Nigeria: Adeyemi, Abaribe Under Fire Over Attack On Governors

Two senators, Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi) and Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia), have being subjected to tongue lashing over their verbal attacks on Abia and Kogi states governors.

Senator Adeyemi had, while contributing to a motion on Safe School Initiative in Nigeria, at the Senate last week, said Abia State was governed by "drunkards," ostensibly referring to Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

The lawmaker was apparently responding to a social media post linked to Senator Abaribe, criticising the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

However, Abaribe said he was surprised that the Kogi senator was making reference to a statement he never made.

Reacting, Governor Ikpeazu, yesterday, took a swipe at Senator Adeyemi who had described him as a "champagne drinking man".

Speaking at the official presentation of Abaribe's autobiography 'Made in Aba' in Abuja on Monday, the Abia governor said he would "not run after Senator Adeyemi naked in public".

Ikpeazu said: "I don't drink (alcohol) and I don't begrudge those who drink.

"In other countries where there are less problems than ours, people discuss big issues of economic growth, big issue of infrastructural development. They don't talk about what people do and what people do not do.

"For us leaders, we ought to be mentors to the young ones. What you say and how you carry yourself, things you say and the time you say them speak a lot about how serious you are as a leader. And that should be the size of my response."

Also yesterday, the Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA) expressed its displeasure over what it described as "abuse of Senate and insensitive disposition" of Senator Adeyemi.

In a statement signed by the Speaker and Clerk of AYA, Mohammed Danlami Salihu and Desmond Minakaro, AYA said the Safe Schools Initiative which is to help protect hundreds of schools predominantly in Northern Nigeria, was launched in response to the growing number of attacks on the right to education in the country, especially citing instances of the Chibok schoolgirls' abduction in April 2014.

Also yesterday, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) demanded a public apology from Abaribe for allegedly criticising Governor Bello.

APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, was reacting to a statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asking Senator Adeyemi to retract his comment and apologise to Governor Ikpeazu.

The party said it is on record through a video in circulation that Senator Abaribe made some false verbal attacks discrediting Governor Bello before Senator Adeyemi replied him.

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