Akwa Ibom governorship aspirant under All Progressives Congress, Senator Ita Enang, has assured that he would not be another visiting Governor, if elected during the 2023 general elections.
Enang made the allegation Thursday when he appeared before members of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom Council at NUJ Press Centre, Information Drive, Uyo to solicit support for his governorship ambition.
He assured to always work and sleep daily except for exigent matters outside the state instead of embarking on frequent outside trips at the expense of the state.
The Senator attributed the Akwa Ibom governor’s frequent trips to the aircraft used exclusively by him and vowed to lease it, if given the mandate to rule the state, to Ibom Air fleet to save costs but make money for the provision of social services to the deprived people.
Ex-Akwa Ibom Governor Godwswill Akpabio acquired the Gulfstream jet and took its delivery in June 2012.
Akpabio handed over the baton of power including the 2011 manufactured Bombardier Global 5000 (N565RS) which carries FAAC registration number N224BH to Governor Udom Emmanuel on May 29, 2015.
Aligning his conversation to his spirited fights over the years for the betterment and development of Akwa Ibom State, he condemned the Akwa Ibom governor for becoming a visiting governor owing to the number of times he jets out of the state on a weekly basis.
Enang who is the immediate Senior Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs noted that the governor flies into Uyo for dinner, heads to Abuja for lunch and goes to Lagos for dinner same day using the aircraft.
”At time, he jets into the state, signs one or two documents and flies out again same day. This has adversely affected the policy implementation and decision making of the government including his relationship and perception of the Akwa Ibom people,’’ he said.
Some Akwa Ibom people have not taken the allegation lightly as they threw brickbats on the governor over what they label as ‘itinerant governor’’ coupled with the extravagance spending on luxury using the aircraft in which commercial flights would have saved the humongous expenses.
However, one of the Governor’s media aides confided in Straightnews that the Governor has been flying out to Abuja, Lagos and overseas to source for or meet with local and foreign investors.
This, to him, has yielded the desired fruits with the number of industries the governor has attracted to the state.
In 2019, it was contained in the published Accountant-General’s report that the Office of the Governor spent N2 billion on maintenance of the aircraft including payment of the crew.
Based on this, the state government might have spent more than N15 billion on maintenance and other sundry expenses of the aircraft for the past seven years.