By Tony Nyong
UYOâ€”AKWA Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, who berated members of the State House of Assembly for their decision to impeach the former Speaker, Hon. Ignatius Edet, has finally dumped the sacked speaker.
After a meeting that lasted about eight hours, and ended about 4.00 a.m. Sunday morning, the Governor who could no longer appease the lawmakers was stunned when it became obvious that they were determined to wield the big stick against their former Speaker.
The sacked Speaker who was said to have shed tears, when the Governor who was unable to save him with the carrots he allegedly dangled to the members, announced that the ex-speaker be given a soft landing by way of resignation for the image of his family and political career not to be dragged to public odium.
Backing for sacked speaker
Hon. Edet was said to have had the backing of Hon Nsikak Ekong, representing Ikot Ekpene State constituency, at the voting conducted before the Governor, at the Government lodge.
Unlike the situation on 18 August, 2008, when the members got the nod of their colleagues to remove the Speaker, till the last minute when Jerome Isangedighi, the Majority Leader defected, the worst case scenario finally played out.
Although a lawmaker who preferred not to be named had denied taking any money to change the earlier impeachment to resignation, Vanguard learnt from impeccable sources that the State government might have coughed out N1.7 billion to get the members to soft pedal and that each of the lawmakers smiled home with N60 million each.
The crisis that caused the State Government sleepless nights had its roots in the way and manner the sacked Speaker had been running the House in the last eight months. He was alleged to have abandoned his legislative businesses to pursue a personal agenda of seeking to represent his constituency for the third time.
Vanguard gathered that the former speaker engaged the Finance Commissioner, Mr. Bassey Albert in a fierce battle of who takes the political soul of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area come 2011, a battle that had reportedly engulfed even some royal fathers of the area.
Intense politicking has heightened as to who becomes the new Speaker, as persons perceived to be on the opposition and interested in taking advantage of the situation have brought pressure on some members of the House with the aim of getting the political pendulum swing in favour of their camps.
The premises of the State House Of Assembly, despite the seeming truce was still under lock and key at about 9.00 a.m., yesterday, when Vanguard visited despite the earlier press statement the Acting Speaker issued, directing workers to return to work.