A former minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development during former President, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Chief Nduese Essien, has cautioned critics in Akwa Ibom State to stop pouring invectives on Governor Udom Emmanuel over choice of a successor.
The governor has been criticised in the social and conventional media with some calling him a dictator, since his announcement of Pastor Umo Uno as his preferred successor on 30th January, 2022.
Speaking at media briefing on Thursday in his Shelter Afrique residence, Uyo, the state capital, Essien said it is unimaginable that a sitting governor would not be interested in who succeeds him in office.
According to him the governor has the right to make a choice as an individual and as a governor, adding that it is the conglomeration of the preferences for individuals that result in the production of a candidate at the primary elections of the parties.
“As an active participant in politics since 1979 and an avid student of electioneering processes, I have never seen an election where individuals do not have preferences for aspirants.
“It is unimaginable that a sitting Governor would not be interested in who succeeds him in office. Governor Emmanuel has the inalienable right to make a choice as an individual and more so, as a governor.
“His choice at this level does not represent the ‘anointing’, ‘imposition’ or ‘insults’ to Akwa Ibom people where there will be primaries and subsequent election. It does not also make the governor a dictator with unprintable names”, Essien said.
He stated that the governor’s choice before the primary election is not the final position in the election, adding that other aspirants and their supporters still have an option to accept the governor’s choice or continue to press their luck to be chosen at the next level and thus nullify the preference of the governor.
The former minister advised that it is absolutely unnecessary to heat up the polity by throwing “tantrums, innuendos and insults” aimed at desecrating the office of the governor and the persons who witnessed the choice.