Browsing a popular online publication www.thewillnigeria.com today (March 5, 2011), I became disappointed that a governor could act as if he is ritualistic, whereas he may not be since I am not close to home and would not depend on hearsay. But why should Governor Akpabio gather, at the Government House gate, students of higher institutions located in Akwa Ibom and his deputy gathered another set at Ibom Hall just for sharing of largesse to the students with the aim of wooing their votes? The Will (online publication) showed pictures of the events that took place Thursday (March 4, 2011). Now, five of the students are dead and many others seriously injured; this was confirmed by the Students’ Union President of University of Uyo, Comrade Essien Udom. And it was reported that the students’ gatherings were as if it was designed for them to riot with the Police and also to protest the alleged short-change by some of their Union officials. What is N15million from Akpabio and N3.5million from his running mate, Nsime Ekere, to justify lives of the young, innocent students?

While it was reported that Akpabio invited about 5,000 old students to his Government House in order to share N15million to them, Ekere invited new students totalling about 2000 to the Ibom Hall for same purpose nut for a paltry N3.5million; whereas sharing of this nature could have been done quietly through the Students’ Union officials. Why the show if not to achieve ritual purposes as it were, many asked?

It would be recalled that from what was read in the media as submission by those that appeared before the Presidential Panel set up to investigate the causes of the stampede that claimed many lives at the Port Harcourt stadium PDP’s south-south presidential rally flag off February 12, 2011; the name of Governor Akpabio and his government featured prominently. The Rivers State Deputy Commission of Police (Operations), Joshak Habila, said apart from the wrong manner at which security aides that came with President Jonathan from Abuja to take over the security matters at the Port Harcourt stadium; he was quoted in the Leadership and Independent newspapers that, “some politicians (from Akwa Ibom) were throwing monies at the gates of the stadium, with people struggling to pick, which is wrong.”

This brings one to question whether these types of action by politicians are not contrary to their expected behaviours and also against the electoral acts concerning buying of votes?

Dr. Edet Iniodu, 40 Oak Hill Boulevard, Ontario, CANADA.

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