For an elected leader, his status must attract friends, enemies, praise singers and critics. Friends may come for the spoils of office or for crumbs falling from the master’s table. Enemies would not come but stand aside to attack or try pull down the leader. The praise singers are court jesters- they must come around to gist good news, to add salt to a matter where salt was not needed all in attempt to be seen doing his bidding to go home with ‘something’.
Yet, critics stand afar off and see what the leader does not want to see or does not want to hear. If the leader sees a thing, he may not want others to tell him. Negative even constructive criticisms irritate him.
Ita Enang is an astute a politician. As an accomplished parliamentarian, he was qualified to be appointed the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate). Anytime, he visits Akwa Ibom, his home state, he tells Governor Udom Emmanuel what he does not want to hear. He uses radio and sponsors a radio programme to bare his mind on the state government activities, programmes and performance always calling for a change of attitude in the coduct of government affairs for meaningful development.
Some analysts believe that Enang appears not to balance his criticisms perhaps due to the fact that his name is in the pay voucher of President Buhari. He must bark or be seen to be barking the state government from all sides of his mouth so that the President may know he is working and continues to keep him to put his good books of a faithful servant.
Does the President give Akwa Ibom State a fair share development wise? He can ramble and grand stand without justifiable reason. What is the performance profile of Buhari administration at the national level? That is question for another day. Does Udom Emmanuel perform well, he readily kicks. He may be right or wrong depending on the side of bed he wakes up or depending on the mound you are standing. In fairness to Enang, he speaks frankly and makes his point without any apology.
When Charles Akpan of Inspiration Radio, Uyo, on Saturday fired the question why he seemed to the criticising the state government, Enang readily responded ‘’I am not happy with Governor Udom Emmanuel. I want to say that there is one thing I do not like about his government and that is insulting the people of Akwa Ibom State. When the governor would say that things are hard because of President Buhari. The president does not give money directly to individuals because we are operating a federation.
‘’What the president does is to send money to all the states of the federation. He sends the one of Akwa Ibom to the state government and to local governments which they are supposed to use it and better the lots and lives of people. But when it comes, the money is used for blackmail of the federal government, a case of Federal akpat itiat, akpat edem (Federal breaks and parks stone)! Let the state government apply this money to better the welfare of Akwa Ibom people because the federal government cannot use the money directly. Let the local government apply the money directly to better the lives and welfare of the rural people. It is not the federal government that is responsible for agriculture but the land is owned by the state and local governments. Let the state government use the money to improve the lives of the people and stop deceiving the Akwa Ibom people.
Enang warned ‘’Let us desist from greed. If we struggle to get money from the federal government, Governor should not declare the money 5o the people and what he is using it do for them. He should not squander the money on meaningless ventures such as building Akwa Ibom Lodge in Lagos for leisure and relaxation, construction of one kilometre road and ploughing the money into supposed industries that are not owned by state government. He should tell Akwa Ibom people how much he is using build the industries.’’
In responding to the reason APC does not appreciate Akwa Ibom government, he answered ‘’ We appreciate when they do well. However, we do not appreciate many things done by the government- we do not appreciate how the government mismanaged the social investment scheme, we do not appreciate the state government on the level of cooperation given to the Federal Government’s investment and education for the state.
Speaking on whether people were happy with the APC led administration at the federal level, the senior special assistant observed ‘’Nigerians are happy with the federal government. The only people who are not happy are those with skeletons in their cupboards. I know APC government has challenges and I know Buhari has some challenge of security. This is African problem- we have herdsmen, terrorists and others. We are working hard on a few other things to guarantee security. We have enacted the bill on not-too-young-to-run bill for the young to contest election. This to enable many young men to contest election into different positions in the future.’’