How Akpabio threw Akwa Ibom into poverty after squandering N4trillion – Ex-PDP chairman, Otu Ita Toyo

Otu Ita Toyo

A former state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State, Otu Ita Toyo, has accused a former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio, of squandering N4 trillion that accrued to the state during his tenure.

Mr. Toyo said instead of creating wealth and lifting the people of the state out of poverty, Mr. Akpabio ended up throwing more people into poverty.

“Today we are broke,” the politician said. “Is that possible, after N4 trillion? If you have N4 trillion and you become broke, it means you’ve not been doing something right.

“There is so much want in Akwa Ibom. There are real men who have lived a life of contentment in the past, but today they can’t feed their family,” Mr. Toyo said.

The former PDP state chairman said he remained unfulfilled after 40 years in public service because of the state of affairs in his state.

He said what he was witnessing now wasn’t the kind of Akwa Ibom he envisaged when he conducted the governorship primary that produced Mr. Akpabio.

“I was looking for an Akwa Ibom where the state chairman of our party will call the government and say ‘listen, our party wants to achieve this, we are not here to build big houses and undergrounds and swimming pools, and local government chairmen buying 20 cars and building houses all over the country.”

Mr. Toyo also predicted that the PDP would be defeated by the All Progressives Congress in the state if the Supreme Court affirms the Court of Appeal judgment that there should be a re-run of the governorship election in the state.

“If the Supreme Court says we should go for a re-run of the governorship election in Akwa Ibom State, I have no doubt that the APC will win the election,” Mr. Toyo said on Monday in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES.

The former state chairman of the PDP decamped to the APC on Friday, four days after his interview with PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr. Toyo however said a victory for the APC in Akwa Ibom State would not necessarily mean a support for the APC, but a rejection of the PDP and its ways.

“The people voting for APC will be largely PDP people who are unhappy with the way they were treated in the PDP.

“And that puts the blame squarely on the head of those who ran the party in the state in the past eight years, and those who ran the government in the last eight years,” Mr. Toyo said.

Mr. Toyo said he would not support Udom Emmanuel who won the 2015 governorship as a candidate of the PDP.

He said his problem with Mr. Emmanuel was that he was the cause of the political dispute that brought division and tension in the state.

“It is not his making,” Mr. Toyo said. “I wish they had not dragged him into this. They have probably abandoned him and gone up to the senate.

“He’s got to manage it and he doesn’t even have the capacity in terms of experience to manage it,” the former Akwa Ibom PDP chairman said.

Mr. Toyo criticised the attempt by the PDP to resurrect the argument on the zoning of the governorship seat in Akwa Ibom State.

He said it was fraudulent in the first place for the PDP to have used senatorial district basis, instead of linguistics groupings, to zone the governorship of the state in the 2015 election.

“They are not true to the PDP zoning system which we all subscribed to many years ago. And they did not inform anybody when they changed the format, and therefore that cannot by any stretch of imagination be the subsisting PDP zoning system.

“This business of zoning on senatorial district is an afterthought by a fraudulent cabal who wants to hoodwink the people of the state and come in (to government) through the back door.

“Even if we come to Eket Senatorial District and we want to choose a governor from there, will you go to Awa which has had a governor before? Is that zoning? Chief Clement Isong was from Awa, in Onna Local Government Area.

“Okay, let’s continue to push the senatorial district argument. If you were to choose on senatorial district basis, a deputy to a governor from Eket Senatorial district, where would that deputy come from? Is it not Uyo Senatorial District, given that the immediate past governor was from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District?

“How come the deputy governor is from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District?

“Their argument is that ‘Oh, we don’t want two Ibibio persons to occupy the offices of the governor and that of the deputy governor’. How come you are talking about linguistic grouping in the deputy governorship position, but you use senatorial district when talking about the governorship?”

Mr. Toyo, who is from the Oro ethnic group in Akwa Ibom State, accused the former Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio, of truncating the original zoning arrangement in the state when it was the turn of Oro to produce a governor.

He said mr. Akpabio was inexperienced in political matters to lead the state as governor when he took over from Victor Attah.

Mr. Toyo said it was delusional for people to keep referring to the PDP as being a religion in Akwa Ibom State, when the party was getting unpopular by the day.

“Which religion? The people own the religion, when they vote with their feet they create another religion,” he said.


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