The Akwa Ibom State Government has reacted to comments credited to the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, based on a previous comment by the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi State.
Bello, through his Director-General on Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, made what Ekerete Udoh, the Senior Special Assistant (Media)/Chief Press Secretary to Emmanuel, described as “unsanitised” comments on his brother governor.
Udoh said if Bello had better advice from aides who are able to interpret the comments of Emmanuel to him, he would not have rushed to react to the issue.
The statement by Udoh, titled: “Re: Kogi State Government responds to Udom Emmanuel’s backing of Senator Dino Melaye,” reads in full:
We have read with amusement the statement credited to the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and signed by his Director-General, Media and Publicity- Kingsley Fanwo where the Governor took issues with the description of Dino Melaye, the Distinguished Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District as a “General” in the Senate by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, during the recent empowerment event by the Senate Minority Leader, Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio (CON) held in Ikot Ekpene.
While it is highly disturbing and disappointing to have a siting Governor say disparaging things about a Brother Governor based on a wrong analysis fed him by his media team, we will take the high road and not get personal with the Governor, our belief being that the office and the person of a Governor of a state deserve the highest level of respect and deference possible. However, the job of professionally- minded media handlers of a public servant is to dispassionately present an unvarnished truth about a given situation to his principal and advise him on the best possible means of reaction. We are afraid the Kogi State Governor was not served well by his Director-General of Media and Publicity here otherwise he would have resisted the rush to direct the issuance of a press statement where he was quoted to have said a number of unsanitized things about a Brother Governor on an issue that was at best innocuous and done with no malice.
Let me educate Mr. Fanwo a little about the good people of Akwa Ibom State: we are known nationally as highly hospitable people with courteous disposition and an abiding capacity to go the extra mile to welcome our visitors. Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye was a visitor to our State and was received in the best traditions that our people are known for. Governor Udom Emmanuel was his usual chivalrous self and did not in any way form, shape or manner disparage the Governor of Kogi State neither was his name mentioned while welcoming the Senator to the event.
We are not interested in the local politics in Kogi State or if His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello has challenges paying salaries since we don’t have such problems here in our State, as our civil servants get paid regularly and Governor Emmanuel is embarking on a number of infrastructural upgrades and other life-touching projects. He is able to do all these, through the judicious application of the lean resources available to him.
We do not intend to immerse ourselves in the politics of zero-sum game that is currently playing out in Kogi State; here in Akwa Ibom we play politics of inclusion, where accent is placed on delivering the best democratic dividends to our people in line with the Governor’s campaign promises.
In Akwa Ibom State, the Senators serving under the platform of the PDP are united and working together with the State Governor to bring home the bacon and are not engaged in politics of personal destruction that seems to be playing out in Kogi State, little wonder Governor Udom Emmanuel was front and centre at the event hosted by the Senate Minority Leader and his worthy predecessor, Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio (CON).
Governor Yahahy Bello’s media team should align themselves with globally acceptable best practices in democratic governance where leaders are usually circumspect in their choice of words while engaging their counterparts. If the Governor’s media team truly meant well, they should have advised the Governor that he will look snippy, truculent and un-gubernatorial in the court of public opinion if he were seen to be joining issues with his Brother Governor. The statement by the Governor’s chief media handler was unfortunately pugnacious in context, pettifogger in tone and tenor and supercilious at best.