A group in Akwa Ibom, the MANDATE EYES, says the reference to the era between 2007 and 2015, brings back memories of mindless blood-letting, widespread kidnapping, political assassinations and general insecurity in Akwa Ibom State.
The group was responding to a comment by former Governor of the state and Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, at the burial of two brothers, a former Minister of state in the Ministry of Environment, Dr. Ime Okopido and Mr. Ini Okopido who was until his death, the State Chairman of APC.
In a statement jointly endorsed by the Coordinator, Comrade Ernest Akpan and Secretary, Joseph Okon, the Mandate Eyes said it ” observed with dismay” that instead of showing empathy and commiserating with families of the deceased at the burial ground, the former Governor rather went about eulogizing himself and casting aspersions on the Governor Udom Emmanuel led government “through unguarded comments”.
Akpabio had said that his prayer has always been that God should give Akwa Ibom State another person that will resemble him to ensure rapid development in the State and the improvement of the living conditions of the people, and not someone who would be building temples in Dubai and London.
His remarks didn’t go down well with sympathizers at the burial ground who wondered why the former Governor would turn a burial ground to self-praising campaign ground.
The group in its reaction noted that “it was obvious that Akpabio is yet to learn his lessons after the 2019 election when he tried to make himself a tin god in the affairs of Akwa Ibom.”
MANDATE EYES reminded the former Governor that the state can never return to the old dark days of politically motivated kidnappings, assassination and other violent crimes, as well as wasteful spending of state resources that characterized his eight year reign in the state.”
The group also reminded the former Governor of the litany of abandoned elephant projects littered across the state which stand as a signature note to the Akpabio era of ‘uncommon wastage of state resources’, and advised him to rather bury his head in shame and desist from heating up the polity unnecessarily.
Akwa Ibom people are not ready to buy into this gimmicks, and they told Akpabio this in very clear terms last year when he came with his agenda”, the group enthused.
“We wish to remind the Minister that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.
Continuing, the group had cautioned the Niger-Delta Affairs Minister to channel his energy into drawing the federal government’s attention to the deplorable state of Calabar-Itu federal road which has brought so much pain and discomfort to road users.
This newspaper gathered that angry sympathisers at the burial ground could not hide their disapproval to Akpabio’s self-adulation in his address.
The burial of the APC chieftains was attended by top PDP stakeholders including the party Chairman, Udo Ekpenyong as well as the National Legal Adviser, Barrister Enoidem, national assembly members in attendance while Governor Udom Emmanuel was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, a clear indication of Governor Emmanuel’s unity agenda in the state.