By Evelyn Affia
Some individuals within the corridors of power in Akwa Ibom State have perfected plans to cause confusion during the celebration marking Nigeria’s 56th Independence anniversary.
The plan, which is being hatched by some persons within the Governor Udom administration, would involve the use of cultists, parading as students and youth leaders.
Our very reliable sources within the administration say that the plan was aimed at causing trouble because the government was not carrying them along. He said that the youths, most of them cultists are being prodded on to cause confusion and blame it on the Special Assistant to the Governor on Student Matters, Comrade Otobong Akpan.
At the center of the fracas is the alleged non-release of money to students by the Governor’s aide.
Our source, however, said that the allegation was just the antics of the sponsors of the cultists, who stormed the gates of the government house on the anniversary day of the creation of Akwa Ibom State, where cultists sponsored by powerful individuals within government, protested for allegedly not given money by the state governor to students by SA on students Matters.
They have therefore, according to our sources, decided to stage a showdown on October 1st to drive home their resolve to discredit the SA.
It could be recalled that on Friday, 23 September at about 4:30pm those sponsored cultists had a protest at the Government House gate alleging that the SA to Governnor on Student matters, Comrade Otobong Akpan made away with monies meant for them, which they referred to as “Family Money”.
While the protest lasted, the real Akwa Ibom State Student also known as Organised Students Movement, were said to have been at the stadium with their leaders and other Union Presidents who were officially invited to grace the occasion.
A student leader who spoke to us on the development said that the government must take proactive steps to ensure that peace reigns during the Independence Day celebrations. He said that genuine student leaders would continue to identify with the government, and called on the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel to call some of his aides to order on the issue of government and students relationship in the state.
“It is most disheartening and shameful that cultists can now openly come out masquerading as students to hold the state government at ransom. We the genuine students leaders will never allow this to happen.
“The cultists and their sponsors are just embarrassing the government and ridiculing students unionism in the state. It shouldn’t be like that. As leaders of tomorrow, we should be mindful of what impression we leave in the minds if the people and the government of the day.
“We must show that we are mature students and that is the only way we can gain from government. We are strongly behind the government of Udom Emmanuel and we trust that his choice of Comrade Otobong Akpan as Special Assistant on Student Matters is a step in the right direction”, student leader said, while craving anonymity.
Efforts to reach the SA to the governor on Students Matters were not successful as all calls and text messages sent to her mobile lines were not returned.