Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has insisted on fair, transparent democratic processes in the emergence of candidates and eventual winners of the forthcoming Local Government elections in the state.
He said he purposely refused to accede to the requests of some fathers of faith and elders in the state on aspirants in some wards in the state, saying he preferred to remain neutral.
Speaking at a special edition of the Monthly Prayer Meeting in Government House, Uyo, the Governor said, “my apologies especially to some men of faith who called to tell me they have candidates. I am sorry because if you call me and another person calls me, who will I love and who will I hate?”
Governor Emmanuel who explained why he chose to remain neutral as a father to all, lamented that some people have remained as trouble shooters in their areas.
He condemned politicians who engage in arming youths with weapons of destruction to engage in election violence, saying “no election of any type is worth anybody slapping the other person.”
The Governor who also preached during the service, said the political leaders should rather build and enhance the capacity of the youths instead of destroying them.
He thanked the founding fathers and past leaders of the state for their role in developing the state, and also thanked the people of the state for their love and peaceful disposition that have aided the steering of ship of the state.
He warned those who are bent on defying the seat of authority in the state to desist henceforth, to avoid the wrath of God.
“If you go to a radio station and all you do is to abuse a Governor, you don’t gain fame by abusing the authority of the Governor.”
The Governor warned against fetish practices in the course of the cultural displays in the state, saying that as a state founded on God, it was not right to share God’s glory with any form of idolatry.
The Governor who earlier read from the Book of Genesis 37: 13-11 said the stars that represented Joseph shone, while the eleven other stars did not glow.
He said just like in the story of Joseph’s brothers in the bible, the stars of so many people are today diminished because of several impeding factors.
The Preacher- Governor identified some of the factors to include envy, hatred, lack of respect, lack of self control, lack of respect to God, nature of friends, laziness and mere foolishness.
He urged Akwa Ibom people to imbibe the virtue of the 30th anniversary message which is anchored on Isaiah 60:1-3, “shine for thy light is come”
The Governor used the occasion to remind the people that the Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo will arrive the state on Saturday, September 23 to commission some projects, will also join in the special interdenominational thanksgiving service on Sunday September 24, at Ibom Hall ground, Uyo.
Ndifreke P. Akpan