Newspaper lunch


by Mfonobong Ukpong

As the debate on who succeeds Governor Udom Emmanuel ahead of 2023 continues to dominate the front burner, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, and 2023 Governorship hopeful, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno says the future of the state depends solely on the collective decision of Akwa Ibom people.

He has also insisted that all those criticising his endorsement by the Governor, had also prayed to be the anointed or preferred successor to the Governor.

Speaking, Saturday night at Watbridge Hotel where he performed the unveiling of a weekly news tabloid, CityWatch Newspaper, Pastor Umo Eno was few days ago unveiled and endorsed by Governor Emmanuel and stakeholders in the state, said the decision by the Governor to support his Governorship aspiration does not in anyway prevent other aspirants in the PDP from peacefully engaging the electorate for the Governorship seat.

“Everybody complaining today was actually looking for Governor Emmanuel’s endorsement, and the Governor can only endorse one person.

“The Governor has the right to endorse any body he feels like endorsing, and that does not stop others from aspiring. He has not stopped anyone from contesting”.

Reacting to some media criticisms on his person and the Governor since his recent unveiling, the Commissioner advised other contestants in the race to go about their consultation and be prepared for party primary which would throw up the flag bearer of the party.

He said Akwa Ibom needs a Governor that would sustain the achievement of the current administration, and cautioned the people against making wrong decision capable of eroding the gains so far attained in the last few years.

He sued for issue based engagements, rather than dwelling in mudslinging and petty issues.

“Let’s have issue based engagements.”

Umo Eno who has had a successful career in the private sector with his brand, Royalty Group, having over 500 staff on his payroll, listed human capital development, Intensive rural development, industrialization amongst others as areas he would focus on if he eventually emerges as Governor in 2023.

He also promised to consolidate on the successes recorded by Governor Emmanuel in the area of road infrastructure, aviation development and the seaport Project which he identified as key economic gateways.

“All my life I’ve been creating jobs.
Outside Mobil, outside government, I’ve been able to build a brand that has created jobs for over 500 people. This is a business I built from scratch”.

” What we should be asking ourselves and those aspiring for the office should be, what will you do to address unemployment and food security”.

While congratulating the publisher of City Watch Newspaper,.Dr. Uwemedimo Umanah and the editorial team of the newspaper for doing a good job, Pastor Eno charged the team to uphold the ethics of the journalism profession at all times.

Reacting to some sponsored writeups against his person circulating on the social media space since the news of his unveiling broke out, Umo Eno who was particularly shocked that people could go as far as posting pictures on the internet, making caricature of his person and body shaming, said he remains undeterred.

“Ask yourself what I’m about to write of him, if I’m in that person’s shoe how would i feel?

“I came down from the plane the other day and a young man I interacted with, asked me to forgive him because he wrote some uncomplimentary things against me on the social media two weeks ago, but that upon interacting with me he has discovered that I did not deserve such attacks he was paid to carry out.”

Earlier, the Publisher of the newspaper, Dr. Uwemedimo Umanah who is a Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel, described City Watch Newspaper as a vision that came at the right time, and assured of the readiness of the news medium to align with the tenets of the journalism profession, while informing and educating the public.

Chairman on the occasion, and Dean Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Uyo, Prof. Peter Esuh saluted the ingenuity and courage deployed by the Publisher in the rebranding and unveiling of the newspaper.

Special Assistant to the Governor on Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso giving a remarks,

He advised the management of the tabloid to ensure the newspaper is widely circulated across the State, and urged the team to uphold the journalism ethics by ensuring factual and balanced reportage.

Among personalities that witnessed the unveiling which held at the Shakespeare Room of the Watbridge Hotel include, a former Commissioner for Environment and Advisor of Watbridge Hotel, Barr. Ekong Sampson, Special Assistant to the Governor on Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso, Vice-Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Mrs. Nene Affia, Chairman, NIPR, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Mr. Nsemeke Udo Akpan, Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT, Mr. Solomon Eyo, Special Assistant to the Governor on Project monitoring, Joseph Okon, Chairman of Federated Chapel of NUJ, Mr. Inimfon Silas, among others.