The Akwa Ibom State Government has dismissed insinuations that the immediate past governor, Udom Emmanuel, was still in possession of the governor’s official jet.
The state governor, Pastor Umo Éno, was said to have come under criticism after he boarded a passenger plane (Ibom Air) from Uyo to Abuja, recently, and subjected himself to security scrutiny at the Ibom International Airport.
His critics had stated that he resorted to flying with Ibom Air because the former governor, Emmanuel, was still keeping the governor’s official private jet.
But speaking in a radio interview in Uyo at the weekend, the Senior Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso, said the decision by the governor to patronise the state-owned air carrier was in keeping with 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.
“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
“The governor has told his people that in appointing aides, he is not appointing aides that would carry his umbrella and phones since he is carrying them himself, but he would rather appoint people with the capacity to add value to his administration.
“Even at the airport, you could see him subjecting himself to thorough checks 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,” Nduese said
The governor’s aide said it was rather unfortunate that the good intentions of his principal, in having first-hand experience with the state airline, were misconstrued, describing the allegation as a frivolous “beer parlour gist” aimed at tarnishing the image of the former governor. He urged the public to discountenance such allegations, as they were with no iota of truth.
He explained that Emmanuel, despite being the immediate past governor and former boss to the current governor, had not shown any overbearing attitude to his successor, but even came to declare during the state dialogue that there could 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 the Government House every day, or even lodging 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,” he said.
Okon Bassey in Uyo