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Group Faults Akpabio’s Campaign Against Akwa Ibom Map Law

Against the backdrop of a recent call by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, for the abrogation of the Akwa Ibom State Map Establishment Law 2023, a group, the Eket Nation Interest Forum, has lashed out at the country’s No. 3 citizen, describing his action as uncalled-for.

In a press release made available to journalists in Uyo on Tuesday, the group, through its coordinator, Comrade Samuel Ubokudom, said it was quite preposterous for the number one lawmaker in Nigeria to ask a state chief executive to jettison a law duly enacted and signed into law in his home state.

“In a democratic dispensation where the legislature plays a very pivotal role in advancing the well-being and welfare of the people, is it not ironic that the chief lawmaker of the country is the one asking a governor of a state to be a lawbreaker?

“Is he asking that a law that went through the due process of a public hearing and final enactment by the State House of Assembly before being signed into law by the state’s governor be thrown under the carpet?

“Is the lawmaker now asking that the Akwa Ibom governor should become a lawbreaker by discarding a law?”

Maintaining that the Senate President may be nursing a grudge against the coastal aborigines of Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, the group maintained that since last year, he has been championing the campaign against the state official map, which is meant to ensure the stability, equality, and rightful accordance of values, rights, properties, and privileges to the rightful land owners.

Read Also: Group Demands Apology From Akpabio Over Outburst Against Ex. Dep. Gov. Michael Udofia

“The law establishing the Akwa Ibom State Map has no effect whatsoever in Essien Udim or Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency that Senator Godswill Akpabio hails from, and if not for the sake of causing instability and destabilising the polity, what else would necessitate his pecuniary motive of insisting that the law should be discarded?

“During the enactment of this law, the then leader of the House of Assembly, who incidentally is from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Sir Udo K. Akpan, had clearly stated that the enactment of the law follows the public hearing by the House of Assembly, recourse to judicial precedents over time, and that the House of Assembly was able to afford all the coastal communities equal opportunities to lay claims to their ancestral heritage.

“Before its enactment, there had been no official gazetted map for Akwa Ibom State; if there was one, Akpabio should show us which law enacted it.

“Here is the Senate President, who, as governor of the state, has done nothing for the people of Eket Local Government Area. If not because of his hatred for Eket Local Government Area, what else would be his interest in insisting that the map should be jettisoned?

“Iis obvious that the Senate President has always had a deep hatred for the people of Eket, and throughout his tenure as governor for 8 years, he refused to recognise Eket Local Government Area as an oil-producing community, and his journey into the Senate has now allowed him to further bury the people of the area for whatever reason.

“It is not out of place to assume that his actions against the map law are still part of his way of getting back at his estranged political son and successor in office, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.

Read Also: Essien To Akpabio: Learn From History, Prioritise People’s Interests, Uphold Transparency, Accountability, Justice

“It has been clear that Senator Akpabio is all out to rubbish all actions undertaken by Mr. Udom Emmanuel in office, and he feels it can be his turn by upturning those decisions taken during that government.

“However, let it be known that Akwa Ibom State does not belong to only one person, as everyone has an equal claim to the state.

“No one person can decide for an entire people, for it is usually said that when an individual cooks for the community, they finish it, but when the community cooks for an individual, he will not be able to finish it.

The fact that the people of Eket land are peaceful and silent does not mean that they are fools and will follow their arms and allow their rights to be trampled upon.

If he has a quarrel or a score to settle with Mr. Udom Emmanuel, he had better do so without toying with the destiny of a people.

“If he likes, he can tell all the lies in the world about how he never accessed Government House from 2015 to 2024; we are not even bothered about the tale of his wife sitting at the gate of Government House to deliver a letter, as if she were a modern-day postmaster.

What we are saying is that whatever scores he has to settle with Udom Emmanuel should not be at the expense of the interest, the benefits, and the privileges of our common patrimony, as Eket people. Enough is enough.”

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