The Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA), has said attempts by Hon. Bassey Etim (Bafil) to takeover the Senatorial seat from him remain efforts in futility, insisting he will remain Senator up until 2019.
Senator Akpan who made the statement, over the weekend, on The Umbrella, a PDP sponsored community based radio programme advised Hon. Etim to embrace peace and desist from trying to get into the Red Chambers through the backdoor, saying the matter will run its full course up to the Supreme Court.
In his words, “The nomination form and expression of interest were tendered in court, the receipts were also tendered as well as the Certificate of Screening. We stood elections and by the Grace of God, we had the mandate of our party delegates. I won the primaries by 366 votes at the Uyo Township Stadium, everything was done publicly.
According to him, the delegates list his opponent tendered in court was forged in certain Local Government Areas and His Lordship in his own wisdom ignored the INEC report which stated that he(Albert), won the primaries and still gave his judgment. He expressed confidence that, the judgement will not stand the test of time, vowing to exhaust his right to appeal up to the Supreme Court.
His words, “Let’s face the matter up to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court decides that OBA is no longer a Senator, I will quietly leave. But for now, there is no need trying to get into the Senate through the backdoor. It’s not possible, I’m protected by law and since the matter is in court, it will be subjudice for me to talk about it but I’m confident that we’ll have justice at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. I want to encourage ‘my brother’ to give peace a chance. There’s no need trying to get into the Senate through the backdoor”.
Senate Akpan who also doubles as Chairman, Senate Committee on Oil and Gas used the programme to dismiss rumours making the rounds that the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo and presided over by Justice Fatun Riman on Friday struck out his application for a stay of execution of the earlier judgment of the court in a pre-election matter between him and Hon Bassey Etim. He explained that his lawyers and the PDP led by Barr Goddy Umoh, the State PDP Legal Adviser withdrew their applications from the court since there was similar applications pending at the Court of Appeal.
He also dismissed insinuations by the Senator representing Eket Senatorial District, Senator Nelson Effiong who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) that he (Senator Bassey Albert) was complaining of being sidelined as well as planning to defect to the APC as a figment of his imagination and averred thus, “PDP gave me the mandate and I don’t think there’s any need for me to leave the Umbrella”.
On his achievements two years into office, the erstwhile Commissioner of Finance, Akwa Ibom State said he would let the electorate assess his performance but said what he has been able to do is by the Grace of God.
He argued that, “There’s a saying that it’s only a man who has gone through the wilderness that can lead another man through the wilderness. People see me and they see solutions to their problems. There’s no way you can evade them, the only thing that I pray for everyday is for God to empower us everyday to be able to empower others.
Senator Albert further stated, “Generally, I cannot sit down to judge myself, because the people gave me the mandate and I think that judgement is vested in the people and I’ll leave that to the Court of Public opinion because when the time comes, they will be able to assess and rate my performance. I’ll leave my assessment to the people of Uyo Senatorial District, but in my own personal capacity to the best of my knowledge, looking back at my the months I’ve so spent so far in the Senate, I can only return all Glory and honour to God for all that He has done. Because when I went to campaign, I told the people that I’m not going Abuja to sleep, I’m going to add value and then attract dividends of democracy to the people”.
On the importance of the recently concluded Nigerian Content Conference 2017 held in Akwa Ibom to the state, Senator Akpan hinted that the Conference which will be hosted annually in the state will boost the image of the state and well as make the state a choice destination for investors. He also revealed that the Legislative and the Executive arm of the Federal government have been having series of meetings with the International Oil Companies to see to the relocation of their administrative headquarters to their areas of operation, which he said will help in taming youths restiveness in the Niger Delta.
He also used the programme to canvass support for Governor Udom Emmanuel whom he said deserves to be commended for his developmental strides even in the midst of paucity of funds and reassured the State Chief Executive of the support of the district in 2019.
By Prince Bassey, UYO