Posted by News Express | 13 March 2014 | 4,552 times
Stakeholders and elders from Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State have declared that Senator Alloysius Etok has no business in the Senate, describing his tenure there as an embarrassment and a betrayal of public trust.
Speaking in a well-attended town hall meeting for the Federal Constituency hosted by Governor Godswill Akpabio, elder statesman, Chief Otu Robert (former Chairman of the National Broadcasting Commission), regretted that the Senator was grossly incompetent and that knowing his antecedents, the people of the Federal Constituency would never have elected him if Governor Akpabio did not intervene for him.
The septuagenarian community leader described Senator Etok as a serial traitor, saying he was not surprised that he had turned against the man who single-handedly facilitated his emergence as a senator.
Chief Robert apologised to Governor Akpabio and the good people of Akwa Ibom State over what he described as “Senator Etok’s unbecoming conduct of attacking the Governor and the state.” He alleged that Senator Etok had a history of betrayal of people who had put their faith or trust in him.
Chief Robert presented a book to Governor Akpabio entitled “Clapping with One Hand” written by Oluwale Osun in which the senator was described as a “traitor” and accused of betraying the cause of “June 12 “ while he was the Minority Whip in the House of Representatives in the aborted 3rd Republic.
The respected community leader noted that Etok was yet to challenge the contents of the book and regretted that if Governor Akpabio had known the character of Etok, he would not have “sent” him to the hallowed chambers of the Upper House to the detriment of the Senatorial District.
Speaking in the same vein, Rt. Hon. Iquo Minimah, a two-time member of the House of Representatives (1999-2007), said she wept when Governor Akpabio pleaded with her and 18 other aspirants to withdraw from the senatorial race for Senator Etok in 2012. She said that Ikono and Ini people were not ingrates and the state should not use the antics of Senator Etok to stereotype them.
Rt. Hon. Minimah regretted that Etok was grossly incompetent and said that his incompetence was public knowledge in the Federal Constituency. She said that was why Governor Akpabio had the hostile reaction from the people when he came to present Etok in a campaign rally in 2007 and again in 2012.
“I want to say that Senator Etok could not even win an election in his family and among his siblings and he only got elected to our shame and embarrassment because of Governor Akpabio’s intervention,” Minimah stated.
Other speakers regretted Etok’s tenure in the Senate, with one of the aspirants who withdrew for him asking Governor Akpabio to visit those of them who withdrew for Etok.
Responding, Governor Akpabio said he had forgiven Senator Etok “for all the unwarranted attacks and invectives which he poured on (me) for what he is doing today and what he will do tomorrow.” He said he bore him no grudge.
Akpabio explained that sending Etok to the Senate was a decision he took based on the demands of justice and equity to the people of Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, maintaining that he still had great love, respect and affection for the people in spite of Etok’s shocking behaviour.
He seized the opportunity to apologise to Rt. Hon. Minima, Chief Bassey Inuaeyen, Dr. Akpanobong and the other aspirants who heeded his plea to step down for Etok, saying he acted in what he considered to be the public good.
The governor noted that the two Ibibio local government areas in the Federal Constituency in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District with eight Annang local government areas constituted a minority and when he first touted the idea of their representing the Senatorial District he met with a lot of skepticism. He thanked the people of the Senatorial District for their understanding and letting the Constituency feel a sense of belonging.
Akpabio thanked the people for their support for his election in 2007 and re-election in 2011. He maintained that no society can survive in an atmosphere of peace, progress and development without justice and urged that justice, should be the watchword in every political arrangement.
•Photo shows Senator Alloysius Etok.
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