Following the controversial April 11, 2015 gubernatorial election in Akwa Ibom State which case is still before an Appellate Court of Justice sitting in Abuja awaiting final verdict, Governor Udom Emmanuel has been reported to be sinking deeper in desperate moves to indirectly campaign and buy Akwa Ibom electorates in preparation for a possible rerun.This has allegedly gotten him recently into a dance of shame before the students’ community in the state.
Aside the ongoing local government tour spearheaded by his wife, Mrs Martha Emmanuel at his instance and sponsorship, another evidence that has exposed the governor’s desperation is an ongoing rift in the students community caused by one Miss Otobong Akpan popularly called Aquila whom he recently appointed special assistant on students matters.
The said rift which is currently in the hands of the State Security Services (SSS) Akwa Ibom State, is said to have birthed from a fight by the governor’s appointee to pull out every student leader noted or suspected to be anti Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- being the governor’s party, ahead of the soon expected Appeal Court verdict, where the judgment does not go in their favour.
An apparently concerned student who contacted THE PLATFORM disclosed this on condition of anonymity, saying that the said Miss Akpan was heard boasting on several occasions that she was under the governor’s order to rip the students community off every anti PDP student leader, especially those holding sensitive positions.
One of the occasions she was heard making the statement, according to the source, was at a meeting convened by the SSS which had her and some other student leaders in attendance, in attempt to resolve an ongoing supremacy battle between her (Akpan) and one Clifford Akwaowo Ukpong over the chairmanship seat of Akwa Ibom Joint Campus Committee (JCC).
The source recalled that some weeks back, Akpan was forced out of office as chairman of JCC during a gathering of students she convened to mark the 2015 edition of International Students’ Day in Uyo.
Still from the source, her ouster was prompted by her show of unwillingness to transit power even when her tenure had long elapsed; and upon her new appointment, the students and given her a sudden ultimatum to either resign willingly or be forced out.
The source also hinted that having ignored the students’ warning, the students then took her by surprise by taking advantage of that event to reach a unanimous decision. And this resolution, the source said, was supported by her superiors in the student hierarchy, two of which cosigned a press release, confirming her ouster and installation of Ukpong as the new chairman of JCC.
The source gave the names of the signatories to be Comrades Okorie Ikechukwu and Anietie Inyang, Zonal Co-ordinator and Director, Special Duties respectively of NANS Zone B.
The source also hinted that following the ouster of Akpan, she had since vowed to use her new position to fight and ensure that the student resolution of that day does not prevail.
“She has been going around bribing students and student leaders with money and buying them over to her side. I was surprised when Alabasta (Anietie Inyang) came to the SSS office the other day to deny that he did not sign any document, the same release I watched him sign, along with the zonal coordinator and handed over to Akwaowo”, the source said.
The source also said that in the course of resolving the issue at the SSS office the other day, it was even suggested that she continues as chairman in the interim until the issue is resolved, but she refused, saying that it was the governor who instructed her via SMS to handover and install someone who will be loyal to the system.
When contacted on phone, the embattled JCC Chairman, Comrade Akwaowo Ukpong confirmed the reports, saying he was still shocked, having seen how supposed respectable student and student leaders fell so cheaply to inducements.
He said he was invited by the SSS on the issue which he went confidently and attended, only to find virtually everyone bearing false witnesses against him with the most shocking coming from a student leader who consigned a release to affirm his emergence.
He said that the has been reliably informed that Akpan had been going about offering bribes and buying people, adding that he is neither moved nor intimidated, even when Akpan has been parading one unpopular student as her successor, because he has every evidence that legitimizes his emergence as the chairman of JCC.
He said he left the SSS office, he has been receiving calls from people including Miss Akpan inviting him for settlement but had asked the callers to follow the right approaches, while insisting that whatever decision would be reached should not alter his mandate.
When contacted, Akpan was on her usual tricks of evading the press. At first, she asked our reporter to convert his message to SMS, so as to enable her read and respond properly, but after receiving the message she forwarded same to the SSS and our reporter has only heard from the SSS since then.
Further attempts to reach her again proved abortive, as her phone line was switched off, even as at press time.
When also contacted, the officer in charge of students cases, Mr James Yakubu confirmed having the case on his table, though he declined speaking on some issues he claimed would be revealing some confidential information.
Mr. Yakubu said that he had finally asked the students to go and work together and sort themselves out, but warned them to desist from anything that will threaten the peace of the students’ community and state at large.
He added that the only concern and position of the SSS in the matter is to guide the students properly and discourage them from any activity that may cause further disunity and rancor amongst them, and which may likely affect the larger Akwa Ibom Community.
Source: The Platform