Governor udom emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State says he did not seek election to the Nigerian Senate because, as a “political professional”, he did not look at the next election but at the next generation.
Emmanuel said that he was looking instead to be president of Nigeria because he could rescue the country and get it back on track.
The governor stated this Wednesday during an interview with Canales Televisión.
“I didn’t seek to go to the Senate, I sought to be president because I know I have the ability to restore Nigeria, and that’s why I wanted to be president.
“In all the countries on planet earth, the presidency is based on economic plans, and we can have a good economy; that is what the nation needs. I have what it takes to get this country back on track,” Emmanuel said.
Emmanuel, who will leave office on Monday after eight years as governor, was one of the candidates defeated by former vice president Atiku Abubakar in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primaries in May last year.
After losing the primary, Mr. Emmanuel was appointed Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council.
Speaking about the country’s current challenges, particularly the brain drain, Mr. Emmanuel said it was multisectoral and beyond the power of a subnational.
The governor said it has to be viewed holistically from the national level to build a strong economy to reverse it.
“It is not only affecting one sector, we are going to education, health, ICT. In our days, when you are sent to the exchange program, all your wages in Nigeria would still be there. You would be earning allowances there to support yourself so when you come back and rack up the wages then you should be able to buy a car. That was the attraction then.
“But now people are leaving for many reasons, and I keep saying this, employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses, they love the jobs, but what their bosses put to work is what they don’t like. .”
The bosses, Emmanuel said, in this case are the areas of federal, state and local government, including commercial enterprises.
Opting for the presidency and choosing a form for the Senate violates the Electoral Law
Unlike other applicants, particularly those from the government Congress of all progressives (APC) that ran for the Senate again after losing in the presidential primaries, Emmanuel did not.
He said doing so would have been a violation of the law.
“I don’t like breaking the law; I can’t run for president and at the same time I’m going to pick up forms for the Senate. I mean, that’s a total violation of the Electoral Law,” he said.
Although the governor did not name anyone in particular, several APC presidential hopefuls, including his predecessor, Godswill Akpabioafter losing in the presidential primary, he ran for the Senate and won.
In addition to Mr. Akpabio, others include Governors David Umahi of Ebonyi State and Ben Ayade of Cross River States.
Emmanuel declined to comment when asked about his relationship with his former boss and predecessor, Akpabio.
“If you look at me over the years in any interview, I don’t talk about people and personalities, it’s very wrong. I’m not into that kind of politics,” she replied.
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Mr. Emmanuel served as Akwa Ibom State Government Secretary under Mr. Akpabio’s administration before resigning to run in the gubernatorial election in 2015. He was Mr. Akpabio’s preferred successor.
The duo then fell out and Akpabio, in 2018, defected from the PDP to the ruling APC.
Mr. Akpabio is currently the Senator-elect for Akwa Ibom North-West District and the APC’s choice for President of the Senate at the 10th National Assembly.