*How Aspirant intends to fight Poverty

Ahead of the 2023 general Elections, information gathered by the Press indicate that Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel may be secretly working for and funding Rt. Hon Michael Enyong, Member representing Uyo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, as his successor in 2023.

Mike Enyong hails from Uyo Local Government Area, a LGA which the Governor recently approved additional seat for in the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council. It has been speculated the move is part of the plot by the Governor to secure Uyo for the PDP as recommended by Rt. Hon. Enyong at a meeting with the Governor in Abuja, in November last year.

Dr. Michael Enyong in a widely publicized interview with CitizensWatch last year, confirmed his intentions to contest the 2023 gubernatorial election. He spoke first in the residence of Prince Uwem Ita Etuk, a political leader of Uyo Federal Constituency, where he had visited to greet Stakeholders, Elders, Youths and Women of the Federal Constituency during the Yuletide.

In the interview, Enyong said he will contest the 2023 gubernatorial election on the dual agenda of “Poverty alleviation among the masses and development of infrastructure across the state”, especially opening up and expanding the urban space of Uyo, the state capital to accommodate the ever rising inflow of people to the state.

A liberal and locally bred Politician, Mike Enyong is one of the few politicians who understand problems of the state and from the interview, has ideas on how to solve these problems.
He told the press in the interview that his major interest in the National Assembly is facilitating job placements for qualified and eligible Akwa Ibomites and resourceful Empowerments to build their human capacities, a goal he said he has achieved and is recurring.

One year after the interview, Mike Enyong’s gubernatorial ambition which started as a joke is about the most discussed political interest ahead of the governorship poll. A greater number of Statutory Delegates of the PDP, from findings have had interface with the Aspirants and given a free and fair nomination, findings further reveal Mike Enyong may win ticket of the PDP.

A commissioner in the State Executive Council hinted CitizensWatch, that Governor Udom Emmanuel, from body language, is interested in Enyong’s ambition for strategic reasons and may have a hand in his rising acceptability.

Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second term ends in May 2023. Though the Governor in a recent media interaction dismissed interest in any of the governorship Aspirants, CitizensWatch learnt reliably, that who wins Ticket of the PDP and has capacity to win a revving opposition and keeps PDP in power, has been a growing concern for both Governor Udom Emmanuel and the People’s Democratic Party.

Five aspirants are already consulting party leaders and stakeholders even beyond party lines. Aspirants in the PDP are: Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, former Commissioner for Finance and Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District, Hon. Akan Okon, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Ibom Deep Seaport, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, former Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Member representing Etinan Federal Constituency in the National Assembly as well as Mr. Udom Inoyo, a retired Mobil Chief Executive.

A commissioner, who spoke to CitizensWatch while assessing Governor Emmanuel’s mindset, said he must have been attracted to Enyong because of his clean record of not being a cultist nor affiliated to any cult group. According to our source, Aspirants who are cultist will be dropped at the screening level.

Udom Emmanuel talking

CitizensWatch learnt Governor Udom is configuring ways to check the attention given to the APC in Akwa Ibom State. Both the Governor and PDP have agreed that there is a potent threat from APC and Senator John Udoedehe widely held to fly the governorship flag of the APC in. Stakeholders within the party view Mike Enyong as a good material to wedge 2023 governorship aspirations of the former Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory and now Caretaker Secretary of APC at least from the point of view that he comes from Uyo, the State Capital.

Checks by the Press reveal that Mike Enyong has gone far in consultation. Antecedence of generosity and philanthropic gestures are two weapons of political persuasion available to him. Pundits who spoke to the press, say facilitating job placements for Akwa Ibomites has opened ways for him too easily.

Attesting to Mike’s Pan-Akwa Ibom acceptance for the 2023 Hill top mansion job, inside sources told the Press that in continuation of his consultation to Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency, Enyong is said to have unexpectedly visited a former Local Government Chairman to request identification and coordination of Delegates in Eket Senatorial District. In the course of the meeting which lasted for three hours, Enyong requested instant meeting with Delegates identified and listed. 75% turned up, while Absentees were either engaged or could not be reached.

CitizensWatch listened to a former local government Chairman from Eket Senatorial District relating the impromptu meeting to another former Local Government Chairman in Uyo Senatorial District on phone. “We were doubting if Mike Enyong could dismiss the meeting with 50,000 transport money each. However, after heart – to – heart informal discussions which lasted for about two hours, Mike credited our accounts with 300,000 each to service our cars and mobilize delegates for him” said an ex Chairman. They were pleasantly shocked, CitizensWatch learnt.

Mike Enyong told the Press last year that his plans for Akwa Ibom State are encapsulated under one but broad Agenda which is “To fight Poverty”. His strategy is to make money available to people every month to engage in legitimate income yielding businesses. He said: “If one thousand persons are given a million naira each, every month, amounting to one billion naira for 48 months, in a first term of 4 years, not less than forty eight thousand would have been lifted out of poverty instantly”

Enyong said his projection is to make 310 thousand Akwa Ibomites Millionaires, and lift them out of poverty status in his first term in office, at a ratio of one thousand persons, from each of the 31 Local Government Areas.

He demonstrated this in his Empowerment Programme, “Who wants to be a Millionaire”, where 70 Millionaires emerged from Uyo Federal Constituency.



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