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A’Ibom Assembly crisis: Akpabio, Speaker bicker over alleged assassination plot

By Clifford Ndujihe, Harris-Okon Emmanuel, Chioma Onuegbu & Yinka Ajayi

SPEAKER of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke, yesterday, said the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio is plotting to kill him, accusing him of being behind the crisis in the House.

Luke-Akpabio

Senator Akpabio, who represents  Akwa Ibom North West on the platform of  All Progressives Congress, APC, dismissed the allegation as ‘’a lie from the pit of hell.’’

These came as the Police were absent at the Complex where the lawmakers held a valedictory session.  Vanguard could not confirm at press time if the absence of the Police was in response to a court order restraining it from barricading the Complex.

The state government had last Wednesday, obtained an injunction from a Federal High Court sitting in Uyo restraining the Police from further inhibiting access to the House.

However, the five sacked lawmakers were absent at the plenary held in honour of a former lawmaker.

Speaker crying wolf —Akpabio

Reacting to the Speaker’s allegation, Akpabio, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Anietie Ekong,  said the PDP chieftain had adopted the strategy of crying wolf.

In the statement, Akpabio referred to Luke simply as the member representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency.

He said: ‘’For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that Senator Akpabio has not sent anyone to assassinate Luke. He has neither reason nor motivation to do so. The Senator will never subscribe to any plot to eliminate any Akwa Ibom son or any human being for that matter, let alone Onofiok Luke who had served him as his Personal Assistant while he was the governor of Akwa Ibom State. This latest outburst by Luke is a further confirmation of our caution on the attempt to denigrate Senator Akpabio since he defected from the PDP to  APC.

‘’The statement by Luke is not only spurious but false and malicious and the figment of his wild imagination. Senator Akpabio takes very strong exception to this campaign of calumny by Luke and others and will not take this accusation lightly.’’

On his part, Luke, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kufre Okon, said Ekong made a ‘’futile attempt at disentangling Senator Godswill Akpabio from the net and web of his conspiracy.’’

Recalling that Akpabio opposed Luke’s election as a lawmaker and later Speaker of the House of Assembly, Okon said: ‘’By this press statement where Senator Godswill Akpabio refuses to address the Right Honourable Speaker by his office, rather, he addressed him as the member representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency, he has clearly shown to the world that his hands are actively in the plot to destabilise the state Assembly.

Akpabio wants to kill me —Speaker

‘’May we reiterate that the Honourable Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke stands by his earlier statement on the sponsored assassination attempt on him by Senator Akpabio and at the appropriate time, will take necessary actions. The world should know that if anything untoward happens to the Speaker, Senator Akpabio and his wife should be held responsible.’’

Contacted, yesterday, on the speaker’s fresh allegation, Senator Akpabio’s Media Aide, Mr. Jackson Udom, dismissed it as ‘’act of childishness’’ adding that the senator stands on his earlier statement.

APC passes vote of confidence on Police

Meanwhile, the state chapter of APC passed a vote of confidence on the new Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo, describing him as a professional policeman who knows his onions.

The state chairman of the party, Ini Okopido made the disclosure while addressing newsmen in Uyo.

He said: “We in APC have absolute confidence in the new Commissioner of Police, who was posted to the state a few days ago. We have not seen any form of partisanship in what the CP has done.’’

PDP reacts

However, the PDP called on the federal government to overlook calls by the APC  to declare a state of emergency in the state, saying that Governor Udom Emmanuel is capable of resolving all the issues in the state legislature.

A statement by the state chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo,  said the call for state of emergency in Akwa Ibom confirmed what he termed the desire to take over power in the state.

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