2023: How Prepared is Umo Eno for the Job?

2023: How Prepared is Umo Eno for the Job?

The name Umo Eno came to limelight some years back when he was appointed as Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources. Before then, he had worked with Union Bank (1982) and served as Chairman, Akwa Ibom Hotels and Tourism Board (2004). The question then is, what impact did he have on the people?

Umo Eno was recently unilaterally handpicked by Governor Udom Emmanuel as his preferred aspirant; thus, another question begging for answer remains: how prepared was/ is Eno for the task ahead?

So far, the common fact at our disposal is that the founder of Royalty Group is a controversial businessman, with records of abuse of staff and compulsory deductions of 10% of staff salaries in the name of religion.

Arising from the above negatives from his pedigree, many pundits argue that since he was just unceremoniously dragged into the race by the state Governor, Umo Eno has no idea what he will do with the “throne”, if ever he gets there.

Clearly, the realisation that does not have the flair to lead the state out of the present woes is responsible for the current overwhelming rejection of the governor’s “anointed” by genuine delegates across the state.

His actions and speeches portray him as one who is not prepared for leadership. He was quoted to have told the Governor during a sham consultation, ridiculously organised a day after the “anointing” thus: “I am the least qualified among the aspirants in the contest”.

In another occasion, he urged Akwa Ibom people to board a (symbolic)car, not minding the status of the car or what was written on it. This was in response to a question of his experience and what he was bringing to the table.

In other words, Akwa Ibom people should ignore his “least qualifies” status as well as his inexperience. They should ignore the fact that he has no idea up there on how to make Akwa Ibom better.

For him, we should ignore what was written on the vehicle but should just into the vehicle driven by an inexperienced driver, to our death!

The above clearly depicts a man who does not know the nitty gritty of governance and has never dreamt of serving in such a capacity. A source in his camp confirmed that he initially disagreed with the idea when he was asked to prepare to succeed Udom. That was why he refused to indicate his interest in the race, when the governor reportedly asked his cabinet members who were interested in succeeding him to raise their hands.

Judging Umo Eno from his record of service in the private sector shows that his community relations and staff welfare, were/are at point zero. “Take for instance, the Big Daddy Fast Food, by Ikpa/Udoette Junction. Before he built that fast food centre, promising the host community silver and gold. But he refused even his closest neighbour from accessing even his water tape. Now, the now, the place has been under lock for more than a year.

His staff reportedly protested the illegal deduction of 10% from their salaries from source to pay tithe in his church. What manner of “man of God” does that? Yet, his handlers claim he has provided 2,00 jobs. Are they counting the ones locked out of Big Daddy?
“If he cannot manage his fast food centre, is it now that he would be able to rule the whole of Akwa Ibom”, our source queried.

Umo Eno’s speeches, body language and actions clearly depict someone cowed to do what he is not eager to do, or cannot do. A real reluctant aspirant, if you ask me.

The attempt by Governor Udom Emmanuel to force a reluctant aspirant with no idea of how to move forward is reminiscent of the event of 1979 when the Military Administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo forced Alhaji Shehu Musa Shagari on Nigerians. Shagari’s regime was evident in lack of preparation to rule. He was often described as a reluctant President!

Also, in Akwa Ibom State, experience has clearly shown the negative effect of forcing an unprepared person on the masses. The incumbent who was foisted on the people of the state also was not prepared for holding such an office. No wonder all his achievements have been audio; nothing tangible to show!

Contrarily, in 2007, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio became governor against all odds. But because he was prepared to lead the state, history records in kind letters that Akpabio performed excellently well.

Based on experience so far gathered, those who are forced to lead have always failed woefully, while the performing ones are those who understand the problems of the people and their peculiar nature and plan extensively on how to solve them.

Eno’s record on how he deals with his staff is a clear indication that he would not be a good Governor. His poor management of his fast food centre, Big Daddy, also tells in advance the continuity of failed and abandoned projects such as we are currently experiencing in the state today.

It is time for Akwa Ibom people to decide who should govern them. The 2023 elections should not be business as usual, let the people decide who to govern them. A man like Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA), with his volume of achievements, wealth of executive and legislative experience, is our best bet!

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