The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, has vowed to lead the All Progressives Congress (APC) to break into Godswill Akpabio International Stadium for the flag-off of the party’s South-South campaign in the state.
This is following the refusal of the Akwa Ibom State government to approve the stadium for President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the state on Friday.
Speaking on Monday at a press conference in Uyo, Enang said the APC would continue on the path of diplomacy to get government’s approval to use the facility.
He however warned that if the negotiations fail, the party would be forced to break into the stadium.
He faulted explanations by the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Monday Uko, that the stadium’s pitch was being preserved for the state team, Akwa United, to play their home games as the National Professional Football League (NPFL) kicks-off on January 13.
The government also noted that the stadium managers, Julius Berger, currently on vacation in Germany had locked the stadium and would resume on January 7, 2019, but approved the use of a smaller facility, Uyo Township stadium.
The SSA said the state government’s action was pre-meditated and political, adding that “the governorship primary that Udom was declared the winner in 2014, was done in that same stadium”.
He also argued that Senator Bassey Akpan, representing Akwa Ibom North East, did his empowerment and constituency briefing in the same stadium.
He explained that the choice of Akwa Ibom for the South-South campaign flag-off is necessary due to widespread acceptability of the party in the South-South states.
“We will continue to use diplomacy for the request, but if the diplomacy fails, we will still use the stadium. When higher immunity meets the state immunity, it would succumb. We will not allow Udom to blackmail Akwa Ibom.
“Udom should know that it was his predecessor Godswill Akpabio that built the stadium with funds allocated to the state by the Federal Government led by President Buhari and denying Akwa Ibom people the use of that facility is a collective insult on the people of the state,” he said.
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