Posted by News Express | 6 August 2013 | 5,875 times
The Akwa Ibom State Government in Nigeria’s South-South late yesterday joined issues with
Self-appointed spokesman of the Lagos State Government, Chief Joe Igbokwe, over his claim that it wrote to the Lagos State Government demanding it to evacuate its destitute indigenes from Akwa Ibom.
Igbokwe, who heads a government parastatal known as Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance & Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) and functioned as Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State Chapter of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), made the claim while seeking to justify the July 24 deportation of 72 non-indigenes dumped at Onitsha, Anambra State, in the wee hours of the morning by agents of the Lagos State Government.
Replying via a statement issed in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital, the State Commissioner for Information & Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, accused Igbokwe of lying over the issue.
He explained that the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, in the course of carrying out their welfare programme, came across two “vagrant psychotics”, whom they took to hospital for medical treatment.
Umanah disclosed that “the patients, having considerably recovered from their ailment, gave their names as Babatunde Obamaiviya and Tunde Jimmy and claimed to be indigenes of Lagos State, and had no relations in Akwa Ibom State.”
He said that based on doctor’s advice, the duo was placed on trial leave and had no family members in the state, it became expedient for the Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare to write her Lagos State counterpart on the patients’ challenge.
Umanah quoted the ministry’s letter No. MWASW/AD/239/Vol.111/102, dated July 23, 2013, which said: “This is to inform the Honourable Commissioner that in our bid to rid the State Capital of lunatics, in line with the transformation policy of the present Administration, the under listed persons who are known vagrant psychotics were evacuated, during the clean up exercise to remove lunatics off the streets of Akwa Ibom State.
“Since then, the patients were hospitalized and duly treated with good responses. Following their processes of recovering of sanity, the doctor has placed them on trial leave. However, in view of the fact that they are indigenes of Lagos State and have no relations in Uyo, we have decided to refer them to you for further medical management/treatment and necessary action, please.”
Umanah stressed that Akwa Ibom State Government at no time requested the evacuation of non-indigenes, nor did it deport non-indigenes. He wondered why Igbokwe could engage in such blatant misrepresentation.
The commissioner assured all that the government of Akwa Ibom State would continue to accommodate and protect all law-abiding residents in the state irrespective of their creed or state of origin.
•Photo: Akwa Ibom Information Commissioner Aniekan Umanah, who exposed Igbokwe’s lies.
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