By Henshaw NYONG, Uyo.
“(Ita Solomon) Enang is still smarting from the failure of his new found party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last general elections in Akwa Ibom and I urge the general public to disregard such ranting from someone who should be classified as a statesman, having traversed the political sphere from the State to the centre”
Those were the words of the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Aniekan Umanah, while answering a reporter’s question, on the recent outburst of the President’s aide.
Enang, during a media chat at his Uyo abode on Monday, painted a gloomy picture of Akwa Ibom state’s economy, saying the state and its people were used as “collateral” for loans by former Governor Godswill Akpabio.
He also told journalists that the allocation to Akwa Ibom alone was more than that of all the States in the North-East put together and wondered why Akwa Ibom should owe her workforce given the said huge revenue from Federation Account.
However, the Information boss; Aniekan Umanah, insisted that Enang’s allegations were unfounded and baseless “considering the fact that workers in the State have been paid up to date”.
Advising Senator Enang to “always get his facts right before displaying his rabble rousing attitude publicly,” the Commissioner explained that the currently harsh economic realities have no boundary, pointing out that “it is a fallout of the global economic meltdown occasioned by the collapse of the oil prices at the international market”.
Explaining further, Umanah said: “I believe the Senior Special Assistant to the President should know better than the ordinary people because even at the centre, nobody is spared. The Federal Government that he is currently serving has even cut the salary of workers but here in Akwa Ibom, government is still maintaining the original minimum wage”, he said.
He added that “If there is any issue concerning non-payment of wage due to any worker, that would be sorted out very soon because government is trying to resolve the nagging problem of ghost workers in the system and every worker was asked to comply with the Biometric Data Capturing (BDC) process, but some workers are yet to comply with that directive, so nobody should be blamed for that”.
He, therefore, advised Senator Enang to look for other avenues to vent his anger and frustration as the wheel of development anchored by Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, can never be distracted by the sentiment of one man.
“If Ita Enang is looking for Akwa Ibom monies, he should do well to visit all the road project sites across the Local Governments because the government is in a hurry to take the State to another level”. Mr. Umanah said.
Reiterating the commitment of the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel to people-oriented ventures, the commissioner said the industrialisation of Akwa Ibom is fully on course. According to him, “works are ongoing at project sites across the State, and no political gimmick can be used to mislead our people.”