Prelate of the Methodist Church, Sunday Mbang, has warned Senator Godswill Akpabio against setting on fire the state he once ruled for eight years.
Addressing reporters yesterday in Uyo on behalf of religious leaders and fathers of faith in the state, Prelate Mbang condemned Senator Akpabio for his role in what he called the ‘militarisation’ of Akwa Ibom ahead of the March 9, 2019 elections.
The prelate Emeritus likened the conduct of the former governor to a prodigal son who should refrain from his uncompromising attitude and come back home and work with his people.
Prelate Mbang said although, as an individual, Senator Akpabio reserves the right to freely associate with whatever political party he deems fit for himself, his unguarded utterances have, however, ignited unhealthy rivalry among members of the different political parties in the state.
His words: “As if to confirm the belligerent disposition of Senator Akpabio and his party the APC, the invasion of Akwa Ibom Landscape by the military, shortly before and during the last Presidential and National Assembly Elections of February 28, 2019 sent a wrong signal to our people.
“There were reports of harassment, intimidation and physical assault of the electorate in parts of Akwa Ibom State, especially in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, where Senator Akpabio stood elections.
“As we speak, some of the political actors arrested by men of the Nigerian Police and the military are still held in custody without any charge brought against them in the court of law.
“As we prepare for the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections next Saturday, unfolding events of the last few days have given further reasons for concern, it has been observed that the Akwa Ibom landscape is gradually becoming militarized.
Troops have been moved into the state like never before, Men of the Nigerian Police have also become battle-ready.
“This militarization of our state would have been understandable and apt if we were in a war situation. For God sake, we are not at war, and therefore, we condemn this suspicious deployment of soldiers and men of other security forces to Akwa Ibom State.
“Commanders and other hierarchy of security forces should remember that professionalism is the hallmark of their callings, and they are never expected to turn their guns against a peaceful people, with whose monies the guns are bought”, Mbang admonished.