Akwa Ibom Gov’t Carpets Ita Enang’s RUGA comment
Akwa Ibom State government has condemned the RUGA herdsmen statement made at the weekend by the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, blaming it on greed and a desperate quest to cling to power despite already spending 20 years in public office.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information Mr Charles Udoh, the state government said “traditionally, Akwa Ibomites; across all strata of the society are not known to be cattle rearers, it therefore boarders in a seeming extreme dementia and outright mischief for Ita Enang to taint the hideous act of the herdsmen on innocent citizens with a political coloration.”
The Presidential aide had while defending the controversial RUGA settlement programme of the federal government on a private radio station in the state, claimed that “cows seen in Akwa Ibom State are owned by big men in the state”, and that the alleged owners employ the fulanis to manage the cows for them. He went on to name serving and former Senators, National and State House of Assembly Members, Chairmen of Councils, retired and serving soldiers, party chairmen, elders and leaders in the state, among others as owners of the cows.
“The comments made on a live radio programme; may, on a cursory look sound like another of his lame political gamesmanship but beyond that facade it becomes a matter of grave concern when a man of his standing deliberately makes statements capable of heating the polity in his home state and causing security breaches.
The state information boss wondered why such a ‘vile assertion’ should come on the heels of the attack on innocent and defenseless farmers in Mkpat Enin Local Government by gun wielding herdsmen; which left one person dead and several others injured, triggers a sour taste in the mouth.
Mr Udoh said the action of Senator Enang was fast becoming a pastime, given his “penchant for notoriously launching nauseating attacks on his people in a brazenly desperate attempt to cling selfishly to political relevance.”
The statement maintained that “The world is aware of the alarming increase of herdsmen orchestrated attacks on innocent people which is spreading like wild fire across the country but has remained largely unchecked.
“It is common knowledge that reasonable indigenes of most areas previous ravaged by the herdsmen attacks have risen in one voice and one unison to condemn such dastardly acts; irrespective of political affiliations. It is unfortunate that Mr. Enang has chosen the dishonorable path of “ political celebrating the death of his kinsmen instead of commiserating with them.”
“It’s a clear indication of a man who seeks to politicize every situation to a point of cutting his own nose to spite his face, the statement maintained, adding that Senator Ita Enang is “inadvertently and heartlessly canonizing cold blooded murders and slating the innocent victims.”
“The Government and people of Akwa Ibom State remains undaunted in it’s avowed commitment to ensure maximum security of lives and properties in the state. No amount of blackmail will scuttle the peace and prosperity the state has enjoyed in the last four years.”
“The candid advise to our brother is that he should eschew candor and tread the honorable path of upholding integrity; which is the hallmark of true Akwa Ibomites. There is life after political office. The interest of Akwa Ibom State is larger than any selfish and sycophantic political interest.