2023 Cleric cautions against campaign of calumny in Akwa Ibom. As the 2023 general election campaign gets underway on September 28, Rev. Richard Peters, a minister with the African Church in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has cautioned political party candidates and their supporters against supporting campaigns of violence and slander in the state to prevent igniting the tranquil political environment that the previous administration had established.
In a conversation with our correspondent in Uyo on Friday, the cleric—who also serves as Governor Udom Emmanuel’s special media assistant—said this in advance of the start of the general election campaigns in 2023.
While he urged the populace to shun anybody who promotes violence, Peters cautioned politicians and their followers, especially those from the opposing parties, against taking the governor’s allegedly placid demeanor for granted by breaking the law.
He recalled how it was nearly impossible to overthrow a sitting government or disagree with the “power that be” in the state, saying that doing so would unleash terror or result in the death of the opponent, and he praised governor Emmanuel for making such a history of “maintaining peace” even in the era of campaigning since taking office in 2015.
“I urge the politicians to play by the rules and avoid campaigns of animosity and defamation, especially against the government of the day, as the campaigns for the elections in 2023 are set to begin in less than 10 days,” he stated.
“It is clear that the governor built a foundation on which political participation flourished in an atmosphere of fairness, equity, and peace. Political unrest existed prior to this government; if you dared to criticize the authority figure, you risked being abducted, your family member being kidnapped, or even being assassinated.
“When you look at Akwa Ibom right now, such a thing does not exist; instead, you have a governorship candidate block the road without the government being bothered by it. Because of his tranquil disposition, the governor would disregard all of the Aspirants’ attacks against the administration, from which they benefitted.
Peters pointed out that, in contrast to what was possible in the past, the governor has never meddled with any institutional mechanisms by which a group elects its leadership.
“Unlike what we previously seen, there were several court cases where a government official sought to dictate who would lead a town. “Governor Emmanuel’s approach has demonstrated that a leader may become popular even by maintaining a calm demeanor and allowing things to flourish uninhibitedly,” he remarked.
He praised the governor for establishing and preserving calm in the state as a result.