I am quite sure that it is either that both Governor Akpabio and his Commissioner for Information would apologize publicly to former Governor Victor Attah or Attah goes to court to claim damages. The duo need be schooled on how not to insult a Statesman who has worked hard for the wellbeing of his State.

On the recent Supreme Court judgment regarding the returned 86 oil wells to Rivers State, Akpabio’s Commissioner of Information, Mr. Aniekan Umana was quoted in the print media Saturday, March 19, 2011 that former Governor Victor Attah sold Akwa Ibom rights for selfish gain when the Commissioner said thus: “It was a decision that sold the future and fortune of the people of the State to its neighbouring state because of the ambition of one man (Victor Attah)”. Then one asks to know what ‘selfish gain’ he referred to as it did not make sense and even as the learned Judges of the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu said that “It is not in dispute that the agreement between Akwa Ibom and Rivers States represented by Arc Victor Attah and Dr Peter Odili was believed not signed based on fraud, misrepresentation or deception but was embodied in the letter written by the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo”.

Ironically, the Akwa Ibom SSG, Umana Okon Umana who served Attah as Finance Commissioner when all this was happened has countered Commissioner Aniekan Umana’s falsehood. So also Akpabio’s deputy, Engineer Ekpotu who was then Commissioner of Information; collaborated SSG Umana Okon’s position. There are other individuals (indigenes and non-indigenes alike), who have spoken in the same vein.

Indirectly, Akpabio has actually indicted former President Obasanjo who Governor Akpabio still hobnobs with; the same former President that insisted and ensured that Akwa Ibom must be impoverished by abrupt, sudden allocation of only N600million monthly from the Federation Account during the tenure of Obong Attah. That made Attah to fight back and that yielded the political solution which enabled Akwa Ibom State to start earning some reasonable amount, having been starved for more than one year earlier and cornered by the selfish Chief Obasanjo.

Akpabio should concentrate to see how to ensure that the Supreme Court judgment does not repeat in the case of Cross River State versus Akwa Ibom on identical situation. The one with (my) Rivers State is a tip of the iceberg.

Dr. Emmanuel James, Plot 1159 Woji Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. [email protected]

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