Joe Effiong, Uyo
Barely five hours after eight out of 10 councillors in Ika Local Government Council of Akwa Ibom State purportedly impeached their council chairman, the same councillors have come out to openly refute the story and even tender unreserved apologies to the state.
Local government chairmen in Akwa Ibom state have been subjected to horrific experiences in recent times with two of them currently on suspension.
It was therefore a surprise when the news hit the social media that Mr Anthony Udousung of Ika had suffered the worst of the political maneuverings with the purported impeachment only a few months to the council polls which he is rumoured to be interested in recontesting.
A press statement signed by the leader of the Legislature, Mr. Utibe Ukpong and made available to journalists in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, debunked the rumour, saying such action was never taken nor contemplated by the grassroots lawmakers.
Ukpong, who apologised to Akwa Ibom state government for the embarrassment the rumour had caused it, and urged the people of Ika local government area to disregard the news of the purported removal of the council boss.
The statement further explained that the alleged act said to have been performed by Ika Legislative Council, did not in any manner, represent the activity of the lawmakers on Thursday, June 11, or before then.
The statement expressed the lawmakers’ continued support to Gov. Udom Emmanuel, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as well as the state government and urged the council chairman to go about his normal duties.
But reacting the drama, the state chairman of APC, Mr Ini Okopido, who is a native of the area, said though the matter is entirely a PDP affair, but as a stakeholder in the area, he had to step in and caution the people never to make them relapse to the era where Ika was ungovernable.
“ As a real stakeholder in Ika, I was worried when I heard the story yesterday based on the background where we have come from. I ordered and warned them very seriously that they should not try that nonsense again because of where we have come from.”
Okopido said when he confronted some of the councillors, they admitted that it was not an impeachment but that the chairman was owing them as such they were looking for ways of getting their money and not necessarily to impeach the council chairman.