By Henry Nkom
His appearance on the scene before and after the 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State could best be secured as the strike of a huge thunder storm.
True to its nature, the thunder storm that Engr. Ita Awak, former Commissioner for Information in Akwa Ibom State became was nothing less than a thorn in the flesh of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Awak’s voice mostly in the broadcast media tore the hearts of many believers in the PDP. He was dangerously critical of the Udom’s Administration; which had to contend with several legal battles then.
As it seemed then and particularly after the Appeal Court in Abuja on December, 2015 gave a verdict in favour of the APC, Awak became hotter. His voice clearly bore the threatening characteristic of mockery for PDP and a buy over of several politicians.
If it took Awak’s voice alone to determine the outcome of the legal struggles between the APC and PDP in Court, the APC it seemed had a good voice on its side.
Awak scratched at Udom’s face all the time, challenged the management of funds in the state to a point where he alleged that the monies coming into the state as federal allocation were been swindled by government officials.
He took up the Commissioner for Information and communications Mr. Aniekan Umanah on the publications marking Udom’s one hundred days in office and then later six months achievements and described them as mere lies.
This caused Umanah who is equally good on his job as spokesman to mobilize resources available to him to counter Awak’s claims.
The attacks and counter attacks between the PDP Spokespersons and Ita Awak may have contained elements of blackmail, angry vituperations and atimes fabrications, as the game of polities in our clime requires for one to defeat an opponent. But, they also had a good side to them.
It kept the state alive; people could feel the pulse of the government and the opposition. May be the blackmail had a close attachment to evil manipulations of the people but we cannot deny that there was always something to talk about. This happens mostly because the pressure buttons of power in the state were always forced to act and react.
While nobody would back a session of blackmail after the era of politicking is over, there is no way the residents of Akwa Ibom State can be comfortable with the dreadful silence of the APC and its spokesman, Ita Awak.
In a virile Democracy it has been said severally that there ought to be a vibrant opposition and this is not so that the government will be continuously lampooned or dragged in the mud
But it is to ensure that the people can get the government working. No doubt, many citizens won’t find the boldness to scratch the face of Governor Udom Emmanuel on matters of development, but the opposition will have no qualms in doing this.
In the areas of Education, health, economy, agriculture, road construction and others the government of the day in Akwa Ibom State says it is investing money, time and energy but as it is.today, nobody is doing a proper critique on the claims .
If the APC were to live up to its responsibilities, it should take its rightful position to screen all policies and programmes of the government, speak on them in order to help the government affectively implement them.
Beyond this, such action will also help the people of the state track the activities of government and further make inputs for more accountability and progress.
We will be very uncomfortable and in fact un-accepting of the APC if it has to wait till 2018 to pull a stunt and return to the soap box, simply because it is eyeing the governorship and other positions in the 2019 general elections.
If the problem with the APC is funding, then it should let the party at the centre know, so that it could be assisted to continue performing its constitutional roles in the state.