By Ikora Ayungbe Uyo
President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has been fingered in the raging leadership crisis rocking Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly.
Governor Udom Emmanuel who raised the alarm on Tuesday, specifically accused immediate former governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, of working in cahoots with the inspector general of police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris and the state commissioner of police (CP), Mr. Musa Kimo, to take over the state with the use of force.
This followed another round of siege by security agencies at the House of Assembly, resulting in violent clashes between the governor’s security details and police orderlies attached to the five All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers, who invaded the House as early as 9 a.m to hold their plenary.
The five lawmakers, whose seats were declared vacant by the speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke, on the orders of the Federal High Court, include Nse Ntuen (Essien Udim), Victor Udofia (Ikono), Gabriel Toby (Ika\Etim Ekpo), Idongesit Ituen (Itu) and Otobong Ndem (Mkpat Enin).
The former lawmakers had last week forcefully gained entrance to the chambers where they claimed to have held a five-member plenary and purportedly impeached Luke and ‘elected’ Hon. Nse Ntuen, as the new speaker.
A similar scenario played out on Tuesday morning when the five lawmakers arrived the assembly complex to reconvene.
The five lawmakers, under security watch, held a plenary session and came out with a resolution to begin a process towards impeaching Governor Emmanuel. Youths who had earlier arrived the complex to stop the factional lawmakers from convening were over-powered by security guards at the gate.
Sensing threat to peace in the state, Governor Emmanuel, in a swift move, stormed the legislative complex and chased away the rebellious lawmakers after dramatic exchange of gunfire between security officials on both sides.
Addressing journalists after he personally guarded the PDP lawmakers to have a peaceful plenary at the Government House, the governor said that “my state is under security threat and the police should be blamed”.
He accused the CP, who is barely one week old in the state, of playing the script of his boss, IGP Idris, as directed by the Presidency, saying that the democracy Nigerians fought for and lost their lives in the process, was being threatened by anti-democratic forces.
He wondered why Senator Akpabio, whom he alleged, “has benefitted so much as a commissioner in the state for six years and later governor for eight years under the PDP, should turn around to fight the same system that gave him fame and fortune.” Besides, he further claimed, the Buhari-led government was deploying the oil money generated mostly from Akwa Ibom to stir up political crises with the sole aim of making the state ungovernable and for a state of emergency to be declared “so that they can postpone elections in Akwa Ibom”.
“Those who preach ‘Warsaw, saw war’ have benefitted so much from the system for 14 years as commissioner for six years and governor for eight years, yet they continue to preach war and the sad thing is that they are not using their children”, he lamented.
For his alleged complicity in the crises, the House of Assembly voted for the removal of the CP and the governor affirmed it, saying the state would not know peace, if the CP and the head of Quick Response Squad (QRS) continued to superintend over security in the state.
He alleged that the CP arrested some hoodlums in military uniform and recovered 18 AK- 47 rifles during the crisis at the assembly premises, “but sadly enough, he (CP) allowed all of them to go with the rifles”.
“The entire police structure is under one political party. How can we have three commissioners’ of police within 24-hours in one state?” he exclaimed and urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to immediately intervene. We want to let the world know that if politics is played like this, then there is no hope of democracy”, he warned.
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