I Over-advised Attah – Akpabio
You Are a Confused Young man – Attah
The hope of many politicians who appear overtly or covertly closed to the former and present governors of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah and Sir Dr. Godswill Akpabio could have been rekindled when they heard that the duo had resolved their long held differences a few weeks ago. That hope got dashed when the former governor felt uncomfortable with the remarks made by his god-son when he spoke to some Journalists in his office and dwelt on many issues.
|former Gov. Arc. Victor Bassey Udoh Adiaha Attah|
Ever since that interview published by Vanguard newspaper of Monday January 21, 2013, came to light, more fireworks have been ignited including the reactions by the governor’s former boss.
|Gov. Godswill Akpabio|
Governor Akpabio had raised many issues including his anger about how he used to take a motorbike from Ikot Ekpene to his Essien Udim country home, because there were no motor able roads to his place. He also stated that he was building the state from the “scratch as if Akwa Ibom was born today”. He had recounted in that interview how he brought a heap of sand to fill bad spots of Calabar [Itu] road when former President Obasanjo was about to come to Akwa Ibom.
He recalled in the interview how he advised governor Attah that something should be done about the road[bad portions of Calabar Itu road], but a vexed governor Attah said, “get out, is it my father’s road?”. Governor Akpabio said when he referred Attah to the visitors who were coming with Obasanjo, governor Attah said, “is it my business to fix federal roads? Will you get out of this place”. Governor Akpabio then observed, “so I was a man who over-advised.” In his words Akpabio further said, “At times you have to be very careful how you advise government because the reason my former governor picked quarrels with me is because I over advised, if you over-advise government, you become an opposition even with your best intention”.
Governor Akpabio also noted in the interview that he was approaching insecurity, underdevelopment, poverty in the society, lack of development and infrastructure, employment opportunity for thousands of people in the state, with anger and that whoever was not angry in approaching such problems of his people with anger, has no business in governance.
Chief Akpabio addressed many other issues touching on assessment of his regime, On shore/Offshore dichotomy and its implications on national security, road projects in the state and descended on the military as those who underdeveloped the country from 1960 to 1998, adding that democracy was better, no matter how it was hated by anyone.
He harped on his non-segregation approach to life as he per his crave for the unity of Nigeria which he said was demonstrated in his choice of his ADC and his Chief Security Officer.
In his words, “My Chief Security Officer is a Muslim, and he is from Kano and you will not believe that for the past six years, my ADC is from Azare in Bauchi State, he is a Muslim. He had worked with me for over six years. My first orderly for the first four years came from Benue State, this present one for the last two years is from Kaduna State”.
However, miffed by Akpabio’s allusions and statements Obong Attah may have considered to be insulting on his person and what he stood for, former governor Attah could not keep the calm which he was noted for in the earlier years of Chief Akpabio’s reign. Obong Attah confessed that he stopped reading anything written about or said by Barrister Akpabio as he did not want to be “provoked” by governor Akpabio’s “sickening” comments.
Referring to publications in ThisDay newspaper of Friday Jan. 18, 2013 and Vanguard newspaper of Jan. 21, 2013, a vexed former governor Attah who was widely regarded in his time as a dogged fighter for the restoration of oil producing status to Akwa Ibom State and its attendant benefits, in reply to governor Akpabio said, “Over advising somebody is an expression I am not familiar with and honestly I do not know what it means, but I can say quite categorically that Barr. Godswill Akpabio was not one of the intellectuals in my cabinet. He was, therefore, never, at any time made a member of any of my advisory committees”.
Obong Attah debunked governor Akpabio’s claims of fixing a federal road in these words, “It is not possible, therefore, for him to have been the one to fix the federal roads in my state and, with his own money for that matter”.
Reacting to what Obong Attah called “vile and uncouth language” of Sir Dr. Akpabio, he said, “Barrister Godswill Akpabio has been reputed to be digitally brutal or is it brutally digital in his ability to mislead, to misinform and to misrepresent issues”.
Obong Attah described governor Akpabio’s expression of being “angry” to develop the state in a hurry as “blind furry”, adding that anger was “one of the seven deadly sins and can never be superior to intellect as a driving force for good governance”.
He considered the anger of governor Akpabio to pursue the ideals of good governance as misleading and deceitful in the following words, “if the governor is angry, has he considered that the people may also be angry though for a different reason! The people are angry because in May 2009 the governor told them that he had built a dialysis center in Uyo to which he donated 17 dialysis machines”. According to Obong Attah, “the people have since been searching and to date cannot find it”.
He also argue that the people of Akwa Ibom were rather “angry” with governor Akpabio because the first Aircraft landed at Uyo airport in September 2009 and former governor of the state, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga[Chairman of Airport Development Board] had assured the people of the state that the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul(MRO) building would be completed and fully operational that year but “till today the building is still in construction even though the steel for its erection had arrived since January 2008”.
On the issue of 10,000 housing units which Obong Attah said governor Akpabio promised Akwa Ibom people since 2008 to be built in 2009 when he announced that money had been appropriated for development of the housing estates, he argued that even when the people were assured that contracts were awarded in the sum of N26.9bn to Party stalwarts for the construction of those houses that the people “are resentful because till today they are still homeless”.
Obong Attah frontally attacked governor Akpabio by reminding him that the Tropicana was expected to have a 25 storey building, 10,000 seats auditorium, provide 5000 jobs in the first quarter of 2010 and that such “much vaunted flagship project” of the governor showcased in a full page newspaper advert years ago, is a far cry from the people’s expectations as at today.
He said that the people were “unhappy” because their Plaza which they would have watched the African Cup of Nations’ matches on the “giant screen” was closed down “in anger” by Chief Akpabio’s government.
Obong Attah reminded governor Akpabio that out of unmanageable anger, resentment and unhappiness for his “deceiving” them in December 2009, at the Niger Delta rock concert, “they pelted” governor Akpabio with what he called “missiles in Uyo township stadium”.
Former governor Victor Attah said as an “elder statesman” he had written to and cautioned governor Akpabio against what he called “careless talk and unguarded speech”, adding that by governor Akpabio’s “utterances” and his “actions” he portrayed himself as “a confused young man with a large burden of inferiority complex”.
He vehemently berated governor Akpabio for adopting the “pull-him-down tactic by either repudiating or claiming the work” of his predecessor, adding that whatever success he thought he may have gained via the media to the extent of considering himself a messiah that has come to “revive a failed state in Akwa Ibom, the fact remains that the people know the truth”.
Obong Attah wished governor Akpabio well, but advised him to change his “technique” after six years by adopting Albert Einstein’s maxim that “it is a mad man that will keep repeating the same act and expect a different result”.