Former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Christopher Ekpenyong, has said that contrary to Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision of Pastor Umo Eno, as his would-be successor in 2023, God has also revealed Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, as the choice of God for the people.
Ekpenyong, who currently represents Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Akwa Ibom North-West, declared this when Senator Akpan, paid him a consultative visit at his country home, Obot Akara on Monday.
It could be recalled that Governor Emmanuel on January 30, disclosed that God revealed Pastor Eno to him as his successor in 2023, and enjoined the people to accept.
But in a contrary reaction, Ekpenyong dismissed the governor’s vision, saying instead, that his colleague in the Red Chamber, Senator Akpan, has been revealed to him by God, as the next Akwa Ibom governor.
He extolled the track-records of Akpan in public service, saying “the sterling qualities and laudable achievements both as a former Commissioner for Finance and in the Senate have been a source of pride for Akwa Ibom”.
Addressing crowd of supporters, who accompanied the Senator to the private consultative visit, Ekpenyong said: “I don’t know what others are saying and what they heard. All I know is that God has told me that Obong Bassey Albert Akpan, is the best governorship aspirant for Akwa Ibom at this time. OBA has the experience, he has the connection. With him, we can go to bed and sleep”.
He noted that within the period they have worked together in the red chamber, “you have been a pride to Akwa Ibom and Nigeria. Of course, if we want to follow the American system, if you were not vying for governorship, you are eminently qualified to vie for the presidency of Nigeria”.
“I am aware that you are experienced, you know how Nigeria is and where to tap the resources for the good of our people. I know you have the capacity”, Ekpenyong added.
Senator Albert, according to Dr Ekpenyong, has always been a peaceful and humble person, who accords him (Ekpenyong) due respect even in the Senate, not minding that he is a ranking Senator.
The former Deputy Governor said he had always been proud of OBA’s sterling performance in the senate, which has brought so much respect to Akwa Ibom from the leadership, though of a different political party.
Describing Akpan, as the pride of Akwa Ibom State, he added that he had to postpone his trip to give credence to his candidacy for the governorship of Akwa Ibom State.
Ekpenyong, who said “nobody can intimidate me to accept what is not good for the people”, insisting that “the people want a governor who knows their peculiar problems and has the wide contacts to deploy for their solutions”.
“Since your heart is very clear, I know that you will change the circumstances of these men and women. As a former banker, you know that these people need welfare and banking investments. What they need is development. If you go to Ini, you can change the environment into a rice belt so we can also have rice pyramid. From Obot Akara to Etim Ekpo to Ika, we have the best palm oil”, Ekpenyong added
Senator Akpan, had earlier informed Senator Ekpenyong that his aspiration will leverage on God, his experience, connection with the people and knowledge of their peculiar challenges to serve Akwa Ibom better when elected.
”The welfare of Youths is very paramount towards sustaining the peace for the development of the state. Leveraging the gains of the past administrations will provide a veritable ground for us to address Youth unemployment by generating a resourceful data bank to identify the gaps and core issues limiting the development of our Youths to enable them become self-reliant”, he noted.
He assured that he had tailored a development roadmap that will enable his administration when elected to solve local problems using local solutions.