…As Godfather Accuses Godson Of Marginalization Over Projects’ Siting
- Lists Conditions For Second Term Bid
By Akanimo Kufre (Uyo)
The media aides of Akwa Ibom state government at all time will go extra mile to prove to doubting public that all is well between Governor Udom Emmanuel and his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in fact the two have been religiously painted as best of friends. However, recent indications have emerged to the contrary.
Recently, Akpabio descended impolitely on his political godson, Governor Emmanuel, alleging his Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District was being marginalized in terms of development projects.
Speaking at the annual get-together organized by the Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Ekpo, for the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial at Independent Hall, Abak, Akpabio warned that the era of carry-go politics was gone and charged the governor to brace up for the big task.
The Senate Minority Leader, who was believed to have single-handedly installed Governor Emmanuel, against all odds in 2015, said he would only endorse his re-election if the policies and programmes of the administration were not discriminatory against Ikot Ekpene geo-political zone.
Grieving over some of the projects embarked upon by his administration, Akpabio pointed out projects including the multi-million naira Four Points by Sheraton Hotel at Ikot Ekpene and the dualized Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road, had been abandoned by governor Emmanuel, adding that the completion of the projects would form part of the recommendations for his re-election in 2019.
His words: “2018 is less than one year to election, all is not well oooh; don’t allow anybody to deceive you that all is well. If the hotel in Ikot Ekpene rots after so much money had been expended, would that be a good thing?
“That road from Uyo to Ikot Ekpene, is still the way it was. In the 2018 budget, what is the percentage for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District?”, Akpabio asked and charged the governor to remove the wedge that stifles development in his zone or be prepared to face the consequences of such action in 2019.
“My job is to say the truth because if at this level I cannot say the truth, then I am not doing well. So please I want us to start the hotel because when the Commissioner for Works addressed the youths in August, he assured them that the hotel would be opened in December, it will soon decay if urgent intervention is not given to the facility.
“Please let us check the budget to know what has been earmarked for that place. I am not interested in what I did and what I did not do, I am only interested in what I am going to do.
“The truth is that Godswill Akpabio expects us to set our path straight so that we can take one route, Even when you are going for communion, you must be in a state of grace, so let us have something from the Senatorial District to use in talking about election; to use in convincing the people to stand by us. We are in opposition, we don’t have government, we don’t have Police, we don’t have INEC”, he warned.
However, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh, warned against playing politics with development projects enunciated by the administration since coming on board in 2015.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, the Commissioner scored the administration high in areas of physical infrastructure, agriculture, human capital development and free education for children up to the secondary school level.
He craved for more supports for the administration as it strives to spread development projects across the three Senatorial Districts of Uyo, Eket and Ikot Ekpene.
“Let us bury our political differences and unite in love for Governor Udom Emmanuel to build a State we will all be proud of. Akwa Ibom belongs to all of us, the governor is poised at ensuring sustainable development for the State and the people that will outlive this administration”, he said.
In a bid to find out if there is any strain or stress between the two, The New Diplomat gathered from the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Udom Emmanuel, Mr. Ekerette Udo that ‘Such was a settled issue and not to be delved into’.