2019: Former Akwa Ibom Speaker blasts Akpabio, says only mad people will abandon PDP
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
A former speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and the member representing Etinan Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Rt. Hon (Elder) Sam Ikon has blasted former Senate Minority leader, Godswill Obot Akpabio for squandering 83 billion naira budgeted and approved for the construction of the 20.0km Etinan-Uyo road when he was the governor of the State.
Rt Hon Ekon made the revelation while speaking on Tuesday at Etinan Council Secretariat during the campaign tour of Governor Emmanuel to Etinan LGA.
He disclosed that the Uyo-Etinan Road was budgeted during his tenure as the Speaker of the State House of Assembly yet nothing was done after the money, totaling N83 billion was approved.
He added that no contractor was mobilised to site until the present administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel came on board, and thanked the Governor for taking up the responsibility to reward the project and give the road a new look.
Hon Ikon bared his mind on speculations that he had defected from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the opposition party in the state, saying it was “Only a mad person that would see the development Governor Emmanuel has brought to Etinan LGA in particular and the state in general, and still considers to cross carpet to another party.”
In his remarks, Former military governor of the state and Director General of Divine Mandate Campaign organization, Air Commodore (rtd), Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, noted that the Etinan General Hospital where he was born, was in a sorry state but Governor Emmanuel has turned it around by renovating and equipped the institution with state-of-the-art medical facilities, including the Etinan Institute where he schooled, has been given a facelift.
The Council Chairman, Hon (Surv.) Dr. Cletus Ekpo, and the Chapter Chairman, Rt Hon Inemesit Itina, in their separate goodwill messages, maintained that Governor Emmanuel needs not to campaign in Etinan because they are satisfied with his performance especially the renovated Etinan General Hospital and resuscitated Peacock Paint Ltd.
According to them, the numerous road projects in Etinan have campaigned for the Governor’s victory in the forthcoming elections come 2nd March.
Also speaking, the youths, women and elders of Etinan reiterated their support for the Governor Emmanuel, saying “We have no silver nor gold but we want to assure you that we will vote you massively to return you to the Hilltop Mansion for second term because you represent the future of Akwa Ibom State.”
Responding, Governor Udom Emmanuel commended the people for turning out enmass to show their love and support, and likened the gesture to a reception rally organised by Etinan people in his honour.
The Governor informed the people that Etinan is one of the local governments that benefit much from his government, enumerating that the best Technical College in Akwa Ibom State is in Mbioto 2 in Etinan LGA as well as the best general hospital in Nigeria is in Etinan, and only Nigeria Army Science School is situated in Etinan.
He emphatically stated that the whole road dualisations done by the federal government do not measure up to the dualised roads in Etinan Federal Constituency, adding that a drive from the Etinan junction to Mbioto II which formally took about an hour, now takes only five minutes.
Governor Emmanuel assured Etinan people that the Ekpene Ukpa Bridge, on completion, would not be comparable to any other bridge in Nigeria.
Projects executed by the Governor in Etinan LGA include dualization of 29.0km Etinan – Ndon Eyo Road with two Cable Bridges; renovation of Block 4 at Salvation Army Secondary School, Efa; renovation of Administrative Block at General Hospital, Etinan; reconstruction of Assembly Hall at ACCS, Iwoetor, and renovation of four Classrooms at Salvation Army Primary School, Ekom Iman.
Others are construction of Classroom at CSS, Asuna; renovation of Salvation Army Secondary School, six Classroom Blocks, Prin Quarters, Administrative Block, and Staff Quarters at Salvation Army Sec. School, Efa; construction of Gatehouse/Sec. at Salvation Army Sec. School, Efa; renovation of Assembly Hall at St. Theresa Edem Ekpat; renovation of four Classroom Blocks at Government School, Ikot Eboh; renovation of six Classroom Blocks at Ikot Nte; production of 500 Dual Desks.