…I don’t give credence to crackpots – Arc Ita Toyo Replies
A grassroots mobilizer and one of the stakeholders who followed keenly the 2015 struggle for Oro Nation to produce a Governor for Akwa Ibom State has brought to the fore a fresh twist in the debacle involving University Don, Professor Okon Eminue and Former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State, Arc Otu Ita Toyo.
The two personalities who hail from Oro nation have been engaging in accusations and counter accusations over the role each other played that may have thwarted the aspiration of Oro people to produce a governor for the State in 2015.
On her Twitter handle, Princess Imikan Attah noted that although she is not an indigene of Oro Nation, her connections gave her the privilege to be close to some key political actors in Oro Nation even as she was afforded the opportunity to attend some political meetings held by Oro Think Tank.
Attah said from what she witnessed, Arc Toyo who is popularly known as Total Chair was not interested in the entire Oro Governorship project.
She stated that some of the time when they gathered for such meetings, a call would be put through to the Arc Otu Ita Toyo who she noted would occasionally speak to them on speakerphone but will always showed what she described as noncommittal, nonchalant , disbelieving of the possibility, and downright pessimistic of the aspiration.
Attah recalled that Arc Toyo never, not once attended their meetings, even in instances where he was as nearby as in Akwa Ibom State.
She added “Total Chair maintains that his struggle for an Oro governor had been strategic and this informed his pursuit of the office of PDP National Vice Chairman; just 3 months into the Akpabio administration.
“Total Chair, in reply to Prof Eminue also says he had 2 reasons for not going along with Oron elders for meetings. One, he says, he does not “follow people around to all sorts of meetings”.
“Secondly he says, he was not invited. But what is abundantly clear to me now is that, by reason of close association with the former governor, Total Chair had evidently seen the futility of the proposition of a governor from Oro nation.”
Attah pointed out that having listened to Arc Toyo’s speakerphone conversations, she is about the best person to tell of what she called Arc Toyo’s marked disinterest in the entire project.
She said that time, she had viewed Arc Toyo as a man of little faith.
While absolving Arc Toyo of receiving a house gift from Former Governor Akpabio as a Greek gift, Attah said ” I must say though that I only read about the house gift from Akpabio to Total Chair, in the newspapers. And I declare that- Any unsolicited gift cannot be assumed to be a bribe.
“This applies even where that was the intention of the giver- the receiver never demanded for it. I can also corroborate Total Chair’s assertion on his supposed governorship bid. I used to be friendly with Total Chair’s PA, before we lost contact and he would certainly have told me if Total Chair had been chosen by the Oro elders as the Oro governorship candidate.
“Oro elders that I know and interact with cannot even unilaterally nominate a governorship candidate. The internal Oro tripod arrangement must be in agreement, with input from other stakeholders as well as the candidate; at the very least. For Total Chair to have accepted to be the Oro governorship candidate, then turn it down to throw his weight behind Umana is nothing short of preposterous.”
Attah insisted that it is absurd to think that Total Chair even contemplated being the governorship candidate after Chief Godswill Akpabio.
She added “Total Chair: You said you took Akpabio to COTR (another Oro group) twice before he was even sworn in as governor. When he became governor, you and the Oro people held 5 meetings with Akpabio before you stopped attending (7 meetings in all). Meaning, you recognized very early, the futility of the Oro governorship project.
“But then, by your own admission, the Oro tripartite groups “form a certain energy which gives direction to Oro”. As the eminent founder of Oro Think Tank (of which I was an ‘associate’!) why did you allow that energy to dissipate