local business investments. He has a huge deficit of grassroots impact, and this disconnect is his major disadvantage.

Akan Udofia

Until recently, little was known and heard of this billionaire who is said to be oil and gas magnate in Canada, with fleet of private jets. His money bag has recently drawn the attention of APC, luring him to run for governorship as the party’s candidate. However, Akan Udofia whom sources say, is a close friend of Governor Udom Emmanuel, does not have local business investments and no grassroots backing, and with APC’s desperate moves to fly him as the party’s candidate, he has many hurdles to surmount, his money notwithstanding.

James Iniama

He has declared his intention to succeed the current Governor and, according to him, he has been on ground in the last one year working hard to succeed this administration. As a popular former contestant to guber seat against former governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, James Iniama has a strong grassroots following. However, little is known about his sources of wealth, as he is said to have huge business investments outside Nigeria. Iniama’s name only pops up during political season, just as now.


Current Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaports is said to be gunning for the governor’s seat in 2023. His close relationship with the current Governor has left pundits with the hunch he is favoured for the job. But it is one thing to display colourful feathers under political appointments and another thing to show managerial capacity through previously held private business experience. Akan Okon’s has no known business profile before his appointment, except that he was in the financial world.

Umo Eno

He’s one to look out for the job. A check on his background before joining public service as Executive Director, Agricultural Investments Directorate, AKICORP and later as Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, he was a quiet but very busy business executive and administrator par excellence. For about thirty years, he has been in business and has built enormous wealth of experience, exposures in national and international business. As a hospitality practitioner, he has replicated what Dangote is doing in the nation today through business diversification, with hundreds of employees in his kitty.

Aside hospitality and tourism business, Umo Eno has extensive connection within the oil and gas industry, having worked with oil giants in the country as a leading servicing consultant. He started his business with his savings and grew the business from ground zero to a global business empire.

Talk of politics, he is nonplussed and has asserted that he accepted the Governor’s invitation to serve on the basis of ensuring that governance benefits the grassroots. Perhaps, his credentials are what gave him out to the news hounds who predicted that he was already anointed for the job by the governor but he refuted the claim and advised his bass to wait and support whoever the governor supports for the guber race.

He’s Not A Hardsell

A source hinted that Pastor Umo Eno will not be a Hardsell because, though he is a new entrance in politics but had once held a public office as Chairman of Akwa Ibom Tourism Board during the Obong Victor Attach administration. Thereafter, he returned to his private business, shunning political office to expand his private business. Aside his advantage of running a successful indigenous firm that provides employment to more than half a million employees, the products of his firm such as AkwaFresh water, Big Daddy bread and several confectionaries, including Big Daddy coffee shops, Royalty Hotels, Signature by Royalty, Royalty Economy lodge, Royalty Apartments touch thousands of households in the State. Of all the touted likely candidates, he has a closer relationship with the Akwa Ibom State Spiritual Fathers of Faith, having worked with them as Secretary of Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly (ACA).

Quest News 24

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *