MY PROBLEM WITH AKPANUDOEDEHE -AKPABIO
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio has said his refusal to use state funds to finance alledged personal projects of the former minister of state for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), James Akpanudoedehe, as well as his connivance with his local government chairman to name a road traversing two local government areas without government approval as reasons their once robust relationship turned sour.
He also insisted that the loss of lives and wanton destruction of properties allegedly by supporters of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was not as a result of clashes between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ACN, but criminal acts.
Fielding questions from State House Correspondents at the presidential villa, Abuja, Akpabio who still appeared rattled by the crisis, expressed displeasure that what happened was misrepresented by some media organisations which attributed it to the clash between the two rival parties.
'Few days ago, Akwa Ibom was attacked by miscreants and by hoodlums led by the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) governorship candidate in the state, James Akpanudoedehe. It was reported that it was a clash between PDP and ACN, whereas it was not a clash between PDP and ACN. Even I as governor, I had to divert my convoy anytime they were coming because of their unruly behaviour.
'The reality is that this kind of action portends danger and the media is reporting it as if it was a clash between ACN and PDP. When you have a political party that knows it is losing, it carries out all sorts of criminality and we must have the courage to condemn it irrespective of the political leaning we belong to and the kind media we represent. We must condemn it because criminality can happen in any form and anywhere,' the Governor said.
Akpabio however, lauded what he described as prompt intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan and security agencies, adding that it was the insistence that PDP members should not fight back that saved the situation from degenerating to bloody clash. Akpabio pointedly accused the gubernatorial candidate of ACN who is currently standing trial for treason in Abuja, Akpanudoedhe of allegeedly superintending over the destruction of state properties by his party supporters, saying 'I want to disabuse our minds that it was a clash between PDP and ACN.'
He spoke further, 'this for me is a signal to the nation that human beings can go to the extent of destroying the lives of innocent people and property in this kind of proportion. This is more than arson, it 's treasonable as far as I am concerned because it amounts to attempt to take-over government by force. I understand that the hoodlums had met in the house of the ACN governor candidate and from there t moved. I understand that he superintended over the destruction. He was said to be standing on top of a vehicle and ordering the hoodlums to do the destruction. He wondered why anybody who is trying to join government would be involved in the destruction of government property'.
The Governor who stressed that any incumbent who lost gallently would gladly handover, posited that the opposition resorted to violence since they could not fault him on performance, expressing optimism that he would win the forthcoming governorship election in the state. He also disclosed that a committee had been set up to determine the extent of damage and cost implications, promising that the government would do all within its power to compensate those who lost properties and badly injured. He said; 'the only thing I can not replace is human lives. But we will do what we can do in terms of compensation once the committee submits its report.'`