2023: Calling Gov Emmanuel ‘dictator’ over choice of successor unwarranted – Ex-minister, Essien
A former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Chief Nduese Essien, has described as unwarranted the unprintable names that Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has been called recently over his choice of successor.
The governor has been called a dictator following his announcement of Pastor Umo Uno, the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, as his preferred successor on 30th January, 2022.
But the former minister during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, in a media interaction on Tuesday in his Shelter Afrique residence, Uyo, queried if a sitting governor would not be interested in who succeeds him, asking why Emmanuel’s case should be different.
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 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 elections. 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 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 his preference.
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.