Akwa Ibom State government has condemned the comments by the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang on RUGA settlement, saying that it was based on greed and a desperate quest to cling to power despite already spending 20 years in public office.
The government in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Udoh, said that “traditionally, the people of the state, across all strata of the society are not known to be cattle herders. It, therefore, borders 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.”
According to the government, the presidential aide had while defending the controversial RUGA settlement programme of the federal government on a 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 Fulani to manage the cows for them.
Enang, the government stressed, went on to name serving and former Senators, National and State House of Assembly Members, chairmen of local government council areas, 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 government wondered why such a ‘vile assertion’ should come on the heels of the attack on innocent and defenceless farmers in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area by gun-wielding herdsmen; which left one person dead and several others injured .
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 world is aware of the alarming increase of herdsmen- orchestrated attacks on innocent people, which are spreading like wildfire across the country but have 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 dishonourable 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 politicise 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 canonising cold-blooded murders and slating the innocent victims.