President’s aide blames Governor Emmanuel for Assembly crisis

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*Emmanuel, Enang

The senior special assistant to the president on legislative matters (senate), Mr. Ita Enang has blamed the crisis rocking the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.

Reacting to the commotion that ensued in the legislative chambers yesterday, Enang accused Emmanuel of instigating the mismanagement of the recent defection of the five members from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.

It would be recalled that the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly was thrown into crisis on November 19, 2018, when the speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke declared the seats of five members of the House elected on the platform of the PDP, who had defected to the APC vacant.

On Tuesday (yesterday), a faction led by the ‘new speaker’, Mr. Nse Ntuen had, at its sitting, dissolved all the standing committees, suspended 11 members and allegedly began to deliberate on impeaching the governor.

However, when the governor accompanied by members of his executive council, the speaker of the House, Mr. Onofiok Luke and PDP lawmakers arrived at the assembly complex, Ntuen and four other members scurried away.

Enang, who spoke on Channels TV’s Politics Today in Abuja, said: “In the National Assembly, under the leadership of David Mark, there were defections from the APC to the PDP and from the PDP to the APC. There was no declaration of any seat vacant.

“Even under the leadership of distinguished Senator Saraki as president of the senate, there were defections from APC to PDP and from PDP to APC. Fourteen senators defected from APC to PDP in one day. He (Saraki) managed it well.

“The same thing happened in the House of Representative; they are managing it well.

“Earlier this year, the only member of Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly elected under the platform of the APC defected to the PDP but his seat was not declared vacant.

“But when the lawmakers who were dissatisfied with the actions of the state government defected joined the APC, only then did the governor instigate that their seats should be declared vacant,” he said.

Enang also exonerated the police saying: “This morning (yesterday), according to events, the police did not lead anybody into the hallowed chamber of the state legislature. It only came in when the governor himself led his aides to the House of Assembly to interfere and stop proceedings and generally causing commotion there.”

Similarly the APC in the state accused the governor of disrupting the sitting of the legislature.

The party alleged that the governor, led a team of security officers and youths, suspected to be PDP thugs to the House of Assembly to dislodge a faction, led by the member representing Essien Udim state constituency in the assembly, Ntuen, who had earlier taken over the house, and prevented them from sitting.

But the PDP blamed the crisis on the representative of Ikot Ekpene senatorial District, Mr. Godswill Akpabio.

Spokesman for the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said in a statement said Akpabio had stirred violence Assembly in fulfillment of his threats that the APC will overrun Akwa Ibom, the same way Adolf Hitler overran Poland during the Second World War.

For his part, the former vice president, Mr. Atiku Abubakar described the crisis as a threat to democratic institutions, adding that it portends grave danger to the nation’s democracy.

Atiku who is PDP’s presidential candidate called on the federal government to intervene in the matter and direct the security agencies to restore peace at the Assembly.

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