The Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr Onofiok Luke, has said they would use legal means to resist any form of intimidation by the All Progressives Congress to suppress the Peoples Democratic Party in the state. Luke stated this on Tueday immediately after plenary while reacting to last week’s invitation of some Akwa Ibom PDP leaders by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, over a petition written by Ini Okopido, chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State concerning the destruction of some APC campaign billboards. According to the Speaker, “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.
“In Akwa Ibom State, we are law abiding citizens of Nigeria and no one can use the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the security agencies, under the guise of politics, to intimidate us. “That is my message for the Akwa Ibom people, and that is my message for the teeming supporters of the PDP. Don’t make Akwa Ibom look like all we have are petition writers.’’ Luke, however, called on the opposition in the state to come back home and test their popularity by campaigning on issues and not taking refuge on writing frivolous petitions to the federal government.
His words, “If members of the Akwa Ibom APC think they are popular, they should stop using the state apparatus and security agencies to intimidate us. The more they try to intimidate us, the more our resolve to defend the common mandate of Governor Udom Emmanuel. “And I am also telling them that, if they are popular; they should come back home and campaign, and not behave like children who would go and start a fight and then run to their father for protection.”
The speaker also expressed worry at the speed with which President Buhari minuted on the petition and forwarded same to the Inspector General of Police for treatment, noting that such speed could have been equally applied in other areas to solve so many problems ravaging the country.
“I wish that such speed was equally applied in other areas, we would not be having security challenges in the country again. If such speed was employed in addressing issues in the Niger Delta, we would have had a clean up of Ogoni land before now. “I wish that such speed too by the Presidency would have been applied in the award of contract for the dualization of Calabar/Itu Road, with a spur to Ididep; by now we would have been driving on that dual carriage way.
“So let that speed at which the Presidency minuted on that frivolous petition with trumped up charges and allegations be applied in other areas to solve the poverty in Nigeria. “Akwa Ibom people respect the President and Commander- in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His office should therefore not be used as the office of the intimidator-in-chief ” he added.