Akwa Ibom Government, Presidential aide bickers over siting of Federal University
“Udom is selfish, he wants to take everything to Onna – Ita Enang”
“Ita Enang is fronting Ikot Abasi to scheme the project to his village” – AKSG
Ubong Sampson – Uyo
While Akwa Ibom indigenes had taken to some public platforms to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for approving a Federal university of science and technology for the state, there is a seeming struggle and scheming by top shots in government to get the project to their primary places of origin.
As expected, there have been clashes of interests on the choice of location for the said project and the leading being between the Akwa Ibom State Government and Senator Ita Enang, a presidential adviser on NDDC affairs, following the senator’s recent accusation of the governor, Udom Emmanuel of scheming to have the institution sited in his (governor’s) local government area. Governor Emmanuel and Senator Enang are from Onna and Ibiono Ibom local government areas respectively.
In a briefing with newsmen, the senator was quoted to have accused the governor of having pushed for the university to be sited in Onna where he (the governor) comes from, against his recommendation that if Eket senatorial district is where the project has been agreed to be sited, it should then be in Ikot Abasi local government area.
Both Onna and Ikot Abasi areas are in Eket senatorial district.
While alleging that the governor had formally written to have the proposed institution at his place, Enang further described the governors act as portraying self-centeredness and reflecting one who is leading a clan or local government area, rather than the whole state.
In his words: “Unfortunately, the governor has written formally for the Federal University of Technology to be sited in his local government of Onna, I’ve considered his action as improper, imprudent and not acting as governor of Akwa Ibom State. The governor is acting in a manner that could be described as Udomcentric, Onnacentric, IMM (I, Me and Myself). He was chosen to be the governor of the entire Akwa Ibom people and not the chairman of Onna local government or councilor representing his ward”.
“Onna has the University teaching hospital, Onna has the flour mill, Onna has the plywood mill, Onna has syringe factory, every good road is made in Onna, Onna has the biggest private estate owned by one person. How?”, Ita querried.
Responding to Enang’s claims, the state government through a release signed by the Education Commissioner, Idongesit Etiebet described the senator’s claims as mere rants that should not deserve any response, but however went further to explain that the demand and eventual approval of the federal university was a transaction strictly between the state and federal governments without any input or contribution from the senator who the release described as attention seeking.
While alleging a record of Enang always wanting to drag every possible project to his village, the release also claimed the senator’s “veiled” support for Ikot Abasi for the project is siting is mischievous and deceptive.
The release further explained that the decision by the state government to site the new federal tertiary institution in Eket senatorial district was informed by the presence of federal tertiary institutions in Uyo and Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts, being the University of Uyo and Federal Polytechnic, Ukana, assuring that the new tertiary institution will be sited at the best location in preferred senatorial district.
Seeing the release as not properly addressing the concerns and allegations made by Enang, our correspondent tried to reach the education commissioner to engage her further on the issue without any response to calls and messages sent to her mobile phone line, even as of press time. She is however known to be press shy and always on the excuse that she is not allowed to speak with the press.
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