The attention of the Senator Representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, Senator Godswill Akpabio and his wife has been drawn to a story making the rounds in the media purporting that his wife, Mrs Ekaette Unoma Godswill Akpabio caused a security breach at the airport during the visit of the wife of the President and First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Muhammadu Buhari to Akwa Ibom State on Friday, December 14, 2018.
The story obviously syndicated by the Akwa Ibom State Government House is a serious indictment to the practice of Journalism in Akwa Ibom State. Even though they carry different bylines, it is obviously from the same source, using the same language and quotations, evidently a hatchet job.
However, we want to state categorically that the story sold to different newspapers is a piece of fake news clearly marketed to malign the integrity of the former First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Mrs Ekaette Unoma Godswill Akpabio and surprisingly, even otherwise respected media houses fell for it.
Interestingly, the video of the airport scene to receive the visiting First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari is available and has been widely circulated online. Nowhere is Senator Akpabio or the wife, Unoma at the scene even from the doctored video circulated by Akwa Ibom State Government House, complete with an interview by Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel.
The truth is no one stopped the wife of the Governor from receiving the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Mrs Akpabio having been the First Lady in Akwa Ibom State for eight years (2007 to 2015) clearly understands the protocol that goes with such an event. She strongly believes in government and giving due respect to constituted authorities.
The unnecessary fracas at the airport was caused by the overzealousness of securitymen attached to Akwa Ibom State Government House who engaged in loud arguments with the Protocol and Security Officers from the State House, Abuja.
They had come with a premeditated notion that the chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who were also at the airport to receive Mrs Buhari, were going to prevent the wife of the Governor from getting close to the President’s wife. But it turned out to be a melodrama as no one prevented Mrs Emmanuel from receiving the First Lady.
However, with the benefit of hindsight we understand that the frustration of the Akwa Ibom State Government may have stemmed from the stout refusal of the State House Protocol Officers to include a trip to the Government House, Uyo in Mrs Buhari’s itinerary after an elaborate preparation had been made for her reception, including laying of red carpets.
Having failed in hijacking the First Lady, they found a comfortable scapegoat in Mrs Akpabio. It bears repeating that Senator Akpabio’s wife never caused any security breach at the airport. Purveyors of the fabricated story should desist from further dragging the name of an innocent woman in the mud, just to score cheap political points.
Special Assistant (Media) to
Senator Godswill Akpabio.
December 15, 2018.