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Senate Rerun: It Will Be Unwise For Akpabio To Quit As Minister   – Rt. Hon Sam Ikon 


A former Speaker of the  Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and the immediate past member for Etinan Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Sam Ikon has advised the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State and former Senate Minority Leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio to shelve his plan of resigning as minister for senatorial election rerun in his senatorial district.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, a fortnight ago ordered rerun in Essien Udim Local Government Area of the state believed to have witnessed violence and electoral malpractices during the last National Assembly election on Saturday, February 23, 2019.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Crystal Express, the former parliamentarian noted that the interest of the state should be paramount at this critical time.
According to him, “The decision to go for the rerun is personal to him (Akpabio) and his party. But to me, my position is simple, it is unwise to quit at this time for any election, I know the capacity of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs in terms of his ability to turn around things in the region. I feel we should use the energy properly; there are a lot that can be accomplished, synergizing with the state. I know the Minister wants the best for the state.”
Ikon said the most important issue now is for Akwa Ibom leaders to position their people to benefit from so many things going on in the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole.
He further stated, “What is due to Akwa Ibom people should be given to the people of Akwa Ibom. The oil taken from the soil and waters of the state is neither( that of) PDP nor APC but Akwa Ibom oil. When it comes to disbursing the largesse, those sentiments should not be allowed to come in. Every indigene of Akwa Ibom is entitled to have them.”
In the words of the former speaker, “We have come to a point where the agencies of the Federal Government must synergise with the state government to help the people as what the state (alone) has cannot take care of our problems. By the time you pay salaries and other commitments, you will be looking for the so called billions of naira received monthly from federal allocation.”
Lamenting wasted opportunities in the recent past owing to bad politics, the former parliamentarian advised, “People should be able to draw the line and know that you don’t take these things so much to heart. Relationships are important, cherish them. No party will be greater than our brotherhood and unity. We know how APC evolved and even PDP may change tomorrow too. We must work as brothers to attract the best for our people and must not lose gains. What we lost during the tenure of the last Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) because of politics.
On the reason why he didn’t join his former boss and mentor, Senator Godswill Akpabio to APC, Ikon explained, “First my former governor left without talking to some of us. I was in The Gambia on official assignment when I heard the news of his defection. I was in  Banjul when I saw his picture meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in London. I was still in Banjul when I heard he was defecting and the day I was billed to return to Nigeria was the day he was officially received into APC. I couldn’t just have moved without understanding the rationale behind all these and to tell you the truth, Akwa Ibom is a PDP state.”
Speaking further, the former speaker highlighted, “Again, I wouldn’t have joined Akpabio because the incumbent governor is doing very well. Moreover Governor Udom Emmanuel is also my brother; you can trek from my village to his and he has not done anything wrong to me to desert him. In fact it could have been a funny situation because this is someone who is dualising a road from Uyo to my village, a project I could not attract even as a speaker and he came and is doing it for me in my constituency.
“He renovated and completely turned around a hospital in my area, the Etinan General Hospital. I did everything to get the attention of government as a speaker and nobody listened to me. What would have been my reason to walk away? Personally, I would have joined the bandwagon in 2011/2012 when I ignored money and stood my grounds that power should shift to Eket Senatorial District. So the scenarios couldn’t have encouraged me to move with him (Akpabio) because back home what will I tell my people that I am walking away from someone doing our roads, our hospitals and who is giving us a befitting bridge-the best in West Africa? So we must put conscience into politics but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the former governor; it doesn’t stop my personal relationship with him.’

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