A former Minister of Petroleum Resources and member of the Peoples Democratic Board of Trustees, Chief Don Etiebet, on Friday described the warning issued by the Akwa Ibom State Executive Committee of the PDP to President Goodluck Jonathan Political Adviser, Ahmed Gulak, as a disrespect to the office of the President.
The state executive of the PDP had, during a meeting held two days ago, asked the Presidency to caution Gulak on the allegation that he was meddling in the politics of Akwa Ibom State.
The exco also berated Gulak for refusing not paying a courtesy visit to Governor Godswill Akpabio when the presidential adviser visited the state to inaugurate a political support group for Jonathan’s 2015 second term bid.
Gulak, the exco alleged did not carry Akpabio along in the inauguration of the group.
But Etiebet, in a statement in Abuja, said such action by Akpabio and his supporters was contemptuous of the person and office of the President because the governor had failed to officially lay the issue quietly before the President.
He said, “It is contemptuous to hear the SEC of our party passing such a damning and abusive resolution on the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, at a meeting while the governor was in attendance.
“One would have thought that with the closeness, support, love and respect, he should have reported the alleged intransigence of Gulak when he visited his state to the President.
“He should have tried to find out why Gulak was in his state without his knowledge and consent before he allowed the displeasure of the SEC to go public in a communiqué of the SEC’s meeting in which he was in attendance.
“The SEC cannot banish Gulak to Adamawa alone as he is the Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not to Adamawa State. That resolution smacks of absolute disrespect for the office of the President whose appointee Alhaji Gulak is.”
The former minister added, “May I ask the SEC whether the President is a delegate or a voter in the Senatorial District? I beg you, Mr President, this is deriding your office by the SEC of our party in my state. I apologise for their not well-thought-out action.
“May I say this could be instructive of the things to come in the state. If they can call on the President to do that, one can imagine the level of illegality, intimidation and harassment they may have in store for their opponents in the forth coming PDP primaries.”
Etiebet, however, berated the SEC meeting, stating that he refused to attend the meeting because “such meetings are held in PDP office and not in a government enclave.”
He said coming to the national level, the National Executive Committee of PDP had never been held in the Presidential Villa.
The BoT member dismissed the resolve by the party in Akwa Ibom State to close the contest for the governorship seat in the state in 2015 on account of zoning, stating that every eligible political office seeker in the state should exercise the freedom to participate in the coming general elections in the state.
Etiebet insisted that the idea of zoning of governorship seat in Akwa Ibom to Eket Senatorial district, according to plans by Akpabi,o must be nipped in the bud. Punch