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In reiterating their avowed support to the phenomenal performance of the Udom Emmanuel-led administration, stakeholders of Ibeno Local Government Area including members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ibeno Legislative Council, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Dakkada Youths, Youth Caucus, amongst others, have passed a vote of confidence in Governor Udom Emmanuel and subsequently endorsed Pastor Umo Eno as his successor and Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh as representative of Eket/ONNA/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal Constituency in the National Assembly in 2023.

They made their stance known during an enlarged stakeholders’ meeting in Upenekang on Saturday, February 12, 2022.

Motion for the vote of confidence and subsequent endorsement was moved by Hon. Samuel Eyo Otokere and seconded by Hon. Henry Ekpe-Nko.

The motion stated thus: “Pursuant to aforementioned, I, Hon. Samuel Eyo Otokere from Ward-3 in Ibeno Local Government Area, having participated in politics and governance for more than 30 years, therefore, on behalf of the Ibeno stakeholders and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), move a motion that Governor Udom Emmanuel, an amiable leader of highest repute and a maximal performer, deserves a vote of confidence; that Pastor Umo Eno, having passed integrity test and governance rudiments, deserves 100 percent of our votes for the 2023 Governorship, and that Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Ikpong Etteh, the political leader of Ibeno and philanthropist, remains our soul candidate to represent Eket/ONNA/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal Constituency in the National Assembly come 2023.”

Affirming the position of the stakeholders, the political leader of the area and State Commissioner for Special Duties, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, said he was optimistic that, with their total support and unwavering stand, the party’s primaries will be a walk over for Pastor Umo Eno.

“We came today to let the people of Ibeno know that the leadership of Akwa Ibom State under PDP controlled government has chosen Pastor Umo Eno as the preferred candidate to succeed the incumbent Governor. That does not stop anyone from buying Governorship form to contest election. That’s the business of the party. For us, Pastor Umo Eno is the preferred candidate. He is our candidate and our next Governor,” Rt. Hon. Etteh said.

While stressing the need for those in the meeting to spread the news of Pastor Umo Eno’s endorsement in the area, Rt. Hon. Etteh pledged his unflinching support to Eno’s governorship aspiration.

In his remarks, Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Council, High Chief Williams Mkpah, who also spoke at the meeting, described Pastor Umo Eno as a man whose humility has granted him favour before God, urging the people to maintain peace and support Umo Eno’s aspiration.

He added that the people of Ibeno have always been in mainstream politics in the state and that 2023 will not be an exception.

Leader of Ibeno Legislative Council, Hon. Ekemini Abang, who spoke on behalf of the Councilors, pledged the Councilors’ unwavering support to Pastor Umo Eno’s gubernatorial aspiration.

Hon. Abang assured that no matter how enticing offers from other aspirants may be, they would not shift their grounds.

Also speaking, a State Officer of the PDP, Mrs. Grace Ekpe-Nko, who spoke on behalf of the women, extolled Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration for giving women several positions in government. She paid particular tribute to the Governor’s wife, Martha Udom Emmanuel, whose efforts, she said, has made this possible.

In her words, “never in the history of Ibeno has this number of women held political positions. This is the first time we have been really carried along. For this, we will keep supporting Governor Udom and his succession plan.”

Other stakeholders at the meeting who took turns to eulogize the Governor and the choice of his successor included the Vice Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Council, Mrs. Ethel Ifum Henry; the Chapter Chairman of PDP, Hon. Emah Ibok; the Chairman of Ward Chairmen of PDP, Hon. Eshiet Akpanoluo; Secretary of MPM in Ibeno, Hon. Sunday Isokobo, as well as Chairmen of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), State Youth Caucus and Dakkada Youth.

Among those in attendance at the meeting were the Secretary of Ibeno Local Government Council, Hon. Johnson Ukalom; Mr. Harry Ekong; Hon. Ekoakwaha Etteh;Elder Ikoedem Ekong; Hon. Inyang Eyo-Ita; Chief Obong Smith; Barr. Diamond Akpanika; Daniel Solomon; Pharm. Ukpong Okon, among others.

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