By Emmanuel Ndon
The spin doctors appear to be at their best no sooner than they cooked up the certificate scam against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno. They have spewed everything unimaginable, akin to smoke and ashes spewed from the volcano just to demarket a good brand.
Except for mischief, what would be the fuss about a certificate whose authenticity has already been challenged at a competent court?
It is not difficult to verify a disputed certificate when the issuing institution (in this case WAEC) is just within reach. But there is no documentary evidence to show that any of them has written to WAEC to be able to provide any evidence disproving the said certificate.
Even at that, common sense would appeal to them that it would be sub judice to dwell on a subject matter that is before a court of competent jurisdiction. This is contempt on its own!
There is nothing new about smear campaigns and propaganda. It is a weapon for most politicians. It is all about distributing false information – and the intention here is to weaken Pastor Umo Eno’s camp.
However, this is not something to worry about. Their failure started at the very beginning. During the build-up to the party congresses, they were cogs in the wheels crying foul where non existed. At the primary level, they were chasing even their shadows. At their wits’ end, when it became obvious that the man could not be stopped, they spawned the certificate scam!
After a confident victory at the primary, a petition on the same issue was sent to the national chairman of the party and after due diligence by the party, a certificate of return was issued to Pastor Umo Eno, implying that the party didn’t find any problem with his certificates.
Thankfully, Pastor Umo Eno himself has maintained his calm. First and foremost, he knows the truth, and, as a pastor, he understands what is meant by the wiles of the enemy.
Most people have expressed the view that Pastor Umo Eno has been too quiet about the entire saga. Perhaps his silence is also because the matter is in court, and the Umo Eno that I know would not subject himself to trial by the internet community.
And rightly so. Social Media is not the right place for him to prove his innocence. The court offers a better platform for that, and as far as it has to do with the law, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.
Assuming he didn’t go to school, anyone who has managed a successful business conglomerate of his kind, that is still standing strong for over 25 years, employing, directly and indirectly, thousands of Akwa Ibom people and beyond, should be seen as a genius.
The reckless challenge on Umo Eno’s certificates is an affront to his person and integrity. But worse, it is an indication of bad blood and the decrepit nature of our politicians and party politics.
Agreed that there will be this contest during campaigns leading up to the primaries. But after the primaries, every good party man aligns with the candidate of the party. It is bad politics not only to run down your candidate but also if it is your desire for the party to lose the poll.
There’s no doubt Pastor Umo Eno enjoys support from a large swathe of society. What is required at this point is logical reasoning. For his teeming supporters and loyalists, they need to hold fast, remain calm and be sure that the standard-bearer represents the new can-do spirit as exemplified by his rising profile.