The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Onofiok Luke, has dispelled social media reports alleging that members of the state Assembly have concluded plans to remove Governor Udom Emmanuel from office.
Luke, who was speaking on Saturday at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Zones ‘F’ Zonal conference and conferment of Grand Patron award on Mr Ephraim Inyang- Eyen, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works in Uyo, the state capital .
Luke said the alleged impeachment plans against Governor Emmanuel which is trending in the social media is not only false but the handiwork of blackmailers of the state government.
There had been media reports in the state accusing Luke, the immediate past governor of the state, San Godswill Akpabio and the Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen, of collating signatures from members of the house to remove the governor.
But the speaker who debunked the impeachment report said, he cannot be part of the plot to remove the governor.
He said, ” That was lies and blackmail. The governor and government that I spend my life and time to protect, there is no such plan, the Akwa Ibom State government is full of blackmailers.
“Just as the zonal Vice President of NUJ, Edward Ogude, has said there are always bad times, Ephraim Inyang has also seen bad times.
“Three weeks ago in the social media , Ephraim Inyang, Distinguish Senator Godswill Akpabio and myself were accused of getting the signatures of 17 members of the Assembly to impeach the governor of the state.
“That was lies and blackmail. The governor and government that I spend my time to defend and the governor and government that Ephraim Inyang is taking his time to defend and work for its success can never contemplate such a plot. There is nothing like that”.
The Speaker thanked the governor for retaining Inyang as member of the state executive council despite the social media publication.
He noted further that, “If the governor had listened to blackmail, Ephraim would no longer remain the commissioner today. There is too much blackmail, lies in this government by those who do not have anything to offer, they tell lies to make themselves relevant in the government.”
In his remarks at the occasion, the governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, appealed to journalists not to use the media as a platform to demonize, destroy, harangue and weave libelous stories against political leaders.
Governor Emmanuel urged journalists not to be used as a weapon to destroy people’s hard earned reputation by publishing stories that are false and cannot pass the slightest modicum of fact-checking.
While commending role of the media in developing the society, he said, “it is authentically recorded that the media made America a more humane and equitable society that the world today celebrates.”
Governor Emmanuel thanked the NUJ, zone F for finding his commissioner for works, Mr Ephraim Inyang-eyen worthy for the conferment as the grand patron.
By Bassey Willie, Uyo