AKWA IBOM RESTORATION CONGRESS
Liberty House, Abak Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
WHY WE MUST RISE AGAINST GOV. AKPABIO’S IMPOSITION
Godswill-Akpabio Governor of Akwa Ibom State
As we approach the climax of our march to the emancipation of Akwa Ibom State from the clutches of a family hegemony that has held the state hostage for almost seven years, we feel obliged now to alert our people on the need to remain eternally vigilant and committed to the task ahead. We have watched with horror the rape and plunder of our common patrimony all in the mad bid to perpetuate the saddest moment in our history as a state. We have become the laughing stock of other states for the profligacy of a governor, who has no idea of the difference between personal finance and money belonging to the people. We are compelled by recent developments to make the following observations and draw our people’s minds to sundry issues bedeviling our dear state.
1. We notice with sadness that our governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio has continued in his mindless and reckless spending of our resources on things that have no bearing on the welfare of our people. We are ashamed that despite the quantum of revenue coming to our state, the governor has not been able to finish any of the projects he personally started. He has continued to delude unsuspecting visitors to the state, with former Governor Attah’s projects. We wonder how he puts his face when he shows them the Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, a project commenced and finished by Obong Victor Attah, with a few additional rooms added by Akpabio; the Ibom airport, commenced by Attah, with all the materials for its completion fully paid for, and merely completed by Akpabio (even the MRO project Akpabio started at the airport has since been abandoned); the Ibom Power plant commenced and finished by Obong Victor Attah and commissioned by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo and many more of such Attah’s projects.
2. We ask where are the real projects that could be wholly attributed to Governor Akpabio? The Specialist hospital started in 2007 is still neither here nor there, and this is a hospital he has been bragging that he would complete and equip to world standard. We are waiting to see this happen. The Ibom Tropicana project, a true drain-pipe has gulped more than N70b, far above Akpabio’s promised N33b, considered by Nigerians as outrageous then, yet the project has virtually been abandoned. The so called E-library has remained a building structure completed in the first year of the Akpabio administration. Today he feels so ashamed to show it to people, because Nigerians are asking him what the building was meant for, due to the inactivity around the building. So Governor Akpabio, where are your so called projects?
3. Gov. Akpabio has been trying, with the aid of his propaganda machinery, to give the wrong impression that Uyo was one hell of a village before his coming as governor. When he takes his numerous visitors through the well tarred roads of Uyo, he makes them believe that all they see were done by him. But let us pause and take an objective tour of roads in Uyo. The four lane Edet Akpan Avenue was fully done by Obong Victor Attah; the Two-lane Nsikak Eduok was done by Attah; Oron road was done by Attah, while the stretch going to the airport was already awarded by Victor Attah to GITTO; Attah did the Nwaniba road, all through to the Five-Star Hotel; Abak Road was done by Obong Attah; Atiku Abubakar way, where he takes them to see his fly-overs was constructed by Victor Attah; Ikot Ekpene road was done by Attah; Udoudoma Avenue was done by Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, while IBB avenue was done by Nkanag/Abbe; the internal roads at the Bank layout were all awarded by Attah’s government. Apart from the Ekom Iman Juction/Itu road dualised road, the third ring road and his four flyovers, he has not added any other road to Uyo. Why can’t Akpabio at least give some credit to others before him? He even recently purchased an award christened “Best Governor since the Creation of the State”, an indecent denial of the patriotic contributions of those before him. This contrasts sharply with the response of Governor Fashola of Lagos State, who in response to a question whether he considered himself the best so far in Lagos state, said he was not the best because all those who had governed the state had done so under different financial, political and social circumstances.
