The Civil Society groups in Akwa Ibom State have asked the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel, to show evidence of the Close Circuit Television Cameras, and the Mexican cows he claimed to have imported into the state.
Governor Emmanuel had, in an interview broadcast live via AKBC radio and television stations, made the state government believe that CCTV cameras had been installed in major entry points during the COVID-19 pandemic, to monitor the influx of people in the state. He also said his government imported Mexican cows into the state.
“Let me surprise all of you, you may not know this, if you go to those borders, you can check this out, take for example our border towards Itu Bridge, you will see a 3G camera mounted there,” Emmanuel said.
However, the groups said they had yet to see evidence of the CCTV installations and the Mexican cows in the state.
Speaking with our correspondent on Friday, the Coordinator of the Akwa Ibom Human Rights Community, Clifford Thomas, challenged the state government to show evidence of the installations.
He said, “These are open things, when you claim that you installed CCTV cameras, you know that people would have celebrated it all along. It is like the Mexican cows that we have not seen. I honestly don’t know because when a government tells you that it has done something, you are supposed to see it and applaud the government.
“But when it claimed it has done something which is not on the ground, you use an apt word to describe the kind of government it is, they will claim you are from the opposition. We have been labelled as the opposition all along, but we are still surviving. There is no evidence of CCTV cameras.”
Similarly, the Chairman of the Civil Society Organisation in the state, Dr Harry Udoh, said he had yet to see evidence of either the Mexican cows or the CCTV cameras in the state.
He said members of the Civil Society Organisation had been asking questions but to no avail. He stated that even if there was a change of mind, the people ought to know.
‘‘A colleague did something that time and went to Itu bridge because we heard that there was one ( CCTV camera), there, but after that, we have not heard anything about that again and the question is who is monitoring the influx of people into the state and what has been
the result of that? I really
don’t want to comment on that right now for obvious reasons,” he added.
On the Mexican cows, Udoh added, “I have asked questions on radio; where are the Mexican cows? Nobody seems to have any answers to that. I am not aware of the Mexican cows, we have not seen them, but he (Governor Emmanuel) made that statement in a public arena, we have been asking this question over time in the public; where are the Mexican cows, and what has happened to it?
“A government official came up and said there was a change of mind and I said on radio that if there was a change of mind, is it not proper to let the people know about it? Because it looks as if it was a veritable avenue to siphon money, and you cannot do that with impunity and just keep quiet about it. It is the same thing with the CCTV cameras.
“It looks as if people just sit down and think that okay there is a CCTV scam in Abuja and think they can do the same here. I tell you categorically, and you can quote me, there was no CCTV camera anywhere. That is my position.”
Efforts made to get the state government’s reactions to the allegations were not successful as of the time of filing this report, as the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Ini Ememobong, did not pick his calls or respond to text messages sent to his phone.
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