A serving Minister in the Federal Executive Council, FEC, Godswill Akpabio, has come under knocks from the Eket people, in Akwa Ibom State, for flouting safety measures and ignoring the generally propagated anti-coronavirus spread precautionary measures, by mobilising thousands of Allies and supporters to a funeral event, over the weekend.
The Concerned Eket Initiative, CEI, have frowned at the Akwa Ibom State APC Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole, and other APC Chieftains, for the largely unprotected exposure of Eket people to the risk of Coronavirus, despite widespread Media warnings on large gatherings and social distancing.
The event was the funeral ceremony of late Elder Okon Tommy Udo, the father inlaw of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, which held in Eket, on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
In a statement released by the Eket Concerned Initiative, through its National President, Obong Godwin Akpadiaha, and Secretary, Prince Edet Edoho, it decried the total disregard for the safety of its indigenes, as Akpabio and other APC Leaders flouted all manners of safety precautions, including social distancing and the use of sanitizers, and use of running tap water throughout the event, which had over 5,000 people in attendance.
“Akpabio and his VIP guests were seen dancing and embracing and freely exchanging banters with other people that got in contact with them.
“Some videos from the event, posted by his Aides and supporters, clearly showed that only God can save the land, if any of these Leaders is later discovered to have the dreaded coronavirus, Covid-19. We saw Adams Oshiomole and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, who also likely had series of contacts with the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, freely moved about shaking hands and hugging people, without reservation.
“It is sad that people who ought to know, threw caution to the wind and exposed our people to such needless dangers”, the statement read.
They expressed dissatisfaction on the exposure of Eket people to the virus, describing it as a deliberate act to jeopardise the lives of their people.
“There has been a series of events in Eket and its environs, including the burial of the father of the State’s Number One citizen, and this our Minister never deemed it important to attend
“He has not even visited Eket, the country’s oil producing capital, since his appointment as Minister, only to surface at a time social distancing had been promulgated across the country.
“We have been hopeful that this virus will not penetrate Akwa Ibom State, but is that enough for someone we feel is exposed enough about this virus, to escort Oshiomole who has a confirmed case in his State, and has possibly had contacts with another victim and Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari?
“Our people are generally known to be hospitable and accommodating to visitors, but that is not enough to get them exposed to such high risk with the growing pandemic spread of the virus across other parts of the country.”
“Why could the burial not wait? Would these APC Leaders have done this in Lagos, Abuja, Rivers, or any other State, or is it because the current Governor of Akwa Ibom State has chosen to tow the path of peace and tolerance?”, they queried.