Pastor Umo Eno In Psalms 15

By Thomas Thomas

Lord, who can be trusted with power,

      and who may act in your place?

Those with a passion for justice,

         who speak the truth from their hearts;

who have let go of selfish interests

           and grown beyond their own lives;

who see the wretched as their family

          and the poor as their flesh and blood.

They alone are impartial

         and worthy of the people’s trust.

The Hebrew word for Psalm is mizmór, which means a hymn sung to the accompaniment of a lyre. But when the ancient rabbis named the anthology that we know as the Book of Psalms, they called it séfer tehillím, the Book of Praises. There are 150 Psalms in the anthology called the Book of Psalms. However, all of them sing praises to God Almighty, and some of them teach us about what God thinks and wishes for mankind.

Of all the Psalms in the anthology under reference, Psalm 15 speaks to the conscience of all men, and lay bare the criteria for appointing, selecting or electing leaders. Although the Psalm is about the qualifications required to attain God’s heavenly kingdom, but adaptively, it spells the qualifications and criteria for good and acceptable leadership.

Pastor Umo Eno fits into that leadership criteria and qualifications: He has a passion for justice; he speaks the truth; he has let go of selfish interests and grown beyond his own life. Of a truth, he sees the wretched as his family, and the poor as his flesh and blood. He is impartial; thus he is worthy of the people’s trust. I’m saying this based on my first meeting with him sometimes in June 2021 when he was still holding sway as the Commissioner of Lands. I went there with Mr. Tony Ukpong to confirm a story bordering on a dubiety of some of the staff of that Ministry. Upon stepping in to his office, all I noticed was humility and humanity (contrary to the views held by his haters, and spread by ignorants). After exhausting the official questions, I asked him (based on what I observed about his character) if he was interested in becoming the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, but he simply said “only God choose leaders based on the standard he sets in the Scripture”. To me, I think the God’s scriptural standard can be found in Psalm 15 as adapted, contracted, paraphrased and freely improvised above. 

The emergence of Pastor Umo Eno as the PDP governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State is simply divine, hence the reason he is attacked, smeared and insulted. When he was presented by Obong Victor Attah in January this year as the choice of the PDP stakeholders, the trio of the former Governor, the incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel and the PDP governorship candidate Umo Eno were insulted (and still being insulted) by some of those who were canvassing for such endorsement and their supporters. The fact remains that none of those who are paying minions to insult Mr. Udom Emmanuel and Obong Attah would have turned down the endorsement if the lot had fallen on them. When the news of the endorsement of Umo Eno broke, all they did was to induce a section of the media to attempt to make the people believe that Pastor Umo Eno is unelectable. That same section of the media had raised a particular guber aspirant to the status of a demigod that would get the PDP ticket on his own without the support of the incumbent Governor and the PDP. The said aspirant basked on that sectional media hype and went ahead to asked rhetorically about the maternity of a dog (“who born dog?”)

As we speak no one can say authoritatively who the dog or its mother is. But for sure, recent events in the State have proven that Pastor Umo Eno can only stop being elected as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State in next year’s election by God (And I can say without fear of contradiction that God has no reason to stop him). He has gotten the PDP ticket on merit, and all those who underrated him had run away: (some to a rootless party called the YPP and some to the Court to prove that they can “fight” ) and nothing more. Yea, and nothing more because the one that sauntered to the “Leaf Party” after he was roundly defeated by Umo Eno has already known that his ambition has hit the rock; and the other one who went to court and got his case summarily dismissed for lacking in merit will be crushed accordingly in the appellate court in line with the principle of starre decicis, since the only objective of that so called case is to smear the Pastor.

It is foolhardy for anyone to conceive that Umo Eno has no WAEC certificate. It is sheer stupidity for such a person to even think that the Pastor’s certificate is forged. And very annoying to know that some people, just because of politics, can think that the best way to attain their political goals is to tar and smear a man whom God has chosen to honour. There’s why God favours Umo Eno — He is humane, humble and simple!

The distractions in the State just because God has chosen to favour Umo Eno this time cannot detain us here. What concerns us is why he should be supported to succeed come 2023. As an entrepreneur who started his business from the scratch, and grew it to an enviable standard, Pastor Umo Eno is not only interested in supporting the growth of businesses, he also understands the value of start-ups, and how much a science park can aid and propel such dream. Thus, he will ensure that Science Park which Obong Attah started is revived for employments. So, he should be supported in this regard.

Science parks are synonymous with university of science and technology. A very heartwarming point is that through the science park, the very university of technology Obong Attah had dreamt of, but bastardized somewhere in its execution, will soon come on stream. I strongly believe that Attah’s association with Udom Emmanuel and his choice of Umo Eno may not be unconnected with the realization of his dreams for Akwa Ibom State. And this will be the case for any statesman who loves his people and works for their own benefit. 

His speech at the flag-off of Ibom Blue Sea science park speaks volumes. “I have come here because I feel really fulfilled. And I have come to thank Governor Udom Emmanuel not just because he has revived what I believe (or should I say what I know), is going to be a life transforming project, but because in so doing, he has brought an end to that era of destructive politicking whereby we turn our backs on the projects of our predecessors”.

Besides employment opportunities which the Umo Eno administration will create in the State, I owe this State a duty to say that Umo Eno if elected will ensure peace. Akwa Ibom State will be violent-free. Cultists will not be on the prowl as it was the case before Udom Emmanuel came on board. We all will sleep in our houses with our two eyes closed, and initiation into cult will not be a criterion for a job in the State as it would be the case if some people were allowed to man the saddle.

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