Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Senior Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso, has said that the immediate past governor of the state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, was not keeping the official governor’s jet of the state since leaving office.
Ndueso, who disclosed this in Uyo yesterday also carpeted critics of the current governor, Mr. Umo Eno, over his patronage of the state owned airline, Ibom Air.
He explained that Governor Eno is living up to his promises of encouraging Akwa Ibom State Government’s investments to thrive and expand to meet up the demands of the present economic realities in the country.
This, he said, was one of the reasons the governor used the state-owned airline, Ibom Air, during his recent trip for official engagements outside the state.
Ndueso was reacting to a series of negative criticisms trailing the decision by the governor to patronise the state owned air carrier, saying it was rather unfortunate that the good intention of the governor, in having firsthand experience with the state airline, was being negated.
The governor’s senior aide who hailed Governor Eno for being down to earth in his leadership style since he assumed office on May 29, reminded critics that the governor had during his campaign tour promised that he would occasionally be flying Ibom Air to have the same experience as every other passenger, to guide his decision making.
He said the governor used the opportunity of patronising Ibom Air in his official capacity as governor of the state to share the experiences of other passengers, and wondered why some people would rather misinterpret that action with unsubstantiated claims.
“Remember His Excellency Pastor Eno said he is not a governor who sits in his comfort zone in the office to receive reports from the fields, but one who will go out to feel and experience the realities of investments and public utilities funded with public funds.”
He dismissed the rumour making the rounds that Governor Eno resorted to flying with Ibom Air because the former governor, Mr. Emmanuel was still keeping the governor’s official private jet.
Ndueso, who described the allegation as a frivolous gist aimed at tarnishing the image of the former governor, urged the public to discountenance such allegations as they were with no iota of truth.
He explained that Mr. Emmanuel despite being the immediate past governor and former boss to the current governor, has not shown any overbearing attitude to his successor, but even came to declare during the state dialogue that there can only be one leader at a time in the state, being Governor Eno.
“Recall that Mr. Udom Emmanuel was the one who told everyone to support the governor as the new leader of the state. Others would be coming to Government House everyday, or even lodge in the Government House Guest House, but the immediate past governor has kept his promise by returning to his private practice, allowing His Excellency the incumbent governor to freely run the business of government.
The governor’s aide further explained that Governor Eno’s decision to fly Ibom Air was a simple way of telling the story of Ibom Air, and urged those spreading falsehood on the matter with the aim of tarnishing the image of the governor and his predecessor to desist from such acts.
“The entire country has come to appreciate Mr. Umo Eno as a simple and down to earth leader who has not allowed the aura of his position to have a negative influence on his humble nature.
“The governor has told his people that in appointing aides, he is not appointing aides that will carry his umbrella and phones since he is carrying them himself, but he would rather appoint people with capacity to add value to his administration.
“Even at the airport, you could see him subjecting himself to thorough check and other airport procedures, and that is because he wishes to lead by example.
“Such actions should not be misinterpreted, but seen as actions that make him more connected to his people,” Ndueso declared.