The Akwa Ibom State government on Sunday slammed the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, over his statement on the RUGA settlement programme of the Federal Government made on Saturday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.
Ita Enang had while defending the controversial RUGA settlement programme on a private radio station in the state, claimed that cows seen in Akwa Ibom State were owned by ‘big men’ in the state, who employed the Fulani to manage the cows for them.
He went as far as mentioning the names of 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.
Obviously infuriated by the comment of the presidential aide, the Akwa Ibom state government through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh, said; “the statement by Ita Enang was borne out of greed and desperate quest to cling to power, despite him (Enang) spending 20 years in public office.”
The statement signed by Udoh reads in parts, “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 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.
“I wonder why such a ‘vile assertion’ should come on the heels of the attack on innocent and defenseless farmers in Mkpat Enin Local Government of the state by gun wielding herdsmen; which left one person dead and several others injured.
“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 previously ravaged by the herdsmen attack have risen in one voice and in unison to condemn such dastardly acts; irrespective of political affiliations. It is unfortunate that Mr. Enang has chosen the dishonorable path of politically 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 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.”