Some top political functionaries in Akwa Ibom State including retired military top shots who are making good fortunes from cattle business in the big oil and gas state are currently disturbed as the Special Assistant to the President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, (Senate) Senator Ita Enang, has exposed their links with the Fulani herdsmen,
Enang in a private radio station interview programme in Uyo, the state capital, justified the presence of Fulani herdsmen in the state on the ground that cows allegedly flooding state are owned by big men in the state who employed the Fulani herders to cater for the animals.
The Buhari’s aide spoke out following last week’s bloodletting in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area where an indegene was allegedly killed as a result of a clash between farmers in the area and some herdsmen.
According to Enang, whose name incidentally translates to cow, ‘’about 95% of the cows roaming the farmlands and other public places in Akwa Ibom are owned by political leaders in the state. They include former and serving commissioners, legislators, party chieftains, military men. They pay the Fulani herdsmen to tend the cattle for them. Yet, they shout the loudest when the cattle breeders paid by them clash with farmers in our communities.’’
Apparently rattled by the bombshell dropped by the Buhari aide, the state’s Information Commissioner, Charles Udoh, literally pleaded with Enang, an emerging loose cannon, to cease-fire, suing for the interest of the state to be larger than any selfish and sycophantic political interest.
The commissioner in a statement advised Enang to eschew candor and tread the honourable path of upholding integrity; which according to him, is the hallmark of true Akwa Ibomites as there is life after political office.
While condeming the position of the vociferous Buhari aide, Udoh blamed the position of the presidential aide on greed and a desperate quest to cling to power despite already spending 20 years in public office. ‘’Traditionally, Akwa Ibomites; across all strata of the society are not known to be cattle rearers, it therefore boarders 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’’, the commissioner said.
Continuing, he observed that the outburst of Enang 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’’, and then wondered why such a ‘’vile assertion’’ should come on the heels of the attack on innocent and defenseless farmers in Mkpat Enin by gun wielding herdsmen which left one person dead and several others injured, triggers a sour taste in the mouth.
Udoh said the action of Enang was fast becoming a pastime, given his alleged ‘’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 is spreading like wild fire across the country but has 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 Enang has chosen the dishonorable path of political celebrating the death of his kinsmen instead of commiserating with them.’’
According to the commissioner, Governor Udom Emmanuel, lamented that the view of Enang: ‘’is a clear indication of a man who seeks to politicise every situation to a point of cutting his own nose to spite his face. Enang is inadvertently and heartlessly, cannonising cold blooded murders and slating the innocent victims.’’
Adding, he said the people and the government of Akwa Ibom remain undaunted in their avowed commitment to ensure maximum security of lives and properties in the state. ‘’No amount of blackmail will scuttle the peace and prosperity the state has enjoyed in the last four years’’, the commissioner said.