In a statement signed by Williams Ibebunjo, the group said that Senator Akpabio stood facts on their head by the assertion made on the floor of the Senate, stressing that the first case of kidnapping for ransome was carried out by MEND in January 2006.
According to the group, “newspaper reports a few days ago on Akpabio’s opinion that kidnapping started in Abia made some people wince and doubt if they heard well.
“This statement was made on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 on the floor of the Senate. Senator Akpabio is senate minority leader and was the governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2007 to 2015, a neighboring state to Abia. By January 2006 when MEND owned up to the first kidnapping heist, Akpabio had relocated from Lagos to his home state for his guber ambition which paid off.”
The group said that Akpabio, as a lawyer, is expected to know the sanctity of facts, and as such should not “dress Abia state in borrowed robes,” insisting that the prize for the first case of kidnapping should rather go to MEND, a Niger Delta group.
“For the avoidance of doubt, MEND-Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta- pulled off the first job when they abducted four oil expatriates and claimed responsibility in January 2006. We know too that money changed hands in the Delta area before securing their release. Kidnapping in Nigeria originated in the Delta,” they pointed out, noting that Senator Akpabio has immense resources and is provided with aides by the National Assembly to carry out researches for their principals.
In view of these, the group said that Akpabio’s statement “makes us think that there may be a score to settle or a political gain to be made.”