Abaribe protests as Adeyemi calls Ikpeazu drunkard at Senate plenary
• Abia lawmaker demands unreserved apology
Senator Smart Adeyemi, representing Kogi West, yesterday, veered off his contribution to a motion on urgent need to restore and revalidate the Safe School Initiative, to describe Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as a drunkard.
Specifically, Adeyemi expressed sympathy for Abia State people for being unfortunate to be governed by an alleged champagne-drinking governor.
The lawmaker was apparently reacting to a social media post linked to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who is from Abia State, allegedly casting aspersion on Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello.
However, Abaribe said he was surprised that the Kogi Senator was making reference to a statement he never made.
Adeyemi had started his contribution with support for the motion while casting his mind back to his primary school days.
He said though he did not grow up to see the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, as premier of the defunct Northern Region, he heard that during his era, “children were given cartons of peak milk, they were well taken care of, the Northern region was a very peaceful place and education flourished under him.”
Adeyemi lamented: “Today, we do not even talk about giving milk to our children in school, we are talking about safety of our children.
“If we were not taken care of with those programmes initiated by Sardauna, maybe most of us would not be here. If there is one thing we must focus on, it is the welfare of our children. The wellbeing of the leaders of tomorrow must be of concern to all of us. If we cannot give them those things that we were given while growing up, the little we can do for them is to keep them safe.”
He called on governors to do all that they could, noting that Nigeria is such a large country that Federal Government alone cannot do it, cannot police all the schools.
At that point, he veered off by saying: “Despite that some governors are doing their best, we are lucky to have a governor who has taken the issue of security as a serious priority.
“We are bordered by nine states, but we had an experience of unfortunate incidents that are happening in neighbouring states. Some governors are committed to the protection of their people. In my state, the governor awarded contracts for renovations of schools and provides security services to them.
“In some states of Nigeria today, where we have highly intelligent people, highly educated people, very enterprising people, like Abia, they are governed by drunkards. The governor of Abia is a champagne-drinking man. Abia people are impoverished more than ever before. Abia people are unfortunate.”
Swiftly, Senate President Ahmad Lawan cautioned Adeyemi against use of insulting language.
In his reply, Abaribe expressed surprise over Adeyemi’s “drunkard” comment and urged his colleague to apologise to Governor Ikpeazu of Abia State.
“Mr. President, I will like to make a clarification. Unfortunately, what has happened hear today is one of the problems that you see on social media. I never made any comments on the governor of Kogi State. Never.
“What has happened is what we see going on today. People write something and tag your name to it. And if you don’t ask question, you will not know whether you actually said it or not.
“I see so many things tag to me but I don’t talk. The last time I saw Nuhu Ribadu, I also spoke to him. Something was tagged to his name that was very deleterious.
“I’m very surprised that my good friend and colleague decided to open up on the governor of Abia for something I never said.”
Lawan interjected, saying “the air is clear now.” He then asked Abaribe to address the motion.
Abaribe agreed, but said Smart owed an apology to the governor of Abia “for the very bad statement made that has no basis.”