Abia state government has responded to former Akwa Ibom governor and Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene), Godswill Akpabio over a statement he made that kidnapping in return for money began in Abia state.
Akpabio was said to have made the claim on Wednesday while contributing to the debate on the Joint Committee Report on Police Affairs, National Security and Intelligence.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Godwin Adindu in a statement described Akpabio’s claim as “erroneous and misleading,” saying kidnapping “was born and nurtured in the Niger Delta”. He said:
This declaration by the Distinguished Senator is an attempt to re-write history whilst history remains constant. The most anti-human crime of kidnapping in all its ramifications, either for ransom or as a form of protest, remains a child of the Niger Delta. It was born and nurtured in the Niger Delta. Its roots go deep into the creeks.
Kidnapping in other places was an off-shoot of the failure of the management of the Amnesty Programme, when non-indigenes who were recruited to the barter trade of oil in exchange for arms and hard currency were excluded from the national amnesty programme.
The creek warlords had long started kidnapping for money before President Umaru Yar’Adua introduced the pacification and rehabilitation programme.