A former governor of Akwa Ibom state has been urged to perish the thought of Akwa Ibom State having a governor like him come 2023 as the state is not ready to go back to the era of unsolved politically motivated killings which was the hallmark of his administration
The group, Akwa Ibom Good Governance Advocates, was reacting to remarks attributed to the former governor at Ika Local Government Area, last Saturday during the funeral of Dr Ime Titus Okopido, a former Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, and Hon. Ini Titus Okopido, the Akwa Ibom State Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Akpabio was reported to have said he prays 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.
Addressing a press conference in Uyo on Sunday, the National President of the group and a former youth leader in the state, Comrade Udeme Ekpe, noted with dismay that at a time when the state is still struggling to free itself from the psychological trauma and scars of the bloody era when he held sway, anyone wishing to take the state back to that gory era does not wish Akwa Ibom well.
The group described the comment as hypocritical, pointing out that he was being mischievous and was playing to the gallery at an event that was supposed to be solemn.
“I feel the minister was mischievously playing to the gallery, but I find this out of place because that was not the best place to talk or play politics. It was disrespectful to the family that was mourning their dead.
“His rhetorics that Akwa Ibom State does not need leaders that would build temples in Dubai, and London, but those that would build people and community, is ironic and an indictment on himself and his administration which was famous for littering the state with white elephant projects which he left behind. Also, it’s amusing to hear this statement from a man that has an undisclosed number of private property around the world that he never had until when he became Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
“While we agree that Governance is like a building block and when one takes it to a level, another who succeeds him has to take it further, it does not warrant building on existing evils such as the numerous killings, violence, assassinations and all the politically motivated killings we saw in this state during his administration.
Furthermore, the group noted that it was morally wrong for the former governor to turn a solemn event where two brothers were buried into a theatre of self-praise.
“This man has deep insecurities; why is he always trying so hard to make people love him; why is it that everything he did or is doing is the best and no one else can match him? Can someone ask him what happened to the billions spent on the abandoned Tropicana? Does he not fly Ibom Air? Did he set that up? he should get ready to face the anti-graft agencies on the alleged fraud perpetrated by the Interim Management Committee, IMC and also get used to the fact that Akwa Ibom State has moved beyond the theatrics of infantile governance and waste of his years in office as Governor”.
Spokesperson of the group, Dr Umoh Etim, said while he is free to dream on who becomes governor in 2023, Akwa Ibom people are grateful to God for rescuing the state from the grip of state-sponsored terror, urging Akpabio to jettison such hope of having a governor like him who will sit and watch innocent citizens murdered in cold blood because of political differences as was the case when he was governor.
“Those close to him should be bold and courageous enough to advise him not to remind orphans who lost their parents to his bloody vengeance or widows whose husbands were murdered during his regime or citizens whose mothers and daughters were kidnapped, raped and killed all because he wanted to perpetuate himself in power.
“These set of people need closure to forget such unimaginable, cruel and barbaric experience the Akpabio regime subjected them and their families to and 2023 is no period for him to think he can return Akwa Ibom to his own version of “Golgotha”.
The group admonished the former governor to use the remaining two and a half years he has left politically to beg God for forgiveness for the many atrocities he committed against Akwa Ibom State and the people and channel whatever strength he has left into fixing the deplorable Calabar-Itu highway and the East-West road the APC led federal government has refused to rehabilitate.