5 Nov

By Emem Essien

ImageThe saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely played out over the weekend as political “boys” loyal to Gov Akpabio beat up one of the finest members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barr Onofiok Luke for his temerity to demand for the independence of the house of Asembly before Gov Akpabio in a matter that involved two members of the house.
Information has it that Barr Onofiok Luke; a known core loyalist of Gov Akpabio went to Ika LGA to attend the burial of the mother of Hon Gabriel Tobi. It is reported that Gov Akpabio also attended the burial ceremony in company of Mr Paul Ekpo, the state PDP chairman. Feelers have it that trouble started for Hon Onofiok when the governor called him to ascertain the truth about an alleged scuffle between Hon Victor Udofia of Ikono State constituency and Aniekan Akpan, Ukanafum member.
According to an eye witness account, Barr. Luke told the governor that there was a misunderstanding between Hon Victor Udofia and Aniekan Akpan but that the twosome never fought each other as was falsely reported to the governor by Aniekan Akpan. Not satisfied with Hon Luke’s account, the governor summoned Barr Ekong Sampson and Hon Charlie Oton respectively who both confirmed Hon Luke’s account.
However, hell was let loose on Hon Luke when governor Akpabio called on the speaker of the assembly asking him to furnish him (the governor) with the information on what transpired during the last plenary session of the house.
The speaker in an infamous attempt to show his blind loyalty to the governor and members of the newly formed “operation installed Udom Emmanuel and Enoidem tag team” in order to enjoy the governor and the group’s support for his inordinate House of Reps 2015 ambition, lied to and misled the governor that Hon Victor Udofia beats up Hon Aniekan Akpan during the last plenary in the house.
At this point, the governor it is reported was tensely infuriated and called for the immediate suspension of Hon Victor Udofia by the House without pay for three months. However, sensing that his boss and political mentor of over 9years was angered by the misinformation told him by the Speaker, Elder Sam Ikon, Hon Onofiok Luke in a rare show of humility and loyalty according to the witness account, went and kneel before the governor and pleaded with His Excellency to rescind his decision of suspending a member of the house as this will not augur well for the image of the house before the people. Onofiok we are told urged the governor that as an independent arm of government, the governor should please allow the House to go and dealt with the issue as they were certain rules that govern the conduct of the business and affairs of the house and that Hon Victor Udofia did not breach any of such rules.
At this point, according to the eye witness who is a personal assistant to one of the political office holders in Ika LGA, a certain Hon Emmanuel Ekon, member representing Abak/ Etim Ekpo/ Ika Federal constituency jumped up from his seat and punched Hon Luke repeatedly for having the guts to dare their leader, the governor. The governor we are told turn a blind eye to the manhandling of his former Personal Assistant. However, It took the intervention of the PDP state chairman, Mr Paul Ekpo before normalcy was returned to the gathering of Akpabio’s boys who are the “new owners” of Akwa Ibom State.
Further, in what smacked of a conspiracy and a carefully planned plot on the innocent Onofiok Luke, as he (Onofiok) walked up to his seat, Mr Nse Ntuen, the chairman of Essien Udium and the chairman of chairmen in the State swooped on him and attacked Onofiok for daring to speak against Aniekan Akpan.
Mr Ntuen according to one of the political heavyweights in Ikot Ekpene who is very close to the Akwa Ibom State ALCON chairman, was later quoted as saying it was an act of betrayal by Barr Luke to defend Hon Victor before the governor. He (Nse Ntuen) according to his friend, went on to say that by Onofiok Luke’s act, he (Onofiok) has succeeded in thwarting their plot to blackmail Hon Victor Udofia before the governor.
Hon. Udofia’s sin before the speaker of the house and members of the new tag team who profess to be loyal to the governor by day time but disturb our peace in Ikot Ekpene at night by driving carelessly hobnobbing from one political meeting to the other on how to frustrate the governor’s plan to install his successor, is his (Udofia’s) support to Rt (Hon) Okpolum Etteh another member of the house who is eyeing the hilltop mansion in 2015.
It is no longer news that Rt(Hon) Okpolum Etteh and Barr Ibanga Akpabio, governor Akpabio’s cousin are having a secret pact to which Hon Udofia an in-law to Ibanga Akpabio was co-opted into.
Our findings further revealed that after the ouster of the former SSG, Mr Umana Okon Umana in August this year, Rt (Hon) Okpolum Etteh ( a shrewd politician) is seen as the only strong contender that could thwart the effort of Gov Akpabio and his loyalists to install a stooge in 2015 as the next governor as such, we are told there is a plot to give Etteh and his loyalists the former SSG’s treatment.
As at the time of writing this report, it has not been ascertain why Barr Onofiok Luke who just few weeks ago sworn of his unflinching and unalloyed support and loyalty to the governor could be treated this way. But what discerning minds in Ikot Ekpene are asking, is, if Barr Luke could be treated this way, then what would happen to the rest of the ordinary Akwa Ibom People in 2015?
All in all, it is further alleged that members of the “Udom Emmanuel and Barr Enoidem 2015 tag team” have been holding secret meetings ahead of 2015 with huge amount of money exchanging hands after such meetings in a state where the newly recruited Secondary School teachers (like me) have not been paid salaries Eleven (11) months after their recruitment. As I round off this report, I keep asking myself, what is really wrong with Akwa ibom State? And why this divides and rule strategy by our supposed leaders? Who shall save us from the hands of these vampires? Or has the hunger level in the state not gotten to a point that people should speak up? Too many questions to ask but I am so demoralized to ask them.
Emem Essien,
Market Road, Ikot Ekpene.


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