Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel has unveiled Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources Mr Umo Eno as his preferred successor.
But his choice has created a big division in the State Executive Council and State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with many members against it.
It was reliably gathered that Emmanuel unveiled Eno on Sunday night during a meeting with some selected leaders in the State and interested aspirants for the governorship post, including National Assembly members.
The announcement ended months of speculations and tension in the State over Emmanuel’s preferred successor.
Former Governor Victor Attah and some fathers of Faith, an association of influential church leaders in the State, it was gathered, influenced the Governor’s preference for the Commissioner.
Governor Emmanuel had invited some party elders, including some of those nursing gubernatorial ambition to the Governor’s lodge without disclosing the meeting’s agenda to them.
But the annoucement reportedly caused a rift in the State Executive Council with some Commissioners nursing governorship aspiration very uncomfortable with the development.
Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary Onofiok Luke said to be eyeing the governorship in 2023 reportedly stormed out of the meeting after the annoucement, sources said.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Iniobong Ememobong and his Economic Development and Ibom Deep seaport counterpart, Akan Okon were absent at the meeting.
Emmanuel’s Chief Press Secretary, Ekerete Udo, who confirmed the development but said the action was taken by a cross section of stakeholders in the State.
“The Governor announced that he (Eno) was the one God has revealed to him as the next Governor of the state and he was unveiled to all the stakeholders from the three senatorial districts of the State by the former governor, Obong Victor Attah, who then commended the choice.
“It was an array of the political elders made up of Senators and House of Representatives members,” Udo stressed.
When asked if there were some dissenting voices at the meeting on the choice of Eno, Udo said he wasn’t aware of any.