It was a gathering like no other. The high and the lowly, corporate titans and top politicians, youths and rising professionals, everybody who was somebody in Akwa-Ibom State was inside the Uyo Township Stadium yesterday as first-class Administrator, former Zenith Bank Executive Director, and immediate past Secretary To  The Akwa-Ibom State Government, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel officially declared for Governor under the umbrella of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
Thousands of people stormed the venue and at a point, the main gate had to be shut for security reasons and to avoid any stampede as everyone wanted to physically witness the historic declaration of this gentleman who is certainly the leading candidate as the battle to replace Governor Godswill Akpabio takes shape.
With the calibre and number of people present at this event, www.thelightnews.com reporter gathered that other contestants will certainly be reassessing their options because as was showcased in the course of the event, PDP Executives from all the Three Senatorial zones openly endorsed Udom’s candidacy.
That endorsement was a clear indication that contrary to speculations making the rounds, the PDP had decided to respect  the zoning formula and therefore Udom’s Eket Senatorial District has been given the opportunity to produce the next Governor-and they have chosen him as their man.
Proceedings at the ceremony which was livened up with pipers, drummers and dancers really revved up when the man of the moment and his wife arrived the venue. There was a din as the crowd shouted his name and surged forward to pay respect and probably get vantage positions to see him clearly.
Wearing his trademark confident smile, he waved in appreciation of this show of support and love before making way to his seat. The event ran smoothly as speaker after speaker poured encomiums on the former SSG; he was described as  God-fearing, humble, transparent, a man of proven integrity, an administrator par excellence and a financial guru.
Indeed it was a day of glory for Udom who intends to bring his outstanding private sector credentials to bear in governance as the  next Chief Executive of the state. He noted in his speech that he will not take the support of the people of Akwa-Ibom for granted and that he was going to build on the sterling achievements of his boss, the incumbent  Governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio.
He revealed that he had a clear vision of the kind of tomorrow that Akwa-Ibom State desires, adding that he is prepared to take the state to greater heights.
Earlier, PDP Chieftain and one-time Military Administrator, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga had noted that his people in Uyo Senatorial District had endorsed Udom.
According to him “Uyo Senatorial District like the two others were firmly behind Udom because he his young, he is an achiever and he has integrity”He therefore called for all PDP members to rally behind the chosen candidate at the primaries and subsequently at the general elections.
Though he was not there, Governor Godswill Akpabio’s muscle was clearly felt at the occasion as key officers of  State Executive and Legislative arms led by First Lady, Mrs. Ekaette Unoma Akpabio attended in full force.
Later in the evening there was a lavish dinner at the Le Meridien  Hotel, Uyo. Guests again turned out  in their hundreds. Though this was a more relaxed atmosphere, Udom was the cynosure of all eyes as all the speeches centred on his attributes and what he would offer the state as next Governor.
Interestingly, very few people knew whom Udom Emmanuel was before he was appointed Secretary To State Government in July 31, 2013. As a Technocrat, he went about his work conscientiously. Slowly and steadily, he wormed his way into the hearts of Akwa-Ibom indigenes so much so that today many want him as their next Governor.
Udom Emmanual declares for governor
The man Udom Emmanuel

Udom Emmanuel is from a God-fearing family in Awa-Iman, ONNA Local Government Area. His father, Mr. Gabriel E. Nkanang is a retired Head Master and a great teacher. Born on July 11, 1966, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel studied Accounting at the University of Lagos and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree with Second Class Honour, Upper Division in 1988. He has a Master of Science Degree in Corporate Governance at Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom.

In 2006, he was appointed Executive Director of Zenith Bank PLC, a position he occupied until his appointment as Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government in July 2013. His other Board appointments include: Non- Executive Director, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), 2010 to date and Director, Nigerian Inter-Banks Settlement System (NIBBs), 2009-2011.

His brilliance and excellent service delivery stood Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel in a vantage position for his additional appointment as Non- Executive Director of Zenith Bank in foreign countries like, Zenith Bank UK, Zenith Bank Gambia and Zenith Bank Sierra Leone. He further served in the same position for Zenith Insurance, Zenith Pension and Custodian, Zenith Securities, Zenith Trustees & Zenith Registrars.

Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN); Fellow of the Institute of Financial Management, since 2005 and, an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (ACIT). He was at the prestigious London Business School, for a programme in Advanced Leadership Management, at Insead, France, he took up Advanced Management Programme (AMP); at Harvard Business School, a frontline Business institution in the United States of America, he studied Negotiation and Competitive Decision-making, and at Colombia Business School in USA, he had training in Executive Leadership.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: