Nigeria

The former lawmaker's aide confirms PREMIUM TIMES report that Mr Enang has been appointed Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs.

The former lawmaker's aide confirms PREMIUM TIMES report that Mr Enang has been appointed Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs.

Ita Enang has confirmed a report published earlier by PREMIUM TIMES on President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to renew his appointment as the president’s aide on National Assembly Matters.

PREMIUM TIMES broke the news that Mr Enang, a former senator from Akwa Ibom state, would not return as Mr Buhari’s senior special adviser on Senate because of the perception within the presidency that he was unable to manage the relationship between the president and Bukola Saraki-led Senate.

The relationship between President Buhari and the eighth Senate was characterised by deep animosity.

“He (Enang) didn’t have the temperament to deliver anything substantial,” a source within the presidency had said of Mr Enang’s performance as Mr Buhari’s aide.

“Despite the experience he has and the senators being his former colleagues, he could not resolve the frequent crisis the senators were having with the president.”

The president picked Omoworare Babajide, a former senator from Osun state, as Mr Enang’s replacement, the source said.

Mr Enang, the source had said, would be compensated with a new position – the president’s adviser on Niger Delta matters.

The former senator, apparently unaware of the development within the presidency as at that time, disputed the PREMIUM TIMES report.

“My name is Senator Ita Solomon Enang, and I am the National Assembly Liaison officer; Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate),” Mr Enang said on Planet 105.9 FM Uyo, on August 13, a day after the PREMIUM TIMES report.

Mr Enang’s media aide, Essien Inyang, and people sympathetic to the former senator gleefully promoted the claims on Facebook.

A photo showing Mr Enang in an office, with Nigerian flag at the background, was also promoted on the social media site by his media aide, with the message “Work more, talk less!”

The intention, perhaps, was to discredit the PREMIUM TIMES report.

Mr Enang also granted press interviews in Abuja, telling reporters he was still President Buhari’s aide on National Assembly Matters.

But on Tuesday, eight days after the report, Mr Enang’s media aide, Mr Inyang, posted on Facebook: “Meet Senator Ita Solomon Enang, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs”, therefore confirming the report by this newspaper.

Mr Inyang in another post said the new appointment was an “elevation” for Mr Enang.

Many of Mr Enang’s supporters have taken to Facebook to congratulate him and to also thank Mr Buhari for the appointment.

“May God continually bless us with many more opportunities as Akwa Ibom people. May we equally use such openings for the benefit of our people,” Onofiok Luke, a House of Representatives member from the state, wrote on Facebook about the appointment.

Mr Luke, a former speaker of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, congratulated Mr Enang on the appointment.