4. Akpabio has done more damage to the corporate existence of Akwa Ibom state than any other person, dead or living. He has created an ethnic tension and hate that would take years to heal in the state. His disdain for equity and fairness is un-paralleled in history. It is worth recounting his unabashed and primitive parochialism. He sees nothing wrong with appointing the State Accountant General and State Auditor General from his home Local Government Area; he sees nothing wrong when 70 per cent of chairmen and members of Statutory Boards and Commissions with tenured positions come from his LGA; when 80 per cent of Federal Commissions and Statutory boards reserved for the state at the central government were appointed from Essien Udim alone; When the Governor’s Essien Udim LGA alone has seven permanent secretaries in the state civil service, including the Accountant General and Auditor General, Uyo Senatorial District made up of 9 LGAs, has 9 permanent Secretaries, and Eket Senatorial District with 12 LGAs, has 11 permanent Secretaries. Akpabio in setting a new record in ethnic discrimination has located the following establishments, mostly funded by the state, but on the surface, federal projects, to his Ukana Ikot Ntuen village in Essien Udim LGA. They include, the Prison complex, built with Akwa Ibom money, Police Secondary School, built by the state, the Mobile Police Barracks, built by the state, the UBE Technical and Vocational College etc. All the roads in his Ukana community, including roads leading to the village stream and those leading to nowhere have been tarred, yet 90 per cent of the communities in the state have no single access road, a pathetic case in point being the entire Uruan LAG, where no single road was done by this administration. Of a greater concern to us is the use of our state’s money to develop his wife’s community. We feel aggrieved that while Akwa Ibom communities wallow in neglect, our governor is alleged to have spent our state’s resources in tarring roads, building health centers and water projects in his wife’s community in Ezeagu, Enugu state. If he claim that the project were executed by his wife, perhaps he will one day tell the relevant agencies, after May 29, 2015, where she got the money to embark on such massive development of her community. These are unprecedented show of impunity. Yet he is the one daily accusing people of fanning the embers of ethnicism in the state.
5. We are equally compelled to warn our people of the tortoise politics of Akpabio in his blind bid to foist a successor on our people. He had sworn to Ibibio people at Asan Ibibio that he would hand over power to an Ibibio man in 2015. He was to again, in his characteristic deception, sworn to Oro people that he would hand over government to them in 2015. We begin to wonder what he gains knocking the heads of Ibibio, Oro and Annang in conflict. His prevarications and double speak on vital issues can never inspire confidence of the people on him. We can also re-echo what another group had earlier revealed as follows: that Akpabio and his family had in their deceit drafted unsuspecting Citizens of the state to the governorship race to give a semblance of democratic contest, while beneath, this open show was a grand design to hand over power to a stooge, sworn to a diabolic oath of commitment to the Akpabios. In their deceit, they had shared the aspirants among themselves. The former SSG, Umana Okon Umana was handed over to Emem Akpabio, Nsentip Akpabio was incharge of Barr Effiong Abia, Opulumpm Etteh was handed over to Ibanga Akpabio, the former deputy governor was handled by Don Etim, while Bassey Albert Akpan was under the charge of the governor’s wife, with each made to believe that he was the anointed. That grand deceit is still going on. As we continue to hear one person dropped and another picked up, we ask, for how long will Akpabio and his family take the people of the state for a ride? His arrogance continues to soar. He believes the way he is carrying on that he owns the state and therefore has the sole authority to determine who becomes governor is 2015. He even had to compel his Exco to endorse candidates. In his wisdom, whatever he sanctions becomes what is good for the state.
6. Akpabio’s antics are becoming very clear by the day, so much that even his former Attorney General and current Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia, Barr Assam Assam, has come out to acknowledge Akpabio’s unhidden plan to impose his choice on the people. To this Assam had proclaimed that even though Akpabio is our Governor, he is not the God of Akwa Ibom people. So when Akpabio boasts that he has bought over Akwa Ibom people with Prado Jeeps and Millions of Naira, we laugh because our people are wiser today. They simply collect the Prado Jeeps and the millions and at the end, knowing that the money belongs to them in the first place, they would do the bidding of their conscience. We are also glad that Akpabio’s Prado Jeeps and millions cannot buy the entire 4 million Akwa Ibom people. At the end of the day, we will collect our money from him and still do what is right –the liberation of Akwa Ibom state from Akpabio, and his family.
7. It is becoming a refrain of shame for Akwa Ibom people that wherever you go in Abuja, you are confronted with the disparaging remarks of people who now see us as “money miss road”. As Akpabio is buying off loyalists of other aspirants, so he is buying jeeps, houses and choice properties for people all over Abuja and boasting at home that not even the PDP National Chairman or Mr. President can stop him from imposing whoever his choice of governor is. He once claimed that what he uses for his donations is covered in the state’s budgetary allocation under the sub-head of Traditional Gifts and Donations. But Nigerians are curious to know how much money is allocated to this sub-head to take care of the self-serving donations and reckless frittering away of our money currently going on in Abuja. But we are rest assured that one day questions shall be raised and someone shall answer those questions. Even if it is under security vote or the notorious cesspit of slush funds, he calls General Administration under the ministry of Works, one day Akwa Ibom people shall demand an answer. It is so absurd and outrageous that people are creating all manner of awards to entice our governor and make away with our common wealth. We readily pay with our state’s money and spend hundreds of millions to send delegations to go and cheer wherever it is taking place, while hundreds of millions of naira go into advertising the awards. While other Nigerians laugh at us, the organisers go joyfully to their banks. That is the level our state; the state that produced the Clement Isongs, Jacob Esuene, Justice Udo Udoma, Obong Victor Attah, among others, has sunk!
