SENATOR ITA ENANG: THE STORY OF A SHAMELESS LAWMAKER
Senator Ita Solomon Enang was born on August 23, 1962. He hails from Ididep, in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Enang became a councilor in 1987, and a member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in 1992. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1999 where he served for three consecutive terms (1999-2011). After spending 12years in the House of Representatives, he was elected to the Senate in 2011 to represent the Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State.
On Saturday December 27, 2014, Sen. Ita Enang granted an unprecedented two hours interview to a private radio station in Akwa Ibom State, Planet Radio 101.1 FM Uyo. For the first time in over 15years as a federal legislator, Sen. Enang spoke frankly about the state of affairs in Akwa Ibom State and took a sweep at the Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio-led administration and openly opposed the governor's unholy third term agenda using his stooge, Udom Emmanuel, as a veil.
The interview as expected has generated so much controversy and debate especially on social media within and outside Akwa Ibom State. This is so because the now vociferous and outspoken Ita Enang has always been a pro-establishment politician. His incurable leaning towards the prevailing unjust system is very notorious.
However, in terms of intellectual erudition, legislative dexterity and clear appreciation of the dynamics of law making, Senator Ita Solomon Enang is the best that Akwa Ibom State has ever produced, and one of the finest lawmakers in Nigeria. Admittedly, Enang knows it all when it comes to the workings and operations of the legislative arm of government.
There is absolutely no basis of comparison between Ita Enang and Obong Bassey Albert, the former Finance Commissioner in the Akpabio regime, that the PDP has chosen to replace him in the upper chamber in 2015. That is if at all the PDP wins at the poll given the obvious popular anger against the party by the masses in the state. To compare Albert with Ita Enang is equivalent to comparing a primary school pupil with a university professor.
However, Ita Enang is a very selfish, unprincipled and greedy politician. Though Bassey Albert is equally an unprincipled and very greedy politician, unlike Enang, Albert understands the magical effect and importance of the politics of stomach infrastructure; a bane that is fast eroding the remaining modicum of sanity in our polity and electoral culture.
All these while, Ita Enang had closed his eyes to the evils of the Godswill Akpabio regime. He preferred to dance to the tunes of the little god of Akwa Ibom State when his people needed his articulate voice the most. Enang had practically mortgaged the rights of those he was elected to represent for personal political aggrandizement.
When the goings was good, he clapped for the emperor without any sense of decency and iota of shame. Then, he never whispered against the atrocities committed by his ally and saw nothing wrong in the crude looting of Akwa Ibom State. He went about as if there was nothing wrong in his state. As far as he was concerned, Akpabio had done so well for Akwa Ibom State.
Now that he has been denied the opportunity of going back to the Senate for a second term, he has suddenly remembered that Akpabio's performance is not in any way commensurate with the huge allocations accruing to the state. He now wants us to ask probing questions and rise against the Akpabio dynasty.
What a wicked, hypocritical and shameful cacophony of an expired politician! Our people are no fools, they know that his vituperations are self-centered and utterly frivolous. We cannot carry placards for him because he was never, he is not, and will he will never be our hero. Let him suffer the afflictions brought on him by the ghost of stewardship alone.
When Godswill Akpabio in a shameless display of nepotism robbed Ita Enang's constituents of the presence of the newly approved Federal Polytechnic for the state which was originally approved for and meant to be cited in Enang's hometown in Ididep, Ibiono Ibom LGA of Uyo Senatorial District, and wickedly hijacked it to his own village in Ukana Ikot Ntuen in Essien Udim LGA of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District he kept quiet and played 'Mr. Loyalty' in the hope of getting a second term.
Today, the same Enang is angry that Akpabio frustrated all federal lawmakers from the state from getting PDP return tickets to the National Assembly, except those from his District and tribe.
The same Sen. Ita Enang that is today saying that the Akpabio's stooge, Udom Emmanuel, is not acceptable to the people had previously endorsed Udom as the right man for 2015. Then, Udom was not Akpabio's third term agenda.
We, the sensible and liberated people of Akwa Ibom State, do not need a Senator Ita Enang to tell us that Akpabio is evil. We do not need his tutelage on the mass looting of Akwa Ibom State by Akpabio and his family. We do not need Ita Enang to speak for us. We have always known all the things that he is making arrogant and selfish noises about. So this teacher should stop teaching us nonsense (apologies to Fela).
This should be a lesson to the political class; that betrayal is not good. As the most popular legislator from Akwa Ibom, Ita Enang have all it takes to call Akpabio to order but he never did.
As a proud indigene of Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State that Ita Enang has been “representing” since 1999, I know how unpopular he is. Ita Enang is known and celebrated in Abuja but hated at home. He has never won in a free and fair election. Effective representation is more than speaking fanciful and seductive English in Abuja without more, it encompasses defending the interests of the constituents.
During the massively rigged 2011 general elections, I was one of those that played a significant role in ensuring that Sen. Enang lost at my pooling booth. Of course, he lost woefully. In the end, he was declared the winner by INEC despite the known fact that he was defeated on ground.
Ita Enang is claiming that he has given out scholarships to his constituents and that he will never be tempted to publish names of the beneficiaries. But that is a big lie. Throughout my university days in the Faculty of Law, University of Uyo, I never heard of any such scholarships.
I did not just passed through the university, the university passed through me. So there is no way such scholarship scheme would have existed for students of my constituency that Ita Enang has been “representing” for the past 15 years without my knowledge.
Though on principle I do not accept scholarship grants from politicians and the government, I would have at least knew one beneficiary of Sen. Enang's scholarship scheme.
Ita Enang is completely out of touch with his constituents. He should first account for the huge constituency allowances he has received since 1999 as a National Assembly member before asking Akpabio to account for the billions that has accrued to Akwa Ibom State in allocations.
How can a lawmaker that does not have any traceable pedigree of standing on the side of his people suddenly call for mass action against the very monstrous, corrupt and oppressive regime that he had always dined with?
What a wicked, hypocritical and shameful cacophony of an expired politician! Our people are no fools, they know that his vituperations are self-centered and utterly frivolous. We cannot carry placards for him because he was never, he is not, and will he will never be our hero. Let him suffer the afflictions brought on him by the ghost of stewardship.
Our mumu don do!
Inibehe Effiong is a Human Rights Activist based in Lagos, Nigeria.