By Clement Ikpatt
Two months ago, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Information announced and made it clear that 2,000 cows have been bought in Brazil, some inseminated, all quarantined (sic) and shipped to Nigeria. He was interviewed and published by a national newspaper (VANGUARD) _inter alia_ on August 01, 2019.
A couple of days ago, Udom Emmanuel, governor of Akwa Ibom State, came out to announce his ranching policy somersault, with particular reference to canceling the importation of 2,000 cows. Government, he said, would no longer import any cow. The propaganda driven Uruan ranch, for which many hectares of land was acquired and left fallow, was blown away with the wind.
That those 2,000 cows were bought, sequestered, some impregnated and all shipped since about two months ago, according to Charles Udoh, means that some public funds budgeted for the Uruan ranch have already been spent. If so, how much has so far been spent on the ill fated Uruan ranch and where the hell are cows that have been already bought and shipped to Nigeria?
It is either that the Commissioner of Information, Charles Udoh, lied about the importation of 2,000 Brazilian cows or that the cows have been corruptly diverted to someone and someplace else. Akwa Ibomites need be know to whom or where are the cows.
Charles Udoh, without a doubt, is very incompetent at his job. But, to flagrantly lie about importing 2,000 non existent cows without being fired by Udom Emmanuel is beyond damnable. It is scandalous. It goes to prove how deeply dysfunctional the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council is, such that an overzealous member can muster enough audacity to lie at will or deliberately misinform the public without fear of being reprimanded or sacked by the governor.
Udom Emmanuel was not flying a kite when the Uruan ranch policy was announced. He flatly lied about it and never wanted it’s implementation for just one reason, which is that the ranch is not sited in Onna local government area. In four years, Udom Emmanuel has habitually lied to Akwa Ibomites about various projects he claims to execute. He lied about the Greenwell Fertilizer Blending Plant in Abak, the Family Rice project by AFRICON in Ini local government area, buying and freighting 100 containers full of biomedical equipment from the United States of America, tomatoes planting revolution, etc. He chatters on and on about statewide economic development without mentioning any improving key economic indicator to boot.
Riding roughshod over Akwa Ibomites has been Udom Emmanuel’s governing style that is so much corruption driven, scandalous and petty. From unauthorized loans, reconstruction of Akwa Ibom Lodge in Lagos, International Worship Center and markets, poorly constructed roads, delibrate shut down or frustration of Sen. Godswill Akpabio’s legacy projects, the whole nine yards of AKEES, etc, the fleecing of Akwa Ibom State is now unabated.
And, now, this Uruan ranch policy somersault is another corruption red flag for which Udom Emmanuel must be held accountable and impeached, for which Charles Udoh must either resign from office or be fired, and for which the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and EFCC are now called upon to investigate. There are culprits who must eventually be prosecuted by law enforcement agencies.
_Read, below, the text of VANGUARD publication quoting Charles Udoh, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Information:_
_Ranching: Akwa Ibom imports 2,000 cattle from Brazil_
_By Harris Emmanuel_
_The Akwa Ibom State Government has said that it had imported 2,000 cattle from Brazil as part of efforts to produce sufficient meats with a view to increasing protein intake for people of the state. It added that the development is also aimed at ensuring food sustainability in the oil rich state._
_State Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh stated this while interacting with newsmen in Uyo. He added that the state government had adopted a holistic agriculture plans on food security._
_He said: “The ranch was established in conjunction with foreign investors. The cattle have been quarantined. You know in the heat of the election, nobody wanted to venture into that ranch. And in the heat of that too, the Commissioner for Agriculture lost his seat._
_“The reason we quarantined the cattle was that, first we needed to inoculate them. What I mean by quarantined is that we needed to get them acclimatized to the weather and prepare them for the long trip across the Atlantic Ocean._
_“While we quarantined and inoculated them,_ _we tried to get some pregnant because it is a long journey and some could die on the way”._
_These are rare breed of cattle that can produce milk and meat at the same time. We are expecting 2,000.”_