The Governor alleged that the attacks on him in the media are politically motivated.
Governor Godswill Akpabio has defended his controversial donations to individuals and organisations, saying that they fall within the ambit of law as captured by the yearly state budget passed by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
Mr. Akpabio, who was fielding questions on Friday from the Government House correspondents at Governor’s Lodge, Uyo, condemned what he termed ”bad press” by a section of the media, saying, “I have noticed a lot of attacks in the media particularly the social media and some of the newspapers have started writing editorials on the Governor of Akwa Ibom and trying to create impression that because he made a donation of a Jeep to one of his daughters- Mrs. Anne Macauley-2face [sic] that got married recently, that means he is a spendthrift. Of course, that kind of allegation is far from the truth.”
He explained, “Anything connected with the Governor’s donation is captured within the law of the State. The budget is the law and there have been provisions that allow for grants for donations and for hospitality as enshrined within the budget. If I make donation out of that subhead, it’s covered within the law. It means, I am acting within the ambit of the law. I have not gone outside the law.”
Mr. Akpabio also talked about sponsoring Akwa Ibom indigenes to India for treatment of different ailments, saying, “I have sponsored over 200 Akwa Ibom children to India- some for holes in their hearts; some having congenital kidney problem. Many of them, I don’t know. In fact, I can say that 99 per cent of them I don’t know.”
“I applaud Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly for even supporting my charity donation when the bomb blast in Madala occurred and hundreds of persons were killed and many were hospitalized without money for hospital bills. On behalf of the good people of Akwa Ibom State, we showed sympathy by making a donation of N50m to cater for those families. It is within the ambit of the law,” he stressed.
The Governor attributed the ‘attack’ on his person to the handiwork of politicians who are afraid of his recent emergence as the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, noting, “The reality is that having become the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, people are frightened. Looking at it from the political angle, everything I do now is being politicized. Akwa Ibom people need to be aware of this.
“They may also need to know that there is an organized attack and arrangement to blackmail their Governor. Put it this way, the attack is on PDP. The intention there is that he is a messenger of PDP and every message he says must be the message of the PDP Governors. So what do you do, you attack the messenger in order to kill the message.”
“I want my people to disregard those things. They are all politically motivated. They will not distract me from what I am doing. I would rather want people to do editorials, go to the social media, discuss the flyovers I am building. Discuss the brand new prison, discuss the roads that I am opening, discuss the international terminal building, discuss the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility we are building, discuss the brand new general hospitals, discuss even those projects we have completed.
“Those are the things I will like you to discuss. Let discuss more about development and challenge Akwa Ibom State about development because this is one state that is showing direction to Nigeria. A State that has done over 35 bridges under five years. Not to discuss about donation of N3 million and then to start attacking the Governor when it is covered by budget,” he said.