By Omeiza Ajayi
The ruling All Progressives Congress APC has asked the Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe to retract his invectives against Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi state and immediate apologize to the governor and people of the state for attacking the youthful and positive vibes of the governor.
APC in a statement by its Acting Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena said it was not surprised that the People’s Democratic Party PDP will peddle falsehood in an attempt to conceal well known and documented truth.
The party also rose in defence of Kogi West senator, Smart Adeyemi for calling out Abaribe and his governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, noting that “a careful perusal of the facts on ground shows clearly that Senator Adeyemi’s response was initiated by Abaribe’s unbidden and unprovoked utterances on the floor of the Senate”.
APC said all the three senators from Kogi state had made attempts to get Abaribe to apologise but that the Abia senator was recalcitrant, saying unless Bello renounces his ambition ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Part of the statement reads; “We make reference to the deplorable video by Senator Abaribe against His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, which has been circulating on most social media platforms. As expected, the attention of Senator Smart Adeyemi was immediately drawn to the video by well-meaning kogites who were naturally disturbed by the falsehood of its contents.
“The three Senators representing Kogi state, Adeyemi inclusive, approached Senator Abaribe, insisting that his false and malicious utterances were not just an assault on the Governor of Kogi State, but to all Nigerian Youths who have ambition to serve our great country, Nigeria. They tried without luck to persuade Abaribe to retract the verbal and unwarranted attack on His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello particularly as the contents were in its entirety false and not a true representation of the Governor, or the state of affairs in Kogi. The senators approached him in a bid to remedying an already bad situation. But Abaribe vehemently refused to heed their call for peace. Rather, he insisted that he would not disassociate himself from the video, stating in what would appear to be calling their bluff, that Governor Bello should dismiss his ambition to run for any office come 2023 and clearly said that he will neither retract nor apologise.
“It is on record that Abaribe made grievous and false verbal attacks discrediting Governor Yahaya Bello. He personally admitted to this on the floor of the senate. How the PDP have conveniently edited this fact from the sequence of events is unbecoming, but characteristic of the party’s modus operandi. Indeed, if there is any apology to be tendered, it should be by Senator Abaribe who must RETRACT every statement in the video currently trending, disparaging the achievement and the person of Governor Bello. Senator Abaribe’s utterances were not only false, irresponsible and malicious but most importantly, totally unprovoked. And on this note, we insist that he must publicly withdraw the false statements made by him, or be prepared to face the full brunt of the law.
“Let us at this point say unequivocally that Distinguished Senator Smart Adeyemi is a high ranking Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a formidable track record and antecedents to show for it. Prior to coming to the Senate, he was a renowned journalist who served as the President of The Nigerian Union of Journalists for Two terms. The Distinguished Senator is popularly known for his interest in the protection of the masses and would NOT support a Governor who is not performing well.
“Therefore, Senator Abaribes utterances was not just an aspersion on himself, but other Senators representing Kogi State at the red chambers.
“On this note, the ‘strong warning’ issued by the PDP should immediately be directed at Senator Abaribe who should have considered his Governor and constituents before making false and
unbridled statements about a performing Governor of another State, worst still, refusing vehemently to retract and apologise.
“There is an adage that says that ‘anyone who does not want insults must train his children’. For easy reference for Abaribe, the igbos also say that ‘anyone who fetches ant infested firewood must be prepared to receive lizards in his home’. Abaribe was therefore mistaken to think he could peddle falsehood against a sitting and performing Governor on the floor of the senate without expecting an equal reaction.
“Senator Adeyemi’s remarks were as a result of Abaribe’s utterances which he refused to apologise for knowing full well that no content contained in the video was true. Having tried on more than one occasion to persuade Abaribe to do the honourable thing, without luck, Senator Adeyemi’s retaliation is naturally expected as he has an obligation to defend his state and his senatorial district against any perceived danger or false representation.
“We therefore ask that Abaribe who is completely responsible for this current unrest being experienced by the people of Abia state and the disgruntled PDP, publicly retracts his untrue comments and immediately apologise and spare the people of Abia state the embarrassment they are currently facing with the whole world watching and noting the deplorable state of affairs in the State.
“What Governor Ikpeazu and the people of Abia state need to address more urgently is whether Abaribe is fit to continue to represent them at the Red Chambers as it has become evident that his inordinate ambition to succeed the incumbent Governor has overshadowed his moral responsibility to speak not just the truth, but also to speak responsibly at all times. This hostility instigated by Abaribe was not only mischievous but most unnecessary.
“Be that as it may, we have noted with great delight that the PDP acknowledged that the words of Senator Smart Adeyemi were respected by Nigerians while in the party. This has not changed as the credibility of his words is as a result of the integrity he has built over the years and his undeniable wealth of experience. Indeed, his words have become more formidable under the APC who are currently stirring the nation to greatness despite the huge challenges they met”.