By Imaobong Udo
Multiple reliable sources within the ranks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom state have confirmed that arrangements are in place for the five former members of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly to hold ‘sitting’ in the hallowed chambers of the House on Tuesday.
We can authoritatively report that the purported illegal sitting of the embattled former members will be backed by heavy police protection allegedly provided by Mr Musa Kimo, police commissioner to Akwa Ibom.
Kimo is said to have caved into pressure by Senator Godswil Akpabio to give protection to Nse Ntuen, Idongesit Ituen, Victor Udofia, Otobong Ndem, and Gabriel Toby, four of the 26 members whose seats were declared vacant on November 19, to sit on Tuesday.
An development at the weekend corroborates the belief that the police authorities are complicit in the planned invasion of the assembly. In a meeting he had with some of his select supporters on Saturday in Itam, Itu local government area, Idongesit Ituen, one of the sacked lawmakers, told party faithful that Senator Godswill Akpabio, the leader of APC in Akwa Ibom, was not comfortable with the status quo in the assembly and had perfected arrangements to enable the ousted lawmakers sit “next week Tuesday (tomorrow)”.
“The leader of our party in the state (Senator Akpabio) has been uneasy with the calm in the House of Assembly which suggests that we have been defeated.
“Obongowo just wants Nse Ntuen as Speaker of the House. That is not too much to ask for from a government that he sacrificed so much to install. So we will sit on Tuesday”, Ituen told loyalists.
A police source, on Monday, said although she could not confirm if the controversial commissioner of police, Mr Musa Kimo, was going to give backing to the sacked lawmakers as he did on Tuesday, November 27, but that she observed some rehearsals and briefings conducted for officers in the state headquarters at the weekend, believe to be readied for the assembly invasion on Tuesday.
When contacted to speak on the matter on Monday, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DPS Odiko Macdon, denied knowledge of the purported sitting.
McDon said: “I am not aware of it. I’ll try to find out, but I don’t have that information at my disposal now”.