By Nduke Udobong
Fresh facts have emerged on why the former Director General of National Youth Service Corp, Maj. Gen. Edet Akpan (Rtd) was arrested during the April 11 governorship and state Assembly elections by the Directorate of State Security, DSS.
A former Commissioner in Governor Godswill Akpabio’s cabinet who preferred anonymity, while reacting to media reports on the issue hinted that the plot to ‘deal’ with the retired Military Officer was nursed months ago. He said that the General’s refusal to ‘go along’ with the State Governor in recent past pitched him against the state’s Chief Executive. He further hinted that Governor Akpabio, whom he alleged believed in divide and rule, plotted to use Gen. Akpan to scuttle the Ibibios. According to our source, problem started when the Nsit Atai- born war veteran discerned the moves and allegedly rebuked Governor Akpabio.
He said “ I have read in some Newspapers that Corp members who were ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), during the governorship elections were arrested alongside General Akpan at his residence. What really amused me was when I read that they were arrested while thump printing the ballot papers. It is not true. Even though I am not from the same local government area (Nsit Atai) as Gen. Akpan, I know that there are certain things the man would not do”.
He continued I have had cause to meet with Gen. Akpan when I was in His Excellency’s ( Akpabio’s) cabinet. The entire thing is because the man (Akpan) refused work with His Excellency and there is how the Governor treats those who are not willing to work with him”.
Another source, a member of Akwa Esop Ima Isong Ibibio, Effiong Akpaetuk bemoaned a situation where, according to him, Elders of Ibibio extraction are treated with disdain. Akpaetuk who alleged that Gen. Akpan’s ordeal was because he refused to abandon the cause of Ibibios condemned what he termed ridiculous treatment of Ibibio people under Governor Akpabio’s regime.
“ Gen. Akpan’s problem started when he insisted on spearheading the reception for (His Excellency) Obong Attah. There was nothing the (state) government did not do to scuttle the event but Gen. Akpan, who was also the Chairman of the occasion stood his grounds. Since then, there have been series of attempts to blackmail him and some of us who organized the event. If you recall, the politics of Akwa Ibom state assumed a new shape immediately after the event. There are some elements in this state who are not happy to see the Ibibio nation uniting so if they see anybody championing the cause, you will be labeled enemy of the government. But very soon, those behind all these problems will be exposed”, Obong Akpaetuk said.