8. Akwa Ibom state under Governor Godswill Akpabio, is the only state whose elders have been alienated and excluded. We are still asking ourselves questions as to why our governor would describe as expired politicians, the cream of our state’s elders, opinion leaders, principal stakeholders, who had in a goodwill message to the new chairman of PDP, thanked him for promising to ensure openness, transparency and internal democracy in PDP affairs and especially at the coming election primaries of the party. It was such an embarrassing statement and a slap on the cherished respect for elders we are known for. Among the people so insulted were former Ministers of the federation, like Obong Rita Akpan, former and indeed present members of the National Assembly, including Senator Aloysius Etok, Hon Ekperikpe Ekpo, Hon Bernard Udoh, former Speakers and members of the state House of Assembly, including Hon Nelson Effiong, Hon Peter Linus Umoh. What was his anger for with the message? Were the governor’s outbursts against these PDP leaders because of their commendation of the National Chairman’s support for internal democracy and open and free primaries in the party?
9. We have the misfortune of a state leadership where the likes of Obong Victor Attah, former governor and member PDP BOT; Atuekong Don Etiebet, Founding member of the PDP and BOT member; Obong Uffot Ekaette, former SGF; Obong Rita Akpan, former Minister; Chief Nelson Effiong, former Speaker AKHA; Peter Linus Umoh, former Speaker AKHA; Hon Uwem Udoma, former Deputy Speaker AKHA; where serving and former members of the National Assembly; where the likes of Sunny Jackson, Morris Ebong , Gen Edet Akpan, Chief Edet Nkpubre, Bernard Udoh, Former Deputy Gov. Chris Ekpenyong, Senator Effiong Bob, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Udoma Bob Ekarika, Etim Okpoyo a former deputy governor, Senator Itak Ekarika, Senator Eme Ekaette, Hon Inyangmme, pioneer state chairman of the PDP, all frontline citizens have become so disillusioned in their own state and now boycott state functions, protesting the personalization of governance and party. How do we recount how our governor spent state funds to lobby to remove our son, Atuekong Don Etiebet from the PDP BOT, so that he would remain the only cock that crows? What about the continued persecution of Dr. Ime Sampson Umanah, a patriotic Akwa Ibomite, who has been on the cruel receiving end of Akpabio’s politics of persecution since 2009. We hold the distinction of the state whose governor had taken politics into the church, where he has politically polarized the Christian Association of Nigeria, into factions. He was reputed to have called the CAN chairman a fake prophet and verbally abused him; just because the man of God had warned politicians to allow God have His way in the state. To Governor Akpabio, he has become God and therefore sees no reason any person should talk about the existence of another Supreme God. In the eyes of Nigerians we are now like a people without elders, all thanks to our all powerful governor.
10. But thank God that time is running out on him. Akwa Ibom people are ready to confront Akpabio and his family. The 2015 governorship election primaries must be free and open. Every interested Akwa Ibom person will have his day at the polls, where our people will look through each of them and determine who wins based on the person’s ability and effectiveness for the office.
11. Governor Akpabio came to be governor as a result of an open contest in a transparent primary supervised and superintended by Obong Victor Attah. If Obong Victor Attah had isolated which local government or which individual should contest the 2006 primary, we are sure Akpabio would never have been governor. So why is he so much against an open contest to the extent that he would attack party elders who commended the National Chairman for his patriotic stand to promote internal democracy in the party?
12. Gov. Akpabio should be bothered that a state that has received a revenue of about N3.5 trillion is owing, according to Nigeria’s Central Bank, about N350b, especially against the background that he attacked Former Governor Attah in 2007 because of a N17b unpaid bank loans.
13. We are concerned that while foreigners are smiling to their banks with our state resources, our people are deliberately impoverished as a purposeful ploy to weaken their resolve to enforce their political will. But like Assam Assam said, Governor Akpabio is still a governor and never our God. We have an unshakeable confidence in our people to rise to this occasion and stop Akpabio from further desecration of everything we hold sacred, especially respect for our elders.
Bassey Daniel Akpan ESQ (Chairman ) Obong Dr. Ambrose Idiong ( Secretary)
Culled From National Mirror Newspaper