The Abia State government has blasted Senator Smart Adeyemi for saying that the state is being governed by drunkards led Okezie Ikpeazu, the state governor, whom he described as a “champagne drinking man”.
The rebuttal was issued in a statement by Onyebuchi Ememanka, the Chief Press Secretary to Abia State governor, on Tuesday.
Adeyemi, the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, had during plenary on Tuesday said people in states like Abia are being governed by drunkards despite their level of intelligence, educational background and their entrepreneurial spirit.
The federal lawmaker was reacting to a social media post that had cast an aspersion on Yahaya Bello, the Kogi State Governor, purportedly linked to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who represents Abia South Senatorial District.
Adeyemi said: “Despite that some governors are doing their best, we are lucky to have a governor who has taken the issue of security as a serious priority.
“We are bordered by nine states but we had an experience of the unfortunate incidents that are happening in neighbouring states.
“Some governors are committed to the protection of their people. In my state, the governor awarded contracts for the renovations of schools and provides security services to them.
“In some states of Nigeria today, where we have highly intelligent people, highly educated people, very enterprising people, like Abia, they are governed by drunkards. The governor of Abia is a champagne drinking man.
“Abia people are impoverished more than ever before. Abia people are unfortunate.”
Reacting, Ememanka in his statement said Adeyemi lacked coherence, adding that he was not of sound mind.
The governor’s spokesperson said his principal “does not take alcoholic drinks and he is shocked” by the comment.
The statement read: “If Senator Adeyemi was of sound mind, he should have known that when it comes to education, Abia is miles ahead of his home state of Kogi. Indeed, not just in education but in every single area of development.
“Under the watch of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State has maintained first position in WAEC Examinations in the entire country for five years now. Kogi has not come close to the first 20. Never!
“Just last week, the National Bureau of Statistics adjudged Abia state as No. 3 on the list of States that attracted foreign direct investments, with only Lagos and Abuja ahead of Abia state in the entire country.
“It takes much more than drinking champagne to guide a state from zero foreign investments to No. 3 in the country. Kogi state featured prominently on the list of states that attracted zero investments. It is only a state that is peaceful and secure that has the capacity to attract such cross border investments.”
Governor Ikpeazu’s spokesperson also questioned why Adeyemi did not make any notable intervention when the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) labelled Kogi State as a high-risk state for COVID-19.
He also queried which of Governor Ikpeazu or Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has done a better job in curbing the spread of the virus in their states.
The statement read: “Senator Adeyemi was never heard to have either responded to that statement by the NCDC or raise it on the floor of the Senate.
“Yet, he has the effrontery to abuse a governor whose state has maintained one of the lowest COVID-19 fatality rates in the country through proactive measures to protect our people.
“Between a governor who has consistently denied the existence of COVID and the one who has put in place measures to protect his people, one wonders who is the drunkard.”