Akpabio says assassination claim “deceitful, baseless”

Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio confessed to rigging the 2007 senatorial primary elections in his state.

A spokesperson for the governor says he was not after Aloysius Etok.

Akwa Ibom state governor, Godswill Akpabio, has dismissed an allegation he was behind a plot to assassinate a senator from his state, Aloysius Etok, whom the governor has vowed to replace at the senate in 2015.

The governor said the allegations are “paranoid, deceitful, baseless and mere hallucinations that serves no purpose whatsoever.”

Mr. Akpabio had earlier boasted how he manipulated elections to have Mr. Etok elected a senator at the expense of the true winner.

The governor has declared for Mr. Etok’s seat in 2015; but the senator said the office will not be vacant as he will seek re-election, a remark said to have angered the governor and his associates.

Last week, a faction of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly issued a resolution condemning Mr. Etok, and making it clear they will only back the governor come in 2015. Some council area chairmen, under the senatorial district, have also threatened to kick start Mr. Etok’s recall from the senate if he fails to stand down.

The senator said on Saturday, he had received several text messages warning him to recant his ambition within seven days or be dealt with.

“I want the governor to tell Nigerians and the international community if there is anything wrong in any man aspiring to contest for an office,” Mr. Etok asked.

“Not only that, the governor has now loosen his hit squad, including what I have on this phone some text messages that if I don’t retract the statement that I will contest election, after seven days, I will see what they will do.”

A statement issued by the state commissioner of information, Aniekan Umanah, said Mr. Akpabio “is a God fearing and peace loving man, and has never and will never contemplate evil against anyone let alone, his brother and friend, Senator Aloysius Etok”.

Mr. Umanah denied that the governor was behind efforts by the state assembly and the council heads to get at the senator since “was attending the commonwealth Bar Association Conference in Cape Town, South Africa” at the time.

On the allegation of the Governor “resurrecting a hit squad to fight Sen. Etok”, the commissioner said, “for the avoidance of doubt, Governor Akpabio has no hit squad and has never been after the life of any citizen of the state”, rather he engages the policy of inclusiveness to ensure citizens and stakeholders have a say in the affairs of the State.


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