There has been a change of baton in the leadership of Akwa Ibom State as Pastor Umo Bassey Eno takes the oath of office for a four-year term as the fifth democratically elected governor of the State with Dr Akon Eyakenyi as his Deputy.
Pastor Umo Eno succeeds Mr Udom Emmanuel who has been on the saddle for the past eight unbroken years.
The State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Ekaette Obot, administered the oath of office to the governor Monday, May 29, 2023, at about 1:27 pm at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium (The Nest of Champions ), Uyo followed by the newly sworn-in governor signing up to the instruments of office, per the fifth column of the Nigerian Constitution.
In his inaugural speech, Pastor Umo Eno dedicated the day to God Almighty, Akwa Ibom people, who, despite the welter of falsehoods and morally objectionable propaganda against his candidature as Governor, chose to align with the ARISE agenda and expressed appreciation to the fathers of faith for supporting his campaign with prayers.
Umo Eno particularly thanked his predecessor, Mr Udom Emmanuel and his wife, Martha, for their diehard support through the struggle which, he maintained, has made the day a reality.
He also paid tributes to past governors of the state for the foundation and series of development that have taken Akwa Ibom to where it is currently.
He said the actualisation of his administration’s vision is a collective responsibility and called on patriotic citizens of the state to join hands with him to further the developmental strides of his predecessor.
He appealed to all Akwa Ibom people to come together and build the state with assurances that the success of Akwa Ibom is the success for all and promised to set up a bi-partisan reconciliation committee to jaw-jaw on critical issues of development rather than war-war while soliciting the outgoing governor’s continuous availability as a reference point for counsel and help.
“Elections are over, and our kindred spirit must be renewed and deepened, We are all Akwa Ibomites first before politics. Politics therefore must not separate or sever the ties of our brotherhood and common heritage and aspirations, I pledge to you that I will be Governor for all Akwa Ibomites, irrespective of political persuasions or affiliations”, he stated.
He said his administration will invest heavily in education, human capacity development, rural development, sports, tourism, security and mostly agriculture to ensure utilization of the state’s comparative advantage and build the economy which will give the fishermen and farmers proper financial value for their work.
“…we will continue to construct roads, link the remaining communities that have not yet been connected to the national grid, and ensure that they have electricity, clean water and primary healthcare facilities to complement the great strides recorded by my worthy predecessor as well as provide secondary healthcare facilities”, he added.
In a brief handing over ceremony at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Uyo, Mr Udom Emmanuel congratulated Governor Umo Eno for having emerged as the governor of the state and his swearing-in to the office and used the occasion to advise him to be various things to various people in various situations and told him to be ever ready to take full responsibility for whatever happens in the state under his watch.