Speak less, listen more, wield your gravel with caution – Ex-Minister to Akpabio

The former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Nduese Essien has advised the Senate president, Godswill Akpabio to be cautious of his utterances, listen to his colleagues more and monitor the national mood before wielding the gavel.

In an open letter to Akpabio on Monday, the former Minister urged him to borrow a leaf from the roles of previous National Assemblies, particularly those between 1999 and 2007 in nation-building and holding the executive accountable and not to be tied to the apron strings of the executive.

He, however, regretted that the Senate and House of Representatives between 2019 and 2023 have fallen short in fulfilling their constitutional duties.

Essien noted that the National Assembly, by failing to effectively check the executive and allowing many illegalities to go unchecked, have contributed to the hardships facing the nation today.

He said, “As you lead the National Assembly, I urge you to heed the lessons of history and prioritize the interests of the people above all else. Uphold the principles of transparency, accountability, and justice, and ensure that the legislature functions as a true bastion of democracy.

“To accomplish the foregoing, you must speak less, listen to your colleagues more, and monitor the national mood before wielding the gavel. By doing so, you will lead the National Assembly in collaborating with the Executive and the Judiciary to create a better future for our dear country.”

Chief Essien also blasted Akpabio for making unverifiable claims of allocating N30 billion to each governor of the federation through the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, to mitigate inflation and food prices in their states which the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde faulted.

He noted that the deafening silence from the APC governors in the country on the issue was an indication that Akpabio’s statement was not factual.

“I urge you to stop making hasty and unfounded claims that could inflame tensions or damage the government and the institution you represent. It is important to apply caution when we speak as leaders.”

The former Minister also expressed dismay over Akpabio’s declaration during the 36th Anniversary Thanksgiving service of the state creation that all local government areas in the state are oil producing and there should be no distinction among them in terms of sharing resources or benefits.

He wondered why Akpabio throughout his eight years as governor of Akwa Ibom State refused to acknowledge that or to establish the Oil Minerals Producing Areas Commission in the state despite demand and pressure from the people.

He also advised the Senate president not to whip up sentiments from Oron People ahead of the 2027 governorship elections in the state reminding him that Oron people are very smart and politically savvy and would not be swerved by sweet-coated words.

Essien further advised Akpabio to concentrate on national politics and not try to influence Governor Umo Eno in making unpopular decisions such as refusing to implement the law establishing the authentic political map of the state and compelling Exxon Mobil to locate its office in Oron and not Eket.

According to him, “Oron is populated by intelligent and politically savvy people. The 2027 Akwa Ibom governorship election will be more complex than the “Warsaw War” of 2019, which you lost.

“I, therefore, advise you to apply a little caution; concentrate more on national politics to assist in rescuing the nation from its self-imposed predicaments.”

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