Impact is not what happens by chance. Men of impact are mostly ordained by divine to effect change in society. The Nigerian state may have featured many of such men in its bloated history. Indeed, certain personalities cannot escape their destinies of making impact. Joseph, though tortured made his impact, even as Jonah made impact, despite reluctance.
Nigeria may have become a dead-end. The country may have appeared exhausted of its potentials. Hope may have shattered from all angles. The economy may have completely crumbled. Break down of law and order may have become a new order. Insurgency could possibly appear unmitigated. Criminality may have got its exalted peg. Leaders across the country may have sold their dignity to the devil, engaging in perpetual corruption and leaving the nation sorely wounded.
Although the scars are great and it seems hope is lying in wait against hope, few men of conscience are still gliding within the shores of Nigeria. Of course, right thinking citizens cannot argue that Senator Ita Solomon Enang is not one of the few Nigerians working tirelessly to revive the country. His roles conspicuously portray him as a true patriot of national development. His enduring spirit of service is marked by his consistent vigilance and alertness.
Ita Enang is the symbolic Prophet Ezekiel of the scriptures whose duty at the gate offers him the privilege of foresight. Enang is just one of the few prominent Nigerians who has the interest of his people at heart. As an Akwa Ibom person with pedigree in national politics, he plays his role as a foreman. Whether it is to defend his people abroad, Ita Enang has his marks unmatched. Whether it is a homeward therapy, the Senator had served the citizens well. A watchdog whose figures are reliable, Enang has raised numerous alarms that shape the nation’s polity.
Born in August 1962, Ita Enang, a native of Ididep of Ibiono Ibom local government area in present day Akwa Ibom State, seems to have set himself on the speed lane of life. He was just 23 years old when he was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1985, after his graduation from the Faculty of Law, University of Calabar in 1984. He had just two years of private law practice before contesting and becoming a councilor in 1987. He was elevated by his people to the Akwa Ibom State house of assembly in 1992 and then the House of Representatives for Itu/Ibiono where he served three terms between 1999 and 2011.
One of the most outstanding lawmakers in the country, Enang again assumed duty as the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East (Uyo) senatorial district from 2011 to 2015. Four days after his birthday in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him as his Senior Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters (Senate). He occupied the much coveted office till August 2019 when Buhari redeployed him to the Special Advisory on Niger Delta Affairs.
Truth is, in all offices occupied by Senator Ita Enang, he has been consistent at giving good account of himself. Enang was very outspoken and diligent at the house of Representatives where he served for three terms, almost perpetually serving as Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business. The then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji (Hon.) Aminu Bello Massari equally appointed him the Chairman of the Standing Order Review Committee, a job he painstakingly executed and earned respect for himself. The Standing Order was eventually adopted and has been in use till date. At the Senate, Enang could not escape the competent role of offering his service as the Chairman, Senate Rules and Business Committee. He was also member of the Senate Niger Delta, Judiciary and Human Rights and Appropriation Committees.
Ever watchful, hyper-intelligent, exceptionally smart and having the paramount interest of his people at heart, Enang was at the forefront during the struggle for the abrogation of the onshore/offshore oil dichotomy. His furious legislative engagements, talks and public lectures were significant in the victory that later came. He presented raw facts at all fora which made Akwa Ibom State, the highest producer of oil to become the highest earner of oil revenue in the country.
Consequently in February 2004, Akwa Ibom people had a special session at the Uyo Township Stadium to thank God for the passage and signing into Law of the Act abolishing dichotomy in the application of the principles of derivation in revenue allocation by President Olusegun Obasanjo. The then governor, Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah recognized Senator Ita Enang and conferred on him, the special honour and thanks from Akwa Ibom people and Nigerians for “his intellectual and legislative dexterity which led to the final abrogation of the dichotomy by passage of the Bill.”
There are various development projects dotting the landscape of Nigeria which are initiatives of Senator Ita Enang. Some of these are secondary schools, tertiary institutions, ministries, departments and agencies. He instituted a N10m Chair for Legislative Studies at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in 2015, even when he earlier fulfilled the legislative requirements for the establishment of the Federal Polytechnic, Ukana. A man who has traversed all legislative ladder in the country, there are only a few of his ilk in Nigeria and beyond.
