A protest has taken place on Monday in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom, over Governor Emmanuel Udom’s bid to build a new governor’s lodge in Lagos. Led by Lagos-based rights activist, Inibehe Effiong, the protesters marched through the city and were provided police escort.
The Uyo protest saw a handful of young people defying the heavy downpour to march from the Four Town Secondary School, Abak Road, to Wellington Bassey Way which is about four killometres.
The government has said the governor’s lodge it currently has in Lagos is old and needs a new one. But the protesters disagreed, saying it should be renovated instead of building a new one.
Some of inscriptions on the placards carried by the protesters read: “We are not myopic. N1.2 billion is not paltry”, “Our schools are dilapidated”, “Gov Udom, please what is your meaning of paltry”.
“Mr. Governor, on the 29 of May 2015, you took an oath of office as the governor of Akwa Ibom State. You did not take an oath of office as the governor of Lagos State,” the leader of the protest, Effiong said to the crowd.
“You took an oath of office to protect Akwa Ibom people, not Lagos State.
“Mr. Governor, you do not need another lodge in Lagos!”
It is yet unclear how much is the actual amount budgeted for the project. The opposition says it is about N9 billion, while the government officials give conflicting figures.
The Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh, said it was N2 billion, while Governor Emmanuel said there was no such provision for a new governor’s lodge in the state supplementary budget.
The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, said there was provision and that the amount was N1.2 billion. The governor later backtracked and admitted that a “paltry” N1.2 billion was budgeted for the lodge