2023: Media aides dump Gov Emmanuel, switch loyalty to Umo Eno – Group

A sociopolitical group in Akwa Ibom State, the Akwa Ibom Media Network, has raised an alarm that outgoing Governor of the state, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, has been abandoned by his media aides 14 months to the end of his government and have all switched their loyalty to Pastor Umo Eno.

Speaking to reporters in Uyo with a press statement title, OH UDOM EMMANUEL: ENDING SO SOON, the National Coordinator of Media Network, Comrade Ifiok Imefon, said the situation is not only worrisome but exposes Governor Udom to the reality of life after office and the need for him to brace up for more rejection by more aides in the months ahead.

The group said, while the Governor is free to choose anyone he wants as his successor, there is also the need for him to finish strong. The group said it is too early for him to be abandoned by his media aides who now flock around Umo Eno even when the primaries has not been conducted or the election has not been won yet to Umo Eno to be seen as Governor elect.

“It is bad that Udom is on his own even with more than one year to go. Even though he is the Governor till May 29, 2023, if you check his media aides have all abandoned him. None of them publish news about him again. None of them rise to his defence anymore. But let anybody write anything bad against Umo Eno, you will see how all the Governor’s Media Aides will rush to defend Umo Eno within 10 minutes so as to renew their appointment in 2023 with Umo Eno. They know that Udom is almost history”.

“I pity the Governor because this is the new reality he will soon face and he would be soon abandon by those he trusted his exit in their hands. A leader whose aides have switched loyalty to a Commissioner even when the Governor’s tenure has not ended says a lot. It gets bad when the state information machinery and the party’s information machinery have all abandoned him. When last did you see the Ministry of Information or the PDP Publicity Directorate coming up to defend the Governor again on any issue. The man has been left in the cold and abandoned to his fate”.

Akwa Ibom Media Network, says it was sad that the State APC Publicity Secretary, Mr Solomon Johnny could attack the Governor and days after such direct attack there has been no response of defence from the Governor’s Media Aides, the Ministry of Information or the PDP Publicity Secretary.

Recently, the APC Publicity Secretary had in a response to an issue titled, Re: APC has taken Nigeria 30 years Backward, Hike in prices of food stuffs in Akwa Ibom State”, alleged that Udom Emmanuel is the cause of hike in the price of foodstuffs in the State.

“Hike in food price is what to expect if a Governor is in amorous, conjugal relationship with his female Commissioner for Agriculture. His Excellency, Gov Udom Emmanuel and Hon Gloria Edet, his Commissioner for Agriculture and not President Buhari/APC are to blame over high cost of food stuff in Akwa Ibom State”, he wrote.

The group said, that Akwa Ibom people should draw the attention of the Ministry of Information, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Emmanuel, Publicity Directorate of PDP in the state and the over 15 Media Aides to the governor to these weighty allegations.

” They should focus on their job rather than go about insulting Akwa Ibomites in the name of loyalty to Pastor Umo Eno. Deacon UDOM Emmanuel is still the governor of Akwa Ibom State even when he used his own hand to end his government by making a wrong moved.

“Up till this moment, I have not read even one press statement from all the media groups sponsored by Akwa Ibom State government. They are all focused on Umo Eno’s aspiration, ignoring their primary assignment. This is worrisome”. He said.

Recall that the APC responded to a radio analysis by Public Affairs analyst, Franklyn Isong, in which it made several allegations against Governor Emmanuel, but his media aides have all ignored.

Solomon Johnny wrote;

At Passion FM, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital yesterday in your analysis of current events in Akwa Ibom State in particular and Nigeria generally, you averred rather erroneously that APC and President Muhammadu Buhari have taken Nigeria Thirty (30) years backward in the last seven years that the party has been in power. You based your claim on the cost of petroleum products generally and high cost of food stuffs in Akwa Ibom State in particular.

Given that you were on the Mass media and alot of people would probably be misled and confused after listening to you, we wish to respond as follows in a bid to disabuse the public space of such unsubstantiated claims.

Nigeria cannot be 30 years backward under APC/PMB merely because you bought fuel at N205 per litre after seven (7) years of steady fuel pricing and stable supplier of petroleum products under the APC led Federal Government. Under the PDP which you want the public to believe did better while in power, Nigerians bought fuel as high as N400 per litre after spending five hours in cues with cars bashed and fisticuffs. Very often, Nigerians tarried overnights in petrol stations just to get the product at any price possible from Shylocks and agents of the PDP government parading as Petroleum Products Marketers. This was a regular occurrence and every Christmas in particular was hellish under the PDP because of fuel scarcity and the resultant hike in the cost of transporting people and goods around the country. Without attempting to justify this temporary hitch which the President has sincerely apologised and promised to address, buying fuel at N205 per litre as you claim is about N35 increase from the normal price of N175 per litre sold before the hike. It is not as bad as it used to be under the PDP and thus, that cannot sustain nor justify your claim of Nigeria going 30 years backward because of a temporary hike in fuel price.

