There is unease in the camp of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom State, as the statutory delegates comprising select ward and state officers shunned the state governor and publicly endorsed the former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke, for governorship in 2023.
Governor Udom Emmanuel had recently endorsed his Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Pst Umo Eno, as his preferred successor.
Udom’s decision received a lot of backlash from different groups and party members.
The preferred successor, thereafter, has embarked on aggressive consultations where some persons and stakeholders were said to have endorsed him and assured him of their support.
Conversely, over 250 statutory delegates in the party, who seemed to be unsettled by pastor Eno’s personality and aspirations, dared the governor and endorsed Luke, who is currently the chairman of the Committee on Judiciary in the House of Representatives.
Speaking on behalf of the delegates, Mr. Abraham Joshua Udoekong, said they have seen in Luke, the capacity, character, love for the people, ideas and passion to drive economic and social development of the state, as such they have decided to come forward and endorse him for the general good of Akwa Ibom people.
According to him, “We are taking this bold step for the general good of our state. We started mobilising ourselves for the Onofiok Luke’s governorship project in 2020; today, we have mobilised delegates to come here and endorse Onofiok Luke. We believe in him, we will vote for him.”
Udoekong said they were not perturbed by recent political happenings in the state, insisting that their resolution to support Onofiok Luke at the party primary was absolute.
Other members of the group who spoke at the meeting said it was time members of the PDP took their destiny in their hands by voting their conscience and not persons chosen for them.
Addressing the group, the Director of Operations, Amazing Grace Campaign Organisation, Mr. Victor Brownson, thanked the delegates for coming out to publicly endorse Luke.
He said, “There was a time we were looking for delegates; now delegates have seen the truth; they are now coming for Onofiok Luke.
“Onofiok Luke is one man who is associated with good works and I believe that is why you want him to be governor of Akwa Ibom State. We need a good man on the saddle of governorship and Onofiok Luke has demonstrated in words and actions that he is a good man.”