By Jonathan Ugbal and Godwin Otang
Nigeria’s Sports Development Minister, Senator John Owan Enoh on Saturday warned those peddling rumors that he is planning for the 2027 guber race to desist from such as he is in full support of the incumbent Governor, Senator Bassey Out.
The former lawmaker stated this Saturday at the Holy Family Parish in Ikom Local Government Area of central Cross River during his Thanksgiving ceremony as minister where he said politicians need to stop creating unnecessary divisions.
“This is a Thanksgiving, it is not for politics, it is to thank God. Some people are trying to drag me by sending me messages about 2027, and I am quick to respond to those messages, that there is no 2027. The Governor is doing well, I will support the Governor, so detractors, I am sorry to disappoint you,” the minister said.
He continued; “Anybody who is running from anywhere in 2027 should know that he will have the Governor of Cross River State and John Owan Enoh to contend with.”
Earlier, the minister disclosed the reason why he was saying such and shared insights into his relationship with Governor Otu and his predecessor.
“There are a few things I would like to use this opportunity and respond to, so that, the detractors as there are plenty, will not have the last say. I am saying my mind from the pulpit, the detractors won’t be able to say theirs from the pulpit. The Governor of Cross River State is personally not here, but he is highly represented by his deputy Governor.
“When we spoke yesterday, and we came to this conclusion; He said he is sending a powerful representative, in the deputy governor. And he said he was sending my brother, his SSG, Professor Anthony Owan Enoh, and he and I laughed, those who know, know. Not only has he sent those people, but the Governor also sent me money, to support my Thanksgiving.
“Every one of the appointees that called him, that I have invited him for this occasion, the Governor said to attend. And why is the governor doing that? The Governor is a politician. He is a strong politician. The Governor has nothing to fear. Because as a politician himself, he is a strong politician. And he has demonstrated that for months after being governor. A few weeks ago he honored about 10 of us, Cross Riverians who are out there, the Justice of the Court of Appeal, the Chief of Defense Intelligence, and several AIGs, his two ministers; he called us. He is not afraid because he doesn’t need to be afraid.
“In honoring us, he is stronger than weaker. He is stronger with all of us working with him. He is the leader of the state, and he needs all of us for the state to move forward.
“I say this because there are people, here and out there, that are going to leave here and carry stories. I remember in 2015, I sat right there, where I am sitting today, with my wife and Governor Ben Ayade sat with me. He attended the Thanksgiving when I was elected to the Senate, but despite attending my Thanksgiving, he fought me for eight years. So it doesn’t matter, what matters is what you do. So people should not create division in a state, that is not necessary. They are not necessary. A few days ago, he and I spoke, and I appreciated that politicians will seek to divide us for their selfish interest, and not the interest of the Governor.
“These are politicians who cannot stand on their own, they cannot. Don’t seek to divide what is not necessary. Because what the Governor and I would discuss, he will not discuss with you. Let’s be calm, there is nothing to fight over. I want to use this to send a clear message, some people have spoken to my friends and have said I am using this Thanksgiving as a lunch back for my future governorship ambition, no!
“This is Thanksgiving. And one interesting thing I am doing, when I do this, and I chose to do it at home, not in Abuja, not Calabar and I know how difficult it is to come here; the Closest airport is at least 3 hours away. So, people who attend my events at home, matter a lot to me. So, this is not about politics, it is to thank the Lord. When politics comes, we will play it.”
Furthermore, the minister pointed out that anyone who knows his family will be aware that he is blessed beyond measure, hence there is nothing he can do for God that will be deemed too much.
He donated NGN10 million towards the construction of the new Cathedral for the Ogoja Diocese, another NGN10 million for the works at the Holy Family parish which will include sporting facilities and promised to speak to everyone to raise the remaining balance.
Also, he donated five million Naira for the church in his community in Etung Local Government Area.
The thanksgiving was attended by several dignitaries from all levels of society.