Akwa Ibom people not free under Gov. Emmanuel — Ex-Minister

Akwa Ibom State Governor,  Udom Emmanuel
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel

A former minister of state for the Federal Capital Territory, John Udoedehe, has said that the Udom Emmanuel administration in Akwa Ibom State is a continuation of his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio’s government.

Mr. Udoedehe, who described the immediate past administration of Mr. Akpabio as anti-people, said the only way Akwa Ibom people could get their freedom back would be to vote Mr. Emmanuel and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, out of power during the next election.

Mr. Udoedehe said he was preparing to contest for the governorship of the state in 2019, against Mr. Emmanuel.

“Yes, under Udom (Emmanuel) administration, political opponents are not killed, but Akwa Ibom is not free,” the former minister said during a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr. Udoedehe, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and a former senator who represented the Uyo Senatorial District, said the only way Mr. Emmanuel could extricate himself from Mr. Akpabio was for him to probe the former governor.

“What is Udom (Emmanuel) doing to prosecute Akpabio? Look at what (President) Buhari is doing to Jonathan administration.

“Come out, open the books and let us see where our money went to,” Mr. Udoedehe said, apparently referring to the billions of naira that accrued to the state as derivation funds from oil.

Mr. Udoedehe accused Mr. Akpabio of bringing people from other states to exploit the state’s economy to the detriment of the indigenes of the state.

He said it was incorrect for people to blame the poor performance of the state economy on economic recession in the country, adding that Akwa Ibom was suffering because of poor investment decisions of the Akpabio administration.

“Which poor man will go to Tropicana (cinema) when he is hungry? Why are we turning our people into beggars? What is Tropicana when people are talking about Silicon Valley?

“We are known for one million (Christmas Carol) choir. We are known for Tropicana. They show (Christmas) light around city at night, deceiving people that all was well with Akwa Ibom.

“We are not free. We have been strangled. We are under a snare, and we must get out of it.

“I am not afraid to talk to anybody. I am saying my mind,” the former minister said.


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