By Osondu Ahirika

Today, Thursday, March 29, 2023, the Independent National electoral commission, INEC, will issue Certificates of Return to the Governor-Elect of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno and his Deputy, H.E. Senator Dr Akon Eyakenyi and members of the State House of Assembly that were winners during the election.

While the joy of Pastor Umo Eno’s landslide victory reverberates across the State and beyond, this ceremony means several things of significant allure to the future of Akwa Ibom State.

Receiving the Certificate of Return is the evidence that Pastor Umo Eno has won a popular mandate. It is an instrument for him to press the reset button for Akwa Ibom State.

After the hard fought Governorship election, Pastor Umo Eno yesterday thanked his Campaign Organisation.
Pastor Umo Eno at the occasion insists he is not unaware the State is severely polarised along ethnic, political and even religious line’s. Did I say religious line’s?

Yeah! We may be 99% christians in the State, but we know, for instance, that the Father’s of Faith had cracks in their ranks and some top Christian leaders under the Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly, ACA, plied a different direction in this election cycle.

Up next therefore, Pastor Umo Eno has determined his action plan. Already called into the Holy Ministry of Reconciliation as an ordained cleric, the Governor-elect has set out to reconcile every front, forum, faction, position, rank and file.

To get the Certificate of Return means he shall be a Governor of all, including those who didn’t vote for him. With wide open and outstretched arms, Pastor Umo Eno is poised to embrace everyone who responds.

The Certificate of Return is a charge to run an all inclusive Government. Pastor Umo Eno says he has heard the voice of the youths. A takeaway from his reflection on the last General Elections and it’s outcomes nationwide.

The cry of the youths for empowerment, engagement, employment and encouragement will be answered by Pastor Umo Eno. The female youths who thronged every campaign rally in their numbers under sun or rain will be considered.

The young lads who believed in the ARISE Agenda will be brought to the table. The women, elders and statesmen will be carried along. Happy days are ahead.

Pastor Umo Eno will start rebuilding the bridges broken by the fault lines of partisan politics. He is out to calm frayed nerves and reassure the wary that there will be no witch hunt of anyone howsoever.

He has extended invitation to cynical hardliners and even people who can’t be pleased no matter how good your intention is. He insists on reaching out to them. Everyone matters, including those who lost the elections.

That’s the whole concept of Lostology. I didn’t mean to confuse you with the term. But that’s why he is a Pastor. Seeking the lost Sheep of Israel is a task that must be implemented. Pastor Umo Eno isn’t receiving the Certificate of Return to play the toxic game of, The Winner Takes All.

The Certificate of Return is a signpost to the future of brotherhood, peace, prosperity as well as sociopolitical and economic growth. Pastor Umo Eno will connect the dots and consolidate the gains with consensus building. All we owe him is mass support, goodwill and prayers.

Akwa Ibom State is rising.


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