By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Government has ordered the relocation of President Buhari’s campaign office located at No. 23 Willington Bassey Way in Uyo, the state capital, within seven days.
A statement to that effect issued and signed by the Chairman of Uyo Capital City Development Authority, Mr. Enoobong Uwah and made available to newsmen, also ordered that all insignia posted thereon the said premises should be removed within same period of notice.
The order came barely three days that the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Sen. Ita Enang commissioned the said building as the secretariat complex for the National Committee for Buhari Support Groups (NCBSG) in the state on Monday.
Titled, “Notice of security breach and order for relocation of campaign office from No. 23 Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo Akwa Ibom State” dated 20th April, 2018 with today April 27th as expiring date, alleged a security threat to the two-arm zone of government in the state.
It reads, “It has been brought to the notice of the Government of Akwa Ibom State that you have converted a quiet Hotel/Office building into a political campaign office after ignoring our several notices for formalization and revalidation of the building.
“Please be informed that the said building located at No.23 Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo situates about 200 meters from the two-arms zone housing the Governor’s Office, the Governor’s Lodge, the Deputy Governor’s Office and Lodge and the Judiciary Headquarters including the office of the state Chief Judge of the Akwa Ibom state Government.
“You are hereby notified that this serene and reserved one-lane access way into the seat of Government is ABSOLUTELY NOT SUITABLE for a political campaign office as it poses major security threat to the seat of government particularly the Executive and Judiciary Arms.
“You are by this notice, Orders to remove the said political campaign office and all insignia posted thereon from the premises of No. 23 Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo within seven (7), Days from the date of this notice being the 20th day of April 2018.”
Furtherance to the ejection order, the Uyo Capital City Development Authority (UCCDA) has within the week marked the building for demolition with an X bearing UCCDA/DC/RE/1082/5/4/18.
Yesterday evening, the state ministry of works embarked on the enumeration of some buildings located on that side of BCBSG secretariat including the complex.
Indication according to sources from the ministry showed that, marked buildings are to be demolished to give right-of-way as the state government planned to dualized Wellington Bassey Way which stretched from Plaza to Government House Main Gate.
The sources added that the enumeration exercise was to enhance payment of full compensations to owners of the marked buildings which affect a branch of Access bank Plc, churches, other offices and private residences.
No fewer than 47 buildings including state-of-the-arts buildings are affected by the exercise and will the cost the state government billions of naira as compensations.
Meanwhile, one of the chieftains of the All Progressive Congress in the state and former national chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Atuekong Don Etibiet has condemned the swift action by state government, describing it as capable of causing the breech of peace in the state.
Atuekong Etiebiet, who expressed shock over the development, however wondered how a building which hitherto had been used by successive political parties as their offices without any threat to security, has suddenly become a threat just as his party (APC) rented the place for office.
According to him, “The state government cannot do that and expect peace in the state. That building has been there for long and through successive governments since 1999 and used variously by both ruling opposition party faithful for their offices without any threat of demolition.
“I pray Governor Udom Emmanuel would reason to prevail on the Uyo Capital City Development Authority, not to allow such thing to happen under his watch,” he stated
Akwa Ibom State is a People Democratic Party (PDP) controlled state with 26 seat members house of assembly and the 31 local government area councils being PDP.