‘Blame PDP for chaos in Akwa Ibom State’
APC, a threat to democracy-AKSG
Akwa Ibom State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on Nigerians to blame the confusion in the state on the desperation of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to retain the state against he wishes of the people. A former member of the House of Representatives, Eseme Eyiboh, who spoke to journalists in Lagos yesterday, specifically accused the state chapter of PDP and the state government of fueling the confusion in the state legislature.
But in a swift reaction, Akwa Ibom State Government lamented that the ruling APC has constituted itself as a threat to democracy, saying that the sudden removal of the state Commissioner of Police was evidence of attempt to create needless anxiety in the peaceful state.
While faulting the suspension of five lawmakers from the state Assembly, Eyiboh said it was unheard of legislative practice that a few members would convene plenary and without the mace votes of proceedings and order paper expel their colleagues.While pointing to the expulsion of the lawmakers that defected to APC as the origin of the crisis, the former federal lawmaker decried the idea of only nine out of 26 members sitting to carry out the removal of five others just for defecting to APC.
Eyiboh further alleged that the desperation of Governor Udom Emmanuel and PDP leadership to retain the state is not helping matters, arguing that the governor had not done enough to deserve a second term.He recalled how in 2017 the only APC lawmaker in Akwa Ibom House of Assembly defected to PDP without his seat being declared vacant, adding: “Just recently, in a case of double standards five members of the PDP defected to the APC and attempt was made to declare their seats vacant.
“It should be noted that the declaration of the seats of the five members was done against procedure and the nine members had to seat on a Monday, contrary to parliamentary practice. Having seen what the nine members did, the five APC members also decided to convene their own sitting and pronounced their own expulsions.”
Eyiboh disclosed that having been reduced to an empty shell, PDP in Akwa Ibom State is disturbed by the fact that power has shifted to APC, even as he declared that contrary to insinuations by the government, APC would win Akwa Ibom without recourse to federal might.He said: “We don’t want PDP in the state, and they are going. I expect them to submit to the will of the people. Akwa Ibom State used to be 100 per cent PDP before now, but you must have seen from the defections and all that have happened since that things have changed. They are saying it is federal might, but the world should be put on notice that it is not federal might.
“Second term is not a constitutional right; it is a privilege. There are legacies from other governors, but as I speak the same cannot be said for our governor.”However, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Charles Udoh, said the “Government of Akwa Ibom State is alarmed by the sudden removal of the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Abang.”
While lamenting that the news of Abang’s transfer was broken by some members of the opposition on social media, with notes of excitement, Udoh said: “The inference is that the Commissioner for Police was hurriedly withdrawn from Akwa Ibom for doing his professional duty responsibly.
“Apart from the fact that the outgoing CP barely spent a month in the state, the circumstances surrounding his removal is a mockery to the nation and a contrast to the insecurity battle of the Federal Government. Why should an officer, who successfully resisted the invasion of hoodlums and professionally protected an institution of government, be rewarded with unceremonial removal from office? Ordinarily, such feat in other climes would have attracted promotion and commendation.”
Udoh contended that it did not require rocket science to note that Nigeria Police is pushing out the sad narrative that shows its determination to tilt political pendulum in favour of a particular political tendency. While calling on the Inspector-General of Police and other security agencies to avoid being drawn into unnecessary gimmicks and pranks by APC, Udoh said: “It is becoming clear as crystal that the principal actors in the ruling party are hell bent on instigating crises in Akwa Ibom to disrupt the smooth processes towards next year’s elections.
“The danger this portends for our democracy is better imagined than seen. We are shocked to see this action from the police that should serve the interest of all without bias. Sadly, the force has set a precedent now that encourages anyone to take laws into his hand ostensibly because the power from ‘above’ is strong enough to shield the culprit.
“We are aware of APC’s plans to simulate insecurity in Akwa Ibom State for the 2019 general election and the police by this action seems to be allegedly aiding the retrogressive idea.”
The government therefore demanded a full scale investigation into what transpired in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Monday, November 19, 2019, saying: “This is the only way to discourage further impunity by a few individuals and squeeze the fragile peace caused by the rampaging opposition elements in the state.”