The immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, is not happy with the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for attending a summer convention in the United States organised by Akwa Ibom Indigenes abroad.
A former aide of Akpabio , who does not want to be named, told our correspondent in Uyo, on Tuesday, that the former governor had advised Emmanuel not to embark on the journey because the trip was unnecessary, considering the cost it involved.
He maintained that Akpabio had asked Emmanuel to avoid spending money on things that would not generate revenue for the state, but should focus on attracting investors into the state.
According to him, since Emmanuel had assumed office as Akwa Ibom State governor, the Akwa Ibom people have not felt the impact of his administration.
He noted that since Emmanuel took over from Akpabio as governor 66 days ago, the state has not witnessed any significant progress.
He revealed that Emmanuel left Akwa Ibom with a delegation of over 60 persons. They would spend two weeks in the US.
He added that Akpabio considered the trip unnecessary. He said it would not add value to Akwa Ibom people at home.
The convener, Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Akwa Ibom State chapter, Mr. Inibehe Effiong, said Emmanuel learnt his wasteful attitude from Akpabio. He added that few weeks ago, Emmanuel was spotted at the Ibom International Airport on a chartered jet.
He said, “I can tell you, Emmanuel is very wasteful. The other day, he was seen at the Ibom International Airport on a chartered flight. Why has the governor chosen to go on a chartered flight when the economy of the country is wobbling? This does not make sense.
“He (Emmanuel) learnt his wasteful attitude from his master, Senator Godswill Akpabio. The trip is a way of siphoning money from the state; it is purely based on self-interest. We hope the whole thing will soon be over. We don’t have a governor yet,” he said.
But in a swift reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Ekerette Udoh, who is also in the US, said Emmanuel was not only the governor of those that reside in Akwa Ibom State but a governor of the Akwa Ibom people, irrespective of where they live.
He stated that the summer convention was an important occasion as it attracted many governors from the country.
He noted that Emmanuel did not embark on the trip for selfish reasons, but to woo industrialists to the state.
He said, “The Akwa Ibom State governor is the governor of all Akwa Ibom people wherever they may be in the world. He has a right to tell them his programmes for the state.
“The summer convention is a very important occasion. Emmanuel is there to attract investors to the state. Many other governors in the Nigeria are also in the United States for the same reason.”