It was Senator Ita Enang who facilitated the passage of University of Uyo Establishment Bill which was duly signed into law by the President. The University has duly honoured the Senator with an Honourary Doctorate degree. A very articulate Senator, gifted with oratory and equipped with sophistry, Enang’s imprint has attracted various awards and chieftaincy titles to him. A few of his chieftaincy decorations are the Otuekong Ididep, Otuekong Itu, Obom Ibiono Ibom, Obong Iberedem Iman Ibom, Mfa of Ini, Ama Mkpat Enin and Ifiok Ibibio.
As the Special Adviser to the president on Niger Delta Affairs, Ita Enang is on track to contribute his quota to the development of the region. Charged by the president to work out modalities for the achievement of a Niger Delta beyond oil, the Senator had since jumped into his jeans and begun a ‘travelogue’ to the creeks of the region. In Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom and the rest, Ita Enang is getting into the hearts of the region to revive all of its economic potentials. He is engaging relevant stakeholders and building bridges.
With the federal government’s emergency agricultural programme, Enang is liaising with relevant government agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Fishery Society of Nigeria and the rest, to achieve a productive Niger Delta beyond oil. He is reviving the Ebughu Fishing Terminal in Mbo LGA of Akwa Ibom State, the fishing ports in Bayelsa and Rivers states and also working hard to achieve the food sufficiency vision of President Buhari.
For this reason, Enang is tirelessly working to strengthen production capacities of private entrepreneurs in areas of oil palm, rice, maize, cocoa, cotton, cassava, snails, poultry, among others. To be sure this is actualized without hindrance, the Senator is leveraging on the presidency to ensure the completion of abandoned road projects, especially to give access to farm lands where agricultural produce should be easily conveyed for circulation to Nigerians. As a single individual however, he has personally influenced the construction of at least 70 kilometres of road in Akwa Ibom State through federal government agencies.
The only project of his passionate advocacy suffering apparent dereliction is the dualization of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene-Aba Federal Highway. The dual carriageway valued at about 56 billion naira and handled by Julius Berger Company Limited and Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC, seems to have suffered unpatriotic interest by Nigerian lawmakers whose duties should be to appropriate funds for its execution. A recent report however reveals that the federal executive council has approved 50.1 billion naira for the project which should be completed in 30 months. See the link https://humangle.ng/unimaid-isnt-building-a-perimeter-fence-for-n64-billion/
The analysis here is open for judgement on whether Senator Ita Enang is justifying his political sojourn. Although pundits may wish to have fragmented assessment of his political impact on his immediate society and Nigeria at large, independent review would not be far from adjudging the Senator as being very effective. Be that as it may, a periscope on his new office, especially in engendering a Niger Delta beyond oil, shows his revolution of Green Nigeria, where agriculture becomes a fresh mainstay of the economy. Of course, with the directives of the presidency wishing to diversify the Nigerian economy, Enang could best be viewed as well fitted in the demands for a productive Niger Delta beyong oil.
It is this fresh array of hope from agricultural activities that portrays Ita Enang as a true catalyst. With the federal government journeying towards engaging both the land and human resources of the south south to promoting economic boom, Nigeria could best be seen as gradually attaining a new life. Of course, green is associated with nature. It is a sort of renewal, energy, growth, harmony, freshness, safety and fertility. Being inseparably connected with tranquility, good luck and health, green has a strong correspondence with balance and safety.
As a senior special assistant to the president on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang no more sits in the comforts of his office. He is rather touring the whole nine states of the region on air, land and water, making sure the desires of President Muhammadu Buhari is achieved. Indeed, with all his tireless engagements with public and private sectors, seeking to have an economic resurgence in all agricultural activities, Enang fits into the place of a man who is evolving a fresh, renewed, fertile, harmonious and healthy Nigeria. Simply put, Ita Enang is working hard to bring forth a Green Nigeria.
Joseph Atainyang is a journalist and public affairs commentator.