The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has accused a senator, Godswill Akpabio, of being responsible for the crisis rocking the state House of Assembly.
Mr Akpabio has, however, dismissed the accusation, saying “the brazen act of lawlessness by the governor” was responsible for the crisis.
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has been thrown into intractable crisis for days now since five lawmakers were sacked from the assembly for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The mastermind of this crisis include people that this state gave the opportunity to become what they never dreamt they could become. People that other people gave the opportunity to become a commissioner for 6 years & a Governor for 8 years, making it 14 years,” Mr Emmanuel said Tuesday on Twitter, apparently referring to Mr Akpabio who was a commissioner and then a governor of the state, before he was elected senator.
“I want to let the world know that Nigerians fought & gave their lives in this country for us to enjoy the democracy we currently have today, but due to the ambition of selfish people, our democracy is being threatened in #AkwaIbom State,” the governor added on his personal Twitter handle, @MrUdomEmmanuel.
But Mr Akpabio quickly responded to the governor’s remark.
“In his desperation to shop for who to blame and pass the buck, Governor Udom Emmanuel has blamed the security agencies in the State, and Senator Akpabio has only become his latest victim,” the senator said in a statement issued on Tuesday by his spokesperson, Anietie Ekong.
“How can a state Governor accuse Senator Akpabio of being the brain behind the crisis, and at the same time declared that ‘the police should be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the state and not any other person’? Does it add up?”
The senator said the governor was a “major sponsor” of the crisis.
“It is on record that the Governor personally led his security aides and thugs to the House of Assembly and supervised the manhandling of some members of the House of Assembly who were performing their constitutional duties.
“The brazen act of lawlessness by the Governor is responsible for the crisis. In justifying this meddlesomeness and interference in the functions of a separate arm of government, the Commissioner for Information of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Charles Udoh said he went to the House of Assembly as the Chief Security Officer of the State!” the side said.
“It is instructive that Senator Akpabio was never at the scene of the fracas, neither has anyone any evidence of his involvement, except the oft-repeated strategy of blaming anything that is wrong in the State on Senator Akpabio.
He said Akwa Ibom people have a right to determine who leads them and that the choice will be based on performance and not on sentiments.
“We advice Governor Emmanuel to brace up and face the challenges of his office, instead of looking for who to blame for his lacklustre performance in the last three and half years which have made Akwa Ibom people determined to democratically vote him and his party out in the election next year,” the senator added.
Mr Akpabio helped Mr Emmanuel became governor in 2015, despite the opposition within the PDP and beyond.
The two fell apart due to political differences before the senator, in August, resigned his position as the senate minority leader and defected from the PDP to the APC.
There have been uneasiness and political tension in the oil-rich state since the senator’s defection.
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