By Harris Emanuel
Uyo– Special Assistant (SA) to governor Udom Emmanuel, on Media, Richard Peters, has knocked Senator representing Akwa Ibom-North-East ( Uyo) senatorial district, and the Young Progressives Pàrty (YPP) governorship candidate, Obong Bassey Akpan, over remarks that the state government has mismanaged its share of the N600 billion 13% derivation arrears funded by the Federal Government to the oil producing states in Nigeria Delta region.
Senator Akpan, had, during his campaign stop at East Itam, in Itu Local Government Area, asked the governor to account for the arrears received from the Federal government, following the revelation by the neighbouring Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike, who claimed he deployed his state’s share to fix infrastructure including building 12 flyovers in the state.
His words, “When I said he (Udom) received N280 billion, they said it was politics. They said I was interested in finance, yes I will need Akwa Ibom money to empower the people of Akwa Ibom state as the next Governor…Thank God for Governor Nyesom Wike.
“What Udom has received is enough to develop Itu and Ibiono. All the funds that were not paid to South-South states from oil proceeds put together was $2.56 billion. The amount paid to Akwa Ibom was $1.1 billion (N600 billion). Udom has received over N3 trillion. But there is nothing to show for it. Out of that money they asked me to come receive billions and go back to the Senate, I told them I don’t want!”.
“I am aware that you are all hungry, but we will satisfy you. As you vote for me and other YPP candidates, your prosperity is coming…Gov. Wike has commissioned 12 flyovers, but our Governor struggled to build one. We should ask him to tell us what he is doing with our money. Today, our Government owes more than N36 billion in gratuities to our retired civil servants and primary school teachers”, he said.
But Emmanuel’s aide, speaking in Uyo, the state capital dismissed such allegations as “a mere propaganda, that will not serve his course of wanting to rule the state at all cost, using cheap blackmail laced with infantile insinuations, believing the highly educated and exposed Akwa Ibom people will fall for such cheap lies.”
While urging the people not to “fall into such cheap trap,” Peters, warned Senator Akpan and his followers not to overheat the polity, but to campaign on issues as enshrined in the Electoral Act 2022, so as to “to avert violence and bloodshed in a state the governor had staked so much resources to establish peace.”
He added: “This conference is necessitated by the current trend of insinuations cooked up by Senator Bassey Albert and his club of political gladiators against the person and personality of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel as well as his choice successor Pastor Umo Eno, in the build-up to 2023.
“While Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state may not be blamed for blowing his trumpet, his remarks on a certain amount of money received from the Federal Government remains questionable, as the specific day, month and year of the received sum was not mentioned. One could then see that the said money was not given recently.
“We have 36 states in Nigeria and each of these states have peculiar challenges, warranting cardinal promises made by their leaders. The question then should be: “has Governor Udom Emmanuel not fulfilled his promises to the people of the State?
“Is Governor Wike’s building of Flyovers to tackle the challenges of his people not equal to Governor Udom Emmanuel’s focus on Infrastructure, Industries, health, security etc which has equally tackled our peculiar challenges?
“Daily, the State Government has been giving updates and reports on projects executed. The Governor publishes the statement of account periodically.”