…As Stakeholders, Youths Warn Perpetrators and Sponsors of Blackmail
The recent publication of Thursday edition of The Ink, Vol. 3, No. 262, captioned “Dan Abia Joins 2019 Guber Race,” alleging intended Governorship ambition and pursuit by the immediate past Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Barrister Bassey Dan-Abia, in 2019 has been described as the handiwork of agent provocateurs, purveyors of falsehood and a blackmail taken too far.
According to findings by Ibom Telegraph, the incendiary ploy that Barrister Dan-Abia is consulting for the 2019 Governorship of the State is a continuation of incessant barrage of anti-government propaganda by a section of the opposition in the state in collaboration with embittered renegades and a host of impecunious news hunters.
In a chat with the member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno in the State House of Assembly, Dr Usoro Akpanusoh, the lawmaker said “the claim is a cheap blackmail orchestrated by agents of doom whose motive is to cause disaffection between Barrister Bassey Dan-Abia and the Government of Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of his own brother, Deacon Udom Emmanuel.”
He maintained that the overall intent of such virulent act of calumny by “the enemies of progress is to sell a dummy even to the opposition supporters and the general public. Their failed strategy was to divide, weaken, and disenchant the people with the Udom Emmanuel-led government and thereby destabilize the state.”
“There is no doubt that much as we would like to overlook these act as a product of political hatred, however, given the harsh realities of our time and the resentment and anger that arise from such frustration, it becomes difficult, if not impossible to do so.”
“It is a torrent of character assassination, abuse and blackmail from enemies of progress and unity who were disgraced in the 2015 governorship elections in the state. Maybe they are afraid of the present political power configuration in the state. Maybe they are afraid that the indefatigable Governor has seriously consolidated his hold on the state through excellent performance. This is the more reason why our people must beware of the sinister machination of these fraudsters. I challenge the Ekid people to rise up and get to the root of this bitterness which has never been part of us.”
Dr Akpanusoh, however, cautioned those using blackmail as a tool for political appointment to refrain from it, saying “whosoever is seeking political appointment from the present government should not use blackmail as a tool to achieving his or her ambition.”
The alleged blackmail also tried to use the Professor Asindi Andrew Asindi-led Ekid Peoples Union (EPU) to disparage Governor Udom Emmanuel from his Federal Constituency.
Reacting to the claim, Professor Asindi said “I have not seen Chief Dan-Abia for over two years now and it beats my imagination the extent people can go in the name of politics. Ekid Peoples Union under my leadership has never made any statement regarding 2019 Governorship let alone shopping for a candidate that will replace the sitting Governor as claimed by the report. Politics is not a do-or-die affair. Whoever feels he or she is aggrieved for whatever reason should come out and say so instead of sponsoring cheap blackmails. Envy does not profit anyone.”
When Ibom Telegraph contacted the Esit Eket Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Akan Etteudo, he said he would not say much on the issue but, however, maintained that “what the contrivers of this mischief fail to understand is the fact that their identities and those behind them are already public knowledge.”
Prince Etteudo further said the issue was a distraction to governance and should not be given any attention.
According to Prince Etteudo, who urge the people to dismiss the publication as the handiwork of political detractors, “how can Barrister Dan-Abia who has been copiously quoted to be in support of the Udom Emmanuel administration want to now run for 2019.”
Some politicians and leaders of thought from the area who spoke with Ibom Telegraph expressed worries over what they described as “roping in the people of Akwa Ibom in an attempt to settle selfish political interest and family issue.”
“If people have family issues, they should do that within the family. The attempt to bring in the people of Eket Federal Constituency and the people of Akwa Ibom State into an unsettled family issue is uncalled for. The idea of politicizing their family problem instead of handling it within is the height of irresponsibility,” some of them said.
They condemned the act and further stressed that the people of Esit Eket will never express dissatisfaction over their own but will continually pray for the success of his government.
When contacted, the immediate past Assistant Organizing Secretary of PDP, Edet Bassey, said the claim by sponsors of the blackmail was baseless and unfounded.
“My brother, first of all, my name is Edet Inyang Bassey and not Inyang Cobb as claimed by sponsors of that blackmail. The whole thing is a serious frame-up by mischief makers and enemies of progress. Chief Bassey Dan-Abia, who was in town on Sunday to worship at his local church after a long while outside the country, is my first cousin. At the close of service that Sunday, my cousin decided to visit his friend, Okon Ekere, and the Village Head, Chief A. A. Bassey. He also visited me and during the visit he never discussed anything politics let alone political ambition with me nor with any of those he visited earlier. When has it become a crime for a brother to visit his brother? Must people who do not have a good family relationship always try to spoil those who have? Their attempt to blackmail Chief Dan-Abia has failed.”
Efforts to also speak with the Esit Eket Chapter Chairman of PDP, Elder Eddy Etangkanga, and the political leader of Esit Eket, Chief Benji Udobia, proved abortive as they neither picked phone calls nor return text messages.