APC threatens to forcibly use Akpabio stadium for Akwa Ibom campaign
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has threatened to forcibly use the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Akwa Ibom on Friday, if the state government insists that it would not allow it for presidential campaigns.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Mr. Ita Enang, gave the threat yesterday.He issued the threat while addressing journalists on preparations for the commencement of the campaigns in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
According to him, the APC would continue on the path of diplomacy with the government to accede to the APC’s request to use the facility.He warned that if the negotiation fails, the party would have no other option than to forcibly break into the stadium.
“We will continue to use diplomacy for the request, but if the diplomacy fails, we will still use the stadium. When higher immunity meets the state immunity, it would succumb.
“We will not allow Governor Udom Emmanuel to blackmail Akwa Ibom. As a governor, he has immunity, but that immunity stops where the right of the federal government starts, and where the collective sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is involved,” he said.
The senior special assistant explained that the stadium is a public facility and the collective heritage of the Akwa Ibom people.“Buhari is the President of Nigeria and nobody can restrain him from using any facility anywhere in the country. The president has been fair, kind and generous to Akwa Ibom people,” he added.Chairman of APC in the state, Mr. Iniobong Okopido, had written to the state government requesting the use of the 30,000 capacity facilities for the campaign launch.
But the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Monday Uko, turned it down and instead offered the small capacity Uyo township stadium.According to Uko, the stadium managers, Julius Berger, currently on vacation in Germany had locked the stadium and would resume on January 7, 2019.
Besides, the commissioner explained that the decision became necessary to safeguard the pitch for the state team, Akwa United to play their home matches as the National Professional Football League (NPFL) Begins on January 13.However, the APC is arguing that, the number of persons expected to grace the ceremony would over stretch the capacity of the Uyo township stadium.