By Rita Esegine
A coalition of society organizations; led by Civil International, have demanded an unreserved apology from Senator Smart Adeyemi for calling Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu a drunkard.
Adeyemi, a serving senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District had called Ikpeazu a drunkard while responding to issues of governance raised by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe in a purported video on social media to which the Senator representing Abia South had since denied knowledge of.
In a statement jointly signed by National Coordinator of the CSO, Emma Uzoro, the zonal Publicity Secretary, Ameh Ejeh and the coalition secretary, Abdulrazak Akala, the group also asked the Senate to discipline Adeyemi.
“Our attention has been drawn to the comments made by Senator Adeyemi recently during the Senate plenary, labelling the Governor of Abia State and others that run the affairs of the State at the moment at drunkards.
“Thus, he said: “In some states of Nigeria today, where you have highly intelligent people, highly educated people, highly enterprising people like Abia, they are governed by drunkards.
“The governor of Abia is a Champagne-drinking man. He has not worked for his people”. “Abia is governed by a man who is a drunkard.”
“It is difficult to believe that such utterances came from a supposed distinguished senator more especially during a plenary session when important issues concerning the state of affairs of the nation should be in the front burner.
It should be noted that the Senate was discussing a very important issue that has to do with the insecurity noticed everywhere in the country, more especially in the Nigerian schools. It was observed that Sen. Smart Adeyemi based his attack on the personality of the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu on the premise that Sen. Enyi Abaribe made a comment against the Governor of Kogi State, Yaya Bello in the social media. An allegation that Distinguished Senator Abaribe denied and refuted even at the floor of the Senate.
“Hence, since there was no time Senator Abaribe made such comment, one wonders what psychological state that Sen. Smart Adeyemi was at the moment he made the above libelous statements against the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. It should also be noted here that the matter been discussed at the Senate plenary was about the insecurity in the country and one continue to wonder how that relates to the personality of the Governor of Abia State.
“By so doing, Sen. Adeyemi reduced the plenary of the respected Senate to that of a beer parlour jokes like a jester entertaining in a dancing club or cinema house.
“We hereby call on Sen. Smart Adeyemi to as a matter of urgency apologize to Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu within seven days of this publication as failure to do so, we will be compelled as civil society groups to approach the court for a libel suit. His attack on Dr. Ikpeazu has shown that he is not worthy to be in the red chamber as a representative of the people.
“Lawmakers as representatives of the people must exhibit integrity in all their dealings and utterances especially during plenary when important issues concerning national interest and security is been discussed. Arbitrary, unguided, offensive words, unruly behaviours and unserious comments should attract strict sanctions and discipline. Code of ethics must be seen to be effective and practicable through enforcement and compliance. This is the only way to build public trust for the Senate and the entire legislature”, the statement stated.