The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, has reacted to a media attack by his former aide against the Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
The former aide, Clement Ikpatt, in a recent article posted on his Facebook page, accused Mr Emmanuel of inaugurating a fertiliser repacking plant in the state, and not a production plant as the people were made to believe.
Mr Akpabio, as a guest of Mr Emmanuel, cut the tape to inaugurate the plant which is cited in Abak Local Government Area.
The inauguration was done to mark the third anniversary of Mr Emmanuel’s administration.
“For the sake of emphasis, let me repeat that there is no fertiliser manufacturing or blending taking place at the Greenwell Technologies facility in Abak. Rather, what was commissioned is a dilapidating warehouse for the repackaging of bulk and finished fertilizer products,” wrote Mr Ikpatt who served as a special assistant on the Diaspora affairs to Mr Akpabio when the latter was the governor of Akwa Ibom.
Mr Ikpatt said the administration also dishonoured the former governor during the ceremony.
“Not only was Sen. Godswill Akpabio deceived into commissioning a mere fertilizer repackaging warehouse, he was denied due honour, respect and standard practice of citing his name on the official plaque,” he wrote.
The senator responded by saying that for his name not to be on the plaque was “inconsequential”.
“Having served for about five years as a Commissioner; eight years as Governor of Akwa Ibom State, and presently a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he has engraved his name not only on plaques but the hearts and minds of the people particularly through his sterling performance as Governor between 2007 and 2015 which brought uncommon transformation to Akwa Ibom State,” Mr Akpabio’s media aide, Anietie Ekong, said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Mr Akpabio said it was a “great honour” to be invited by the governor to cut the tape.
“Rather than dwell on irrelevancies, the larger picture of the Fertilizer Blending Plant providing employment for the teeming youth and boosting the economy of Akwa Ibom State when the plant comes fully on stream is what every lover of development should be concerned with,” the senator’s spokesperson said while appealing for support for the governor.
Mr Ikpatt has also responded to the statement issued by the senator’s aide.
“Your statement is well noted and the existing cordial relationship between Sen. Godswill Akpabio and Gov. Udom Emmanuel is as it should be – mature, respected and applauded,” he said on Facebook, Tuesday morning.
“I suggest that you note my constitutional right to speak freely, especially with regards to issues about my Akwa Ibom State. I take full responsibility and firmly stand by what I wrote,” he said.