How can you talk about scarcity of aviation fuel and want to use that against Buhari and APC? Do you recall how Dr Ime Umana, (May His Soul rest in Peace) our very good friend and best philanthropists South South died and what led to his travelling on land then? It was lack of aviation fuel which led to Aviation industry shutting down their operations nationwide for weeks that made Dr Ime Umana, 2011 deputy governorship candidate of the ACN to run on land back to Lagos where he died in a controversial road crash. In seven years of APC/PMB adminstration, this is the first time there is scarcity of aviation fuel (no shutting down of operations) and you sincerely think Nigeria is 30 years backward because of that?

Even in the area of security which you laboured to use to drive home your empty claim, you cannot sincerely say that Nigeria was more secured under the PDP than it is under the APC today. We had Boko Haram on rampage such that even Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory was serially brought under attack. That is not the case today barring new challenges which also cannot be compared to the daring exploits of the dangerous Islamic sect.

You have claimed not being a politician. We shall want you to demonstrate that you really are not one of those disgruntled PDP apologists on errand to diminish the achievement of the APC and President Buhari by how you appraise issues. No activist, no analyst who is not bias or paid to deliver a hatchet job can make the claims you have made. It is unsubstantiated, very illogical and childishly pedestrian.

Your leaving the ongoing indefinite Strike action by Teachers in primary and secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State to talk about ASUU is suspect. ASUU wants to live and teach in opulence. By their demands, they are jealous and thus competing with the political class. While we are not against any of their demand, we draw your attention to the fact that PDP in sixteen years did not meet their demands and never implemented any of the various agreements they signed with ASUU while in power. President Muhammadu Buhari in the last seven (7) years has invested in ASUU more than the PDP did in their sixteenth years in power. It is sad however that some analysts like you have not talked about that but hit on Buhari for not being able to pick ASUU’s over N1trillion demand while leaving Udom Emmanuel’s refusal to pay Teachers’ “chicken changes” like promotion arrears, release of promotions, gratuities, leave grants…which less than N20b out of N171.2b 13% arrears released by Buhari to Gov Udom Emmanuel last year can settle. That is the height of hypocrisy and best example of Journalism’s Afghanistanism in recent times.

While talking about the high cost of rice per bag in Akwa Ibom State, you have refused to ask Gov Udom Emmanuel where is the rice processing mill he took loans to build in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State the same time President Buhari started his Agricultural revolution nationally. President Buhari during the Christmas season, built rice pyramids from a percentage of rice produced by Farmers who benefited from his Anchor Borrowers Scheme. Gov Udom Emmanuel had nothing to show from his claimed investments in the same sector.
Akwa Ibom State imports everything ranging from garri, beans, onions, okro, yam….

It is not the sole responsibility of the Federal Government to make food available. When you don’t produce what you eat, you will certainly buy what others produce at very exorbitant price. So blame Udom Emmanuel who plays politics with Agriculture with his rumoured girl friend who sits as Commissioner for Agriculture for the high cost of food stuffs in Akwa Ibom State. If it is true that Governor Udom Emmanuel has any amorous, conjugal connection with Hon Gloria Edet, his Commissioner for Agriculture who physically combatted Her Excellency, Mrs Martha Emmanuel, our first lady at Ibom Hall few days ago to make a statement of actually being incharge of the governor’s business more than the wife, you don’t need to look elsewhere to find why Agricultural is failing in Akwa Ibom State and prices of food stuff going higher. You rather need to ask the governor to pull up his zips and allow the commissioner to work so we can have food! So stop passing the buck to the wrong table.

We submit that you were totally wrong in your assumption that Buhari has taken Nigeria 30 years backward. The return of the Nigerian Railway corporation, the infrastructural renaissance especially in the areas of roads; the completion of the 2nd Niger Bridge, the approval of Ibom Deep Seaport and Federal University of Science and Technology, Maritime University of Nigeria, Oron; the social welfare packages of the APC Federal government, the respect of rights of States by the President that has made Akwa Ibom State richer by over N900b are key indices that make your claim faulty. Obong Victor Attah, former Governor of Akwa Ibom State at his 80th birthday interview said his greatest regret was having Olusegun Obasanjo as President of Nigeria when he was Governor of Akwa Ibom State. He spoke of how the ex President stampeded economic growth of Akwa Ibom State and stalled a number of mega projects he initiated for the State. It’s ungratefulness on your part and any Akwa Ibomites to glorify PDP hate regime against President Buhari and APC which rather has opened Akwa Ibom State to economic opportunities by the mega projects he (PMB) has approved for the State.

Despite the media propaganda, Nigerians who were suffocated by the PDP and now have a new lease of life, will not buy into the plot to bring back PDP through mischief and maneuver. Prof Wole Soyinka was provoked some time ago by comments such as the one you made there to say that the worst of APC is better than the best of PDP. He said no matter what is happening, bringing back the PDP to power was not any option a Nigerian should contemplate except we are suffering from collective amnesia as a nation.

While we call on Akwa Ibomites in particular to discountenance your claims and keep faith with the APC ahead of the 2023 governorship election, we call on you to kindly do your best to pull down that comment because it is too fallacious to be preserved.

Solomon Johnny,
Publicity Secretary,
All Progressive Congress,
Akwa Ibom State.
17th March; 2022.