Umo Bassey Eno, the 2023 governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Akwa Ibom State, has vowed to quit his governorship ambition as well as his pastoral calling if found guilty of forgery.
Mr. Akan Oko, one of the aspirants defeated by Eno, had alleged that the PDP candidate forged his WAEC certificate and falsified his age.
He also launched a lawsuit before the Federal high court in Uyo Akwa Ibom state.
The lead counsel to the defendant, Paul Usoro, SAN, during the hearing on Monday, June 18, filed his client’s testimonial and withdrew the WAEC certificates earlier filed which made the plaintiff’s counsel pray for time to study the new document tendered.
The presiding Judge, Justice Anulika Agatha Okeke, therefore, adjourned the case to Thursday, July 21 for an accelerated hearing.
However, Umo Eno in an interview tagged ‘Citizens Square,’ powered by the Pure Umo Royalty Eno Group (Sad da Initiative) on Tuesday described the certificates trending on social media, alleged to be his as a distraction.
He said he was not perturbed by the situation even as he expressed readiness to accept the judgment of the court.
He said: “Anything you see on social media about my WAEC certificates is a mere distraction. If WAEC says that I, Umo Bassey Eno, have forged my certificate in 1981, or 1983 and it is proven, I will not only quit being a gubernatorial candidate, I’ll quit being a Pastor.
“Let people rant all they want to rant but let them also know that it is emboldening me and empowering me to go on.
“Everything they do is not going to distract me, what they are doing is the fuel needed to move me to the next level. There is no other commitment anyone would give than that which I have said today; my pastoral calling is not less important to me than serving the people of Akwa Ibom state.”
Pastor Umo Eno said his strict parental upbringing would never have permitted him to forge his certificates.
He said there was nothing wrong in resitting an exam to make up for papers he had failed to make previously saying that his story is that of resilience and focus despite the situation he found himself in.
He charged the youths who attended the event not to be afraid of failure but be resilient enough to pick themselves up and move on.
“In 1981, 41 years ago, I never planned to be the governor of Akwa Ibom state, I was barely 17 years old and knowing the kind of parents I had, I would never have thought of forging, it never crossed my mind, it was not even in the lexicon at the time.
“There is nothing wrong in trying an exam under the circumstances I grew up in and then you go to take the exam again and pass the same subject.
“There is nothing wrong in failure, what is wrong is staying down. There is something good about falling and rising, that is the story every young person must learn from me; that you can fall but you do not stay down, you grow and move on.” He said.
The PDP flagbearer in Akwa Ibom state encouraged the attendees at the event to inquire what developmental plans the people seeking to lead them would bring to the table if given the opportunity to serve in any capacity.
He urged them to choose someone who will champion job creation, eradicate unemployment and lead the state to prosperity.
Pastor Eno lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration for opening the three gateways; air, land, and sea to expand the economy of Akwa Ibom State.