On the controversial invitation of top officials of the Divine Mandate organisation to the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, one of those invited, today spoke as courageously as usual to members of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly Press Corps. READ:
“I got an invitation from the IGP’s monitoring unit and as a law abiding citizen, I responded to that invitation. I got to know eventually that I was not the only one invited. Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, the DG of Divine Mandate was invited.
The Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Environment and the Chairman of Uyo local government area were invited. The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Security Matters, was invited. On getting to the IGP’s office, I was confronted with a petition written by the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress, addressed to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and minuted by the president himself for investigation by the inspector General of Police. Part of that very frivolous allegations were issues about comments and billboards. They just decided to put names together without stating exactly what anybody had done. They lied and said I was on a campaign trail threatening that I was not going to allow a candidate of the opposition party in the state to campaign freely and openly. And I said they should come out with evidences and facts concerning where I ever made such statements. They had none. We were asked to write a statement which we did. At the point of interview, we stated one thing very clearly in the presence of the APC chairman in the state and which is one of the things I want to state clearly again here today. We stated that in Akwa Ibom state, we are law abiding citizens of Nigeria and no one can use the office of the president under the guise of politics to intimidate us; not even the state security agency. This is my message for Akwa Ibom people and the teeming supporters of the Peoples Democratic party in Akwa Ibom. And we told them (the state APC) to their faces that ‘if you are popular, stop using the state security apparatus to try to intimidate us.’ The more you try to intimidate us, the more resolved that we are to defend the mandate of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. And we told them, ‘if you are popular, come back home to Akwa Ibom and campaign. Don’t behave like children who will go to strike and start a fight and then run to their father. If you are popular, come back to Akwa Ibom and campaign. Don’t make Akwa Ibom look like all we have are petition writers.’
Again, and very importantly, the speed with which that petition was minuted by the presidency to the IGP to be treated, if this same speed could be employed in other areas of need, we would not be having security challenges in this country again; I wish such speed could be employed, we would have had the cleanup of Ogoni by now. If this speed were employed in the award of contract for the dualization of Calabar-Itu road with a spur from Idideb, by now we would have been driving on that dual carriage way. So let that speed with which the presidency minuted that frivolous petition with trumped up charges and allegations be applied in areas such as poverty which we have in Nigeria. Akwa Ibom people respect the president and Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We respect the president, we respect his office. His office should therefore not be used as the office of the Intimidator in chief. It is the office of the commander in chief and within the ambit of the law, I say it clearly and I said it at the force headquarters, as law abiding citizens, we will use every legal means to resist every attempt to cow or intimidate the Peoples Democratic Party and its supporters in Akwa Ibom. With the invitation of the DG, the entire campaign organisation was invited. If the opposition party feels they are popular, let them come back to the state and campaign. There are no issues, and we are considering legal options.
Akwa Ibom people, don’t be intimidated and go about your normal businesses as long as you are doing so lawfully. Support the PDP which is the party that is popular, the party that has delivered because we have seen excellent and superlative performance of his Excellency the governor”.