From Lateef Taiwo
Apparently disturbed by insinuations making the rounds in some opposition’s quarters that the immediate past Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state had made away with the official jet of the state government at the exit of his administration on May 29, 2023, a senior Aide of the incumbent Governor Umo Eno, has given insight into the matter
Critics, our Correspondent gathered, have continued to wag their tongues since Governor Eno, boarded the commercial Ibom Air early this week from Uyo, the state capital to Abuja, alleging Eno’s resort to the commercial state -owned Ibom Air may not be unconnected with the disappearance of the official jet of the state government with the former administration.
However, the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to Governor Eno, on Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso, has dismissed the insinuation as a sinister ploy by opposition aimed at distracting the Governor’s steady moves to effectively implement his ‘Arise Agenda’.
Speaking in an interview at the weekend, the Governor’s Aide said his boss would not be distracted by baseless and unfounded allegations by pockets of mischief makers, explaining that Eno’s patronage of Ibom Air “is in line with living up to his promises of encouraging state Government’s investments to thrive, and expand to meet up the demands of the present economic realities in the country.”
“This is one of the reasons the Governor used the state-owned airline, Ibom Air, during his recent trip for official engagements outside the state,” he stressed.
Commending the Governor for being down to earth in his leadership style since he assumed office on May 29, Ndueso recalled 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 patronizing 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.
He said: “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.”
Ndueso, who described the allegation as “a frivolous beer parlour 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.
Ndueso said: “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 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 he 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 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.”