In a desperate attempt to buy support ahead of 2019 elections from different quarters, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel has been alleged to have doled out two hundred million Naira (N200,000000) to secure the leadership newspaper award which he is billed to receive on Friday, March 17, 2017, at the International Conference Center, Abuja.
Despite the economic situation in the state, where the Governor has severally complained of paucity of funds to run the administration, checks have revealed that the payment of the large sum was to garner support ahead of 2019, with the release of the Governorship election timetable by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) scheduled for early 2019.
Sources say, the cash paid to leadership newspaper was part of the proceeds from the state monthly security vote for the Governor.
In an advertorial, published on page 20 of the Leadership newspaper of Tuesday, March 14 2017. The Governor was said to have listed his achievements to include; rehabilitation of some wards of General Hospital Anua, stopping erosion on Calabar-Itu Road, launch of ‘Dakkada’ campaign, ‘free and compulsory education, free health-care service for pregnant women and construction of over 160 km of roads across the state.
Although the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) has intervened in some roads in the state, the Udom’s administration has been taking credit for the repairs of the roads in the state, and has further taken glory for the free education introduced in the state by the past administration.
Trail Reporters quoted sources as saying, “The ‘Dakkada’ campaign is a brainchild of a Lagos-based advertising agency owned by Udome Ufot, Udom’s bossom friend and fellow Qua Iboe church member. The Udom administration paid N500m to the agency in 2015 for the ‘Dakkada’ concept.”
An Abuja-based lawyer. Chief Amos Efanga, was also quoted as saying, ‘Udom admires Akpabio so much; and he sees himself in the image of Godswill Akpabio. He believes that whatever Akpabio has owned or achieved as governor, he too should get it.’
In a state were hunger thrives, with majority of school children in public schools sitting on bare floors to study, an amount which would have improved on the educational system and bettered the lives of the state workers, owed several months of arrears, has gone into the purchase of an award that adds nothing to the benefit of the state, than self gratification, source said.
Recollect that, recently, next of kin of primary school teachers who protested in the state for non-payment of their entitlements were arrested and taken to court on the orders of the state Governor.