The All Progressives Congress has demanded an apology from Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, over an alleged unprovoked attack on Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
The governing party equally demanded that the Senator representing Abia North, should retract defamatory statements made against the governor or be prepared to substantiate same in Court.
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘APC to PDP: Tell Abaribe to retract and apologise for his lies against Governor Bello, Senator Smart,’ signed by the acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja, on Monday.
Recall that Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi), had in an attempt to get at his fellow Senator from Abia State, Eyinnaya Abaribe, on the floor of the Senate, described the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu as a drunkard.
Adeyemi spoke against the backdrop of an alleged verbal attack on the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, by Abaribe.
The PDP joined the fray when in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, demanding that Adeyemi, withdrew his statements and tender apologies to the government and people of Abia State, for the unprovoked attack on their governor.
In response, Nabena in his statement, on Monday, said, “We are not surprised that the PDP will pedal falsehood in an attempt to conceal well known and documented truth.
“A careful perusal of the facts on the ground shows clearly that Senator Adeyemi’s response was initiated by Abaribe’s unbridled and unprovoked utterances on the floor of the Senate.
Nabena claimed that attempts were earlier made by Adeyemi and his colleagues from Kogi State, to make Abaribe withdraw his disparaging remarks about Yahaya Bello to no avail.
According to him, it was Abaribe’s failure to make amends that led to Adeyemi’s reaction on the Senate floor.
When contacted, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “We will not dignify an impostor with a response. This is the same man even his fellow party man, the Minister of Information, who is by far his senior, told the world is an impostor whose views are not representative of the APC.”
However, in his reaction to the controversy generated by Senator Adeyemi’s verbal attack on his person, the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, said, “I don’t drink (alcohol) and I don’t begrudge those who drink.”
Ikpeazu spoke at the public presentation of a book, “Made in Aba” written by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in Abuja, on Monday.
He said, “In other countries where there are fewer problems than ours, people discuss big issues of economic growth, big issues of infrastructural development.
I will end by quoting what Chinua Achebe said in his book: ‘If a mad man picks your cloth while you are in the bathroom and takes off, and you go after him naked, nobody will know who is mad.”
Also, speaking during the book presentation, foremost economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, said Abaribe’s book “speaks to the challenge of nation-building.”
On how to tackle insecurity, Utomi advised the private sector in the southern part of Nigeria to organise security networks to defend their economic interests.