…As Top Academics Promise to Get Down to the Grassroots
By Our Correspondent
As the build up for the 2023 general elections gather momentum, groups, associations and powerful individuals have join millions of Akwa Ibom people at home and in the Diaspora to drum support to Pastor Umo Eno as governor of the state and Pastor Dr. Markfre Ekefre as Senator to represent Eket Senatorial District in the national Assembly.
The latest is a Non-Governmental Organization, Ibom Development and Empowerment Assembly (IDEA) in their extra-ordinary emergency session with members of the group numbering over two million gathered in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital to sensitize them to take the message home with a view to preaching the gospel of Pastor Umo Eno and Pastor Dr. Markfre Ekefre in their respective communities.
In his speech, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of Ibom Development and Empowerment Assembly (IDEA), Prof. Alfred Young Itah appreciated members for responding to the emergency session of the body. Prof. Itah reiterated the vision and mission of the group, noted that as the 2023 general elections draw near, the group has to bring out the best for the state and country at large. He charged members to be more committed to the course for optimal benefit.
The BOT Chairman declared that for 2023, IDEA has made Pastor Umo Eno their sole candidate for the governorship of Akwa Ibom State while Pastor Dr. Markfre Ekefre who happened to be the International President of the group also has the endorsement of the body to run for senate of the federal republic of Nigeria to represent Eket Senatorial District.
“On behalf of the Executive and the entire members, I, Prof. Alfred Young Itah, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Ibom Development and Empowerment Assembly (IDEA), having seen the agenda and developmental strides of the governor, declare full support for His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State in his succession agenda. We also declare our support to his successor, Pastor Umo Eno, the Honourable Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources to the glory of God; this is the first time an anointed child of God is going to take over the leadership mantle of this state”.
“We also resolve and declare the support of IDEA to the candidacy of our International President, Pastor Dr. Markfre Ekefre, Board Member 1 of the State Secondary Education Board (SSEB) for Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to represent Eket Senatorial District in the National Assembly”. Prof. Itah further described Dr. Ekefre as a man of intellectual ability to drive home the vision of the state government in the area of industrialization and entrepreneurial development.
Pastor Dr. Markfre Ekefre in his response said that he was overwhelmed by the show of solidarity to him, promised that he will not take it for granted as he is poised to keeping the flag of IDEA flying even at the National Assembly. Dr. Ekefre noted that his decision to vie for the senate was anchored on job creation through entrepreneurial and human capacity development. He added that the group was particularly pleased with the choice of Pastor Umo Eno, promised to work to ensure his victory at the polls. Others who spoke at the even included Prof. Akan Brooks, Director Youth development of IDEA and University of Calabar don; Prof Ukana Akpabio, National secretary; Prof. A.W Akpan, Director special duties and Princess Bob among others.
Top executive of the organization that graced the event included among others Prof. Chris Ekpenyong, Director, Health; Dr. Imoiboho Umoh, Director, Education; Dr. Emmanuel Udoka, Director, Religion matters and Surv. John Isangedighi, Director, Empowerment. Others are Pastor Mrs. Elizabeth Ukpong, Director, Mobilization and Mrs. Elizabeth Godwin Umoette, Director, Finance. Non-Executive key team players include Mrs. Mfon Johnny, Mrs. Florence Ekpo, Dr Enobong Uko, Mr. Enobong Idem, Christ Solomon, Eng. Clement Ekefre, Prof. Idara Akpabio, Prof. James Eka, Elder Enefiok Peter, Apostle Paul Ekefre, Mr Ubong Akpannah and Victor Effiong Okon. Others are Dr. Idorenyin Inyang, Arthur Peter Arthur, Mrs. Mercy Sunday Udo, Barr Hilary Ekpo, Barr Unyime Itat, Barr Ita B. Ekpo and Elder Eyo Essien.