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Akpabio and Etok: Loyalty gone awry

It would have been shocking if political opportunists had totally overlooked the schism that recently developed between Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State and his one time political ally, Senator Alloysius Etok.

However, few would have expected anyone to lay his life on the line with a claim to involvement in an assassination attempt against one of the two men in contention for the Akwa Ibom Northeast senatorial seat in 2015.

Governor Akpabio in the tradition of many second term governors had reportedly given notice of his intention to proceed to the Senate at the end of his second term in 2015. The notice given  during a Senate retreat last year had reportedly unnerved Senator Etok who subsequently claimed that his seat was not available.

Sen. Etok and Gov. Akpabio
Sen. Etok and Gov. Akpabio

His strong denounciation of Akpabio’s aspiration was to further create animosity between him and a number of senior officials of the Akwa Ibom administration and party loyalists who denounced the senator for what they claimed as his poor performance as a senator.

Given the bad blood between the senator and the governor, it was as expected as is obtainable in this clime for political opportunist who take occasion of disputes between politicians to aim for the kill. While many have already come in, the entry of Mr. Adeola Tamuotoye Olaore took a surprising twist.

Olaore was paraded by the Department of State Services, otherwise known as the State Security Service, SSS of feeding Senator Etok of a phantom assassination attempt allegedly hatched by Akpabio to the purpose of milking the senator.

According to the Deputy Director of Public Relations of the Service, Ms Marilyn Ogar, the Service swung into action following a letter titled: “Report of planned assassination by a man who calls himself General Africa (an ex-militant) by Senator Etok to the Service.

Olaore is alleged to have made contact with Etok claiming that he had been recruited by Akpabio and his aides to assassinate him, a revelation that obviously made the senator to cry out to the whole world that Akpabio was after him. Besides crying out, Etok was alleged to have also contacted the DSS who now told him to play along with Olaore.

Ogar also revealed that the suspect confessed that he had never met the Commissioner for Environment and the Chairman of Etinan Local Government, Kenneth Okon, alias Wayas, all loyalists of Akpabio, who had been mentioned as those who sent him (Olaore) to kill Etok.

Giving the service’s conclusion on the issue, Ms Ogar said: “From the forgoing, Olaore hatched the phantom assassination plot to fraudulently extort money from Senator Aloysius Etok by exploiting the perceived rift between him and Governor Akpabio.”

How he allowed himself to be tempted into profiting from a fight that is not his own is what Mr. Olaore would have to ponder in the custody of the security agencies.


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