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NPFL: Akwa United seek to consolidate 2nd spot



NPFL: Akwa United seek to consolidate 2nd spot

Mfon Patrick

Akwa United will be aiming to close the gap on league leaders to within two points when they entertain Yobe Dersert Stars in Damaturu on Matchday 23 of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

The match will be the second ever meeting between the two sides in the NPFL and the Promise Keepers will go into the game with the hope of doing the double over the North Eastern team whom they beat 2-0 in the reverse fixture in Uyo early in the season.

It is a match which has significance at both ends of the table. Victory for Coach Abdu Maikaba’s team will be enough for them to cement their second place on the log while three points for the home side will ease their relegation worries going into the FIFA World Cup break.

United have picked six points away from home so far this season and are ten points above 16th placed Yobe Stars going into this weekend’s encounter. However, they will miss the services of some of their key players like Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Ifeanyi Ede, Barnabas Imenger Jr, Denis Nya, Godspower Igudia and Aniekeme Asuquo due to various degree of injuries and lack of match fitness.

Coach Maikaba has listed youngsters Etboy Akpan and three other players who are yet to feature for the club this season. They are striker Boniface Mathew, midfielder Emmanuel Charles and defender Ayobami Asekunowo in his 18 man squad for this weekend’s game in Damaturu.

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Despite Yobe’s position on the log, Coach Maikaba is expecting to face a tough and determined side on Sunday afternoon.

“The match with Yobe Stars is not going to be easy in any way because they are fighting for survival, but this is a big game for us and we are more interested in getting the three available points.

“Our target is to win as many games as possible in order to actualise our aspirations at the end of the season. This is our last match before the FiFA World Cup break, so we want to enjoy the break knowing that we are in a comfortable position”said Maikaba.

United have 38 points from 23 matches

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Obong Paul Ekpo addressing newsmen today

Obong Paul Ekpo addressing newsmen today

The State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Obong Paul Ekpo has reacted to plans by All Progressives Congress(APC) “to make the state ungovernable and possibly declare a state of emergency to pave way for easy manipulations of election results in 2019.”

Briefing newsmen during a Press Conference in state secretariat of the party in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital. Obong Ekpo said any attempt to rig 2019 election will lead to loss of lives.

Obong Paul Ekpo

The full press statement…


Being a Text Of Press Conference By the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  Akwa Ibom State over the Plots by the All Progressive Congress (APC), in collusion with the Federal Government to illegally Take Over Control of apparatus of Akwa Ibom State.  Gentlemen of the press, Our Party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has invited you this evening to alert Nigerians, international community, and indeed the whole world of attempts by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in collusion with security agencies to make the state ungovernable and possibly declare a state of emergency to pave way for easy manipulations of election results in 2019. This may lead to the loss of lives of our people. On Monday, November 19, our party had received and subsequently published intelligence report on the plans by the APC to illegally prevent the sitting of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, using thugs and political miscreants.

Just as the intelligence at our disposal had clearly shown, as early as 7am, buses bearing insignia of the opposition APC led by known chieftains of their political coven appeared at the gate of the Assembly and set up bonfire, preventing human and vehicular traffic and seeking to prevent the lawful business of the state legislature.   On the intervention of the police, the Speaker of the House  led members into the Chambers and resumed legislative duties. At the sitting, the Speaker evoked the provision of section 109(2) which empowers him to declare the seats of those who had infringed upon section 109(1)(g) and accordingly declared their seats vacant.

This decision by the Speaker to declare the seats which has a precedent in 2014, became the avenue for the All Progressive Congress to commence their long planned desire of unleashing violence and hooliganism on a legal institution of the state as a prelude to making the state ungovernable preparatory to the 2019 elections. We wish to state that as at the time the APC agents and thugs invaded the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, There was no stay of execution issued by any court of law against the speaker in respect of Idongesit Ituen’s case. After the judgment of the court was delivered, the enrolled order (summary of the judgment) was served on the office of the Honorable Speaker and the Clerk of the House. The language of this order of the court was that compliance should be given with IMMEDIATE EFFECT. (please see the order of the court as contained in the judgment of 14/11/2018).

The PDP, and indeed Akwa ibom people are not by any means intimidated by these machinations of the APC-led Federal Government which is intended to help them achieve their selfish aim of illegally and forcefully capturing Akwa Ibom State as we are sure that this will fail. Just like they have repeatedly failed to achieve whatever aim they hoped to achieve with the constant and continuous change of heads of Security agents in the State, their ultimate plan of derailing the machinery of governance in our state and maybe sacrifice the lives of Akwa Ibom people in the bid to achieve their heinous objective will fail.  It is pertinent to note that we have uncovered a fresh plot by the APC to use the EFCC to clamp down on Akwa Ibom State Government accounts.

This is another desperate attempt by the APC to paralyze the activities of the government of Akwa Ibom State.  Recall that Akwa Ibom State; despite being adjudged as the safest state in Nigeria has had a very high turnover of Police Commissioners. This is a clear indication of the manipulation of the APC as a prelude to activating intelligence report reaching us on the planned assassination attempts of some high-ranking PDP and Akwa Ibom State government officials.  The PDP and indeed Akwa Ibom people are not ignorant of the fact that all these preliminary machinations by the APC are just mere schemes to drag Governor Udom Emmanuel on a collision course with President Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR, so as to attract sympathy for the deployment of Federal might immediately before and during the elections.  We are confident that the international community, Nigerians and Akwa Ibom people are taking note of the players in this show of shame and their respective roles in the effort to push the State into an abyss of violence, anarchy and destruction.  We hereby commend the Akwa Ibom State Governor His Excellency, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, for peacefully running the affairs of the state, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, for his effective representation and drawing the attention of the National Assembly to happenings in our state.  We also specially commend the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt Hon (Barr.) Onofiok Luke for demonstrating maturity and competence in steering the affairs of the House. We however condemn in strong terms the comical and criminal act of the five dissident House members who broke into the hallowed chambers of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. We implore the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies to remain non-partisan in the discharge of the duties. In view of the foregoing, we make this extant demand: That the Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, should as a matter of urgency, cause the troops laying siege at the premises of the Akwa Ibom State of House of Assembly to vacate with immediate effect and cease forthwith, further intimidation of officials of Akwa Ibom government and principal officers of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

As a party that has kept its promises to Akwa Ibom people, we are confident that we will head to the polls in 2019 and we will, together with Akwa Ibom people record resounding victories in all categories of elections.

Signed: Obong Paul Ekpo State Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom State.

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Etim Ekpo Cultists kill one, injure three AKTC bus passengers




Etim Ekpo Cultists kill one, injure three AKTC bus passengers

A passenger travelling with an Akwa Ibom Transport Company bus, has been shot dead while three others were wounded by suspected cultists at Ikot Mkporikpo axis of the Abak-Iwukem road in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

The incident happened on Tuesday while the passengers were traveling from Uyo in Akwa Ibom State to Aba in Abia State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Odiko Ogbeche, who confirmed the incident, said the police are on the trail of the hoodlums with a view to bringing them to justice.

According to him, ”The militants shot sporadically at the bus when the driver refused to stop after being flagged down by the hoodlums. Another bus, which ran into the scene in flight, veered off the road, crashed into a building and caught fire when the driver lost control.

”The occupants of the bus that belongs to the Akwa Ibom Transport Company, had to bleed profusely ‘because the driver refused to stop and drop the affected passengers at the nearby health centre for treatment.

“One of the injured passengers died on the way because the driver was afraid and refused to stop after the shooting incident. He insisted on reaching safely in Aba before discharging the injured for treatment, but along the road, one died before reaching the hospital in Aba.”

The PPRO expressed worry over the activities of the hoodlums, wondering why the militants refused to heed the Olive branch extended to them by the state Gov. Udom Emmanuel, who had asked them to lay down their arms for amnesty, rehabilitation and re-integration.

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Emmanuel had during his visit to the area a week ago, donated relief materials to thousands of community dwellers in both Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun LGAs displaced by the prolong security crisis caused by cultists.

It was learnt that with the crisis unabated even in the face of sustained interventions by security forces, Ogbeche said religious organisations have been drafted in for spiritual solution.

“As I am talking to you now, we are praying right now at the Utu Etim Ekpo Local Government Secretariat for solution to these crises,” he said

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Why Akpabio’s Defection may Create Division in APC




Why Akpabio’s Defection may Create Division in APC

Sen. Godswill Akpabio meets President Buhari in London.

Sen. Godswill Akpabio meets President Buhari in London ahead of his defection

Idongesit Ashameri, Uyo

While some social media members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been jubilating and treating themselves to wild parties in celebration of the final confirmation of Senator Godswill Akpabio’s defection from the PDP, the jubilation does not appear to go deep.

Many foundation members of the party in the state are said to be worried about losing their stakes to Akpabio who is feared to be a lion wherever he goes, while others simply see the defection as a scheme to escape justice and the long arm of the EFCC.

The remark by the immediate past Publicity Secretary of the APC in Akwa Ibom State and Director, Air Worthiness of the Nigerian Aviation, Engr Ita Awak; “I know as a truth that nobody can politically negotiate him/herself out of reach of retributive justice” best explains what is thought to have chased Akpabio out of PDP.

Apart from Ita Awak, other APC faithful who suspect Akpabio’s defection to be on self defense are rather threatened than jubilate. Mr Thomas Tomas, an ardent APC member from the days of ACN on his Facebook page wrote;

“And Lilliputians tiptoed with drums Creating hallelujah for a demon This hooded generation

Clapping instead of picking up pelts Against those monsters that chased them once out of their houses The son of Thomas can’t clap
He has no waist to dance such ekómbi But as for songs, he’ll sing Against the host of demons Whose intention is to enslave us!”

The rumour on the plans by the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Senate Minority Leader, Sen Godswill Akpabio had been crawling on the political floor of the state, even as Akpabio and his media handlers had found no reason to refute such rumour.

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The last APC rally in Ikot Ekpene was rumoured to have been organized to formerly receive Sen Akpabio into the APC, but the defections of some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress at the National Assembly, and the then planned defection by the Senate President, stalled his speed.

But as one whose ambition, according to Samuel Ajayi on his Facebook post of August 4, 2018, was pushed by a high class political blackmail, Akpabio had no choice than to jump into a waiting ship to avoid humiliation.

Ayaji in his article tagged; Akpabio: The Inside Story of A Dirty and Ruthless Political Blackmail, said;

“Many have been wondering why former Akwa Ibom State governor and Majority Leader-in-waiting, Godswill Akpabio, would want to decamp to the APC. Well the inside story depicts the immorality of the ruling party and the unclean nature of our immediate past. Here is the story: EFCC traced a whooping amount of money (I will keep the figure for now) to Akpabio. In fact, my source said it was his personal account”.

“Instead of inviting Akpabio for questioning, EFCC took the information to APC leadership which clearly showed the political bias of the agency. EFCC (speaking for APC) gave Akpabio two options: decamp APC (alongside with at least a governor from the South-South) and you WALK, stay in PDP, become Majority Leader and you are arrested, harassed and won’t have time to even sit in the Senate till next year”.

“Akpabio begged that it would be political suicidal for him to decamp and given that everyone is leaving APC, what would he give as reason for going the opposite direction and leaving a party whose positive fortunes are on the rise? Akpabio now gave his own options: Let me stay in PDP while I work for you to get 25% from Akwa Ibom in 2019!”

“That’s the point they are now. This is only weapon APC has left: go after PDP governors who are in Senate using EFCC. Harass them and prevent them from decamping or financing the party. Buhari is fighting corruption. Only in the minds of his demented and lost sheep”.

Many who were in Akwa Ibom State and had followed the white elephant projects initiated by the Akpabio’s administration, many of which are yet to see the light of the day due to the unreconcilable billions already pumped into them, would have expected Akpabio to marry the APC or perish.

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Apart from his entangled past, the former governor who had constantly branded himself a great teacher may also have been dissatisfied with his ‘students’ decision to flush his political hands to engage more technocrats in his executive council.

This according to a PDP stakeholder who preferred anonymity may have left Akpabio with the feeling of political barrenness as he thought himself not to have had as many insiders to keep him abreast as he would have preferred.

“But I don’t think Akpabio would be very fair to reason this way, because one of his brothers is a commissioner, and many of those he nominated are still serving. I strongly suspect Akpabio wanted more money from Udom, have you not heard the new song he has been singing at political rallies, that ‘you should eat and remain for your brother so that he wouldn’t die of hunger’?

“Akpabio should rather be grateful to Udom Emmanuel, a financial expert who came into power, saw the extent of past theft and waste of the people’s resources, but was rather trying to make things work instead of betraying him. Same Akpabio betrayed, humiliated and impoverished former Governor Attah who made him”.

He recalled the statement by the former Finance Minister, Nkozi Okonjo Iwela, that the so-called uncommon transformation of the Akpabio’s administration was just one percent of the huge allocation enjoyed by the state during Akpabio’s eight years in office.

Special Assistant on Prosecution to President Buhari, Okoi Obono-Obla, had confirmed Akpabio’s defection on his Facebook, Saturday night, that Mr Akpabio will be received into APC on Thursday by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and other top leaders of the party at a rally in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state.

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Mr. Obono-Obla also posted on the social media site a photo of Mr Akpabio with an APC leader, Bola Tinubu.

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