All is not well with Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State and his Commissioner for Finance Mr. Albert Bassey Akpan over allegations bothering on blackmail and disloyalty.
Mr. Akpan has been accused of fueling the bitter relationship between Obong Victor Attah and his successor and financing local newspaper reports aimed at stoking and manipulating the disputes between the two leaders.
Sources hinted Pointblanknews.com that at a peace meeting last Christmas chaired by General Aliyu Gusau, former national Security Adviser, to reconcile Obong Attah and Akpabio, Attah narrated to stunned senior members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, how the finance commissioner, Mr. Akpan had informed him that Governor Akpabio and his Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Umana Okon Umana blocked the refund of the medical expenses for the late first lady of the state despite every effort by the ministry of finance to get the bills settled.
Obong Attah has painted a graphic picture of how the state commissioner for finance, actively stoked and manipulated the dispute between him and Governor Akpabio.
A visibly embarrassed Governor Akpabio who told his side of the story, said that upon receipt of the refund request of about N50 million, he had directed the commissioner for finance to handle it, who then recommended a refund of N40 million based on existing regulations regarding such requests.
Akpabio explained that after the refund was made, Attah wrote to complain that there was a shortfall between what was paid and the amount asked for.
The Governor, according to his narrative, again asked the commissioner for finance to write to Attah and explain the difference, and at that point, according to the story, Akpabio considered the matter closed, only to be confronted at the Presidency a year later on why he “had refused to refund the medical bills of the wife of the former governor.”
Akpabio, according to sources then directed his commissioner of finance to produce the letter he was instructed to write to Attah a year earlier. The commissioner could not produce the letter because he had not written it.
Our source said Mr Bassey Akpan, believed to be one of the commissioners in Akpabio’s inner circle, used Uyo-based local newspapers, named Global Concord and The Guide, to publish and circulate the false story that the governor had refused to pay the medical bills of the former first lady in spite of the advice of the finance commissioner.
What is not clear is the motivation for Mr Bassey Albert Akpan’s acts considered within Uyo as ac of “disloyalty and treachery.” But followers of Akwa Ibom politics believe that the Commissioner may be playing the 2015 game to be seen by the former Governor as a “loyal son.”
Sources hinted Pointblanknews.com that Mr. Akpan is eyeing the Uyo Government House in 2015 and would do whatever it takes to be in the good books of Attah whom he believe has the capability to help him win the nomination of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Up to now the commissioner for finance has not commented on or refuted Obong Attah’s bombshell revelation.