BY ANDEM NDEM
IT is indisputable that Senator Akpanudoedehe was the only politician from Akwa Ibom State that had the closest relationship and access to former President Obasanjo and he leveraged on this very well to make Godswill Akpabio Governor of the state.
Senator Akpanudoedehe introduced Akpabio, then a mere Commissioner, with limited territorial functionality to Uyo, to the corridors of power in Abuja up to President Obasanjo himself. The rest that followed and the details of its operational dynamics are being reserved for another day.
Public office record of Senator Akpanudoedehe
The author further derailed into the cesspool of character smear without advertence to the facts even when same is in the public domain. In a wanton act of linguistic indiscretion, the author wrote that Senator Akpanudoedehe was sacked as chairman of Uyo local government area six months into office for alleged wrong doing, suspended from office as Senator by his colleagues for unacceptable conducts and fired as minister of the Federal Republic less than a year for fighting his boss among other reasons.
We need hardly add that all the above assertions are factual inaccuracies contrived by a warped mind to stand history on it head and tarnish the hard-earned image of the distinguished Senator. It is for this reason that we undertake to set the record straight by putting paid to this pernicious propaganda in the manner set out hereunder
Chairmanship of Uyo local government
Senator J. J. Akpanudoedehe was not sacked as chairman of Uyo Local Government Area. On principle, he resigned his appointment over a disagreement on policy matter with the then military administrator of the State, Navy Captain Sunday Adeusi. Specifically the issue was about closure of motor parks within Uyo metropolis. As a matter under his jurisdictional competence, Senator Akpanudoedehe ordered the closure of all such parks that had been opened indiscriminately without appropriate control complete with its attendant security risks.
A particular transport company owner (name witheld) who operated one such park went to an army general friend of his to complain instead of complying. That one then spoke with the then military administrator who subsequently ordered Senator Akpanudoedehe to open that particular park, but he refused on principle arguing that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander; and that selective justice is like a whirlwind that blows no one no good. Thus, there was a stalemate, and the then military administrator decreed that it is either Senator Akpanudoedehe obeys his selective justice order, or resign from office.
The distinguished Senator preferred to stick by his principle rather than pander to the whims and caprices of a military dictator in the face of clear injustice. He preferred to show strength of character and forego perks and perquisites of office rather than sacrifice integrity and go back to his vomit.
He honourably resigned from office voluntarily via his letter dated 5th December, 1996, which was duly accepted by the State Government. The letter is referenced ULG/SIT/S/2/316, and was routed through the Commissioner for Special Duties, Military Administrator’s Office. An acknowledgment of receipt dated 9th December 1996 was by the recipient of the said letter was endorsed and returned to Senator Akpan Udoedehe.
These are declassified documents that objective persons can access. Facts are sacred. How many of our politicians can repeat this kind of feat today?
Senator Akpanudoedehe’s disagreement with Obong Attah was borne out of the principle behind political leadership in Uyo senatorial district and not resource control. Obong Attah’s administration had thrown up Obonganwan Rita Akpan as Secretary to the State Government and she decided to use that office to take a shot at the political leadership of Uyo. Senator Akpanudoedehe resisted this move and insisted that since Uyo had a sitting Senator in his humble self, he had the electoral mandate to speak for Uyo people and not Obonganwan Rita Akpan, a mere political appointee who doubled as an Uyo person only by virtue of marriage to an Uyo man. Naturally, the friction left in its trail, mutual exchange of political gunfire on both sides.
However, when a ceasefire was brokered, Senator Akpanudoedehe approached his Elder Statesman, Obong Attah and publicly asked for forgiveness. This was also publicly granted and culminated in the open endorsement for governorship by way of lifting up his (Senator Akpanudoedehe’s) hands to signify preferred choice.
In conclusion, the mayhem of March 22, 2011 P.D.P thugs unleashed on the state has been properly documented. Also, we are expecting the 22-member Presidential panel in Akwa Ibom on pre-electoral violence in Akwa Ibom state where this issue will be properly ventilated in a manner devoid of government propaganda.
We are sure that the “Decree” by Governor Akpabio that no other candidate should campaign in Annang Land shall be openly “repealed” and the hope of the masses, as represented by Senator Akpanudoedehe, shall be restored.
Finally, the conspiracy between the local INEC in Uyo and Governor Akpabio to cook up election result and create a false sense of well-being for PDP has been exposed, and it is crumbling like a pack of cards.
What with INEC scrambling to make up documents at this stage, just to line up with the bogus results they declared. With the filing of election petition by ACN for Governorship and other positions, complete with the introduction of electronics and forensic experts, the P.D.P has started rehearsing the Nunc Dimittis that they will sing at their valedictory service which is coming up sooner than later. It was not for naught that the English man said that, “he who laughs last, laughs best.” Welcome to a new dawn.
*Barrister Andem E. Ndem is Personal Attorney to Senator Akpanudoedehe.