891 views | Akanimo Sampson | February 29, 2020
The seeming grave rights abuses of Godswill Akpabio when he dominated the affairs of Akwa Ibom State as governor from 2007 to 2015 are currently after him.
The United States is awash with a flurry petition accusing Akpabio the incumbent Niger Delta Affairs Minister of corruption, murder and human right abuses.
As a result, the minister’s visa application has been turned down because President Donald Trump administration owns petitions filed against him for a series of murders, corruption and right abuses when he was governor.
US embassy officials in Abuja told Akpabio that his visa was rejected because of his past deeds.
According to the officials, “the Trump administration has a complaint filed against Akpabio for series of murder, corruption and right abuses when he was governor.
The 2011 elections in Akwa Ibom recorded a lot of violence. Akpabio, who was seeking a second term at the time, won the governorship poll followed by John James Akpanudoedehe of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and Lawrence Esin of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC).
In December 2014, a civil society group, Nigeria Peace And Security Working Group, in a report on its findings on the 2011 election, said that “there was significant pre-election violence between the ACN and PDP, with purported assassination attempts against political aspirants and the killing of Akaninyene Ukpanah, a major PDP politician.
”There were several incidents of targeted as well as general violence surrounding the election. For example, early in March, a student rally following a government speech regarding empowering students for the elections resulted in a stampede which reportedly left several dead. It was also reported that a popular journalist had been killed for voicing anti-government sentiments while an ACN chieftain was reportedly murdered by assassins although no specific motive was reported.
“Following the elections, the ACN challenged the election of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio, claiming vote-rigging and fraud. Following those allegations, it was reported that an INEC member went into hiding following death threats amidst claims that he had played a role in ballot-rigging.
“Specifically in Uyo and Ikot-Ekpene, there was a significant amount of violent incidents, mainly between PDP and ACN supporters, including political thuggery and targeted killings.
“Ethnic Tension in 2011: the tension between the three main ethnic groups; the Ibibio, Annang and Oron, was heightened during the 2011 elections, mostly along party lines.
“Response: Police responded adequately to most violent incidents.
“Intra-party tension: PDP Governor Obong Godswill Akpabio fired his Secretary to the State Government (Umanah Okon Umanah) due to political differences. Now Umanah wants to run for governor and Akapbio is running for the state senate because he’s reached the end of his term limit as governor.
“Controversy on which senatorial district the governorship will be zoned to, whether Eket or Uyo,” the report stated.
Similarly, a bulletin by Funds For Peace on Akwa Ibom State on pattern and trends from 2012-2014, stated that “Violence in the state was elevated during the gubernatorial elections of 2011.“
It continued, “following the re-election of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio (People’s Democratic Party), however, the per capita level of violence dropped significantly. In the second half of 2013, violence trended upward, with incidents reported around the capital city of Uyo, the town of Ikot Ekpene, and the coastal Local Government Areas (LGAs) to the south, including issues of land conflict, political tensions, protests, and abductions.
“Overall, between 2012-2014, Akwa Ibom was the least violent state in the Niger Delta region as measured by reported incidents per capita. In early 2014, major incidents included the abduction of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Uyo by militants in May, and an inter-communal clash leading to the beheadings of three people in January.
“Incidents and fatalities decreased in the second half of 2014, representing a significant shift from the high levels of pre-election violence seen in 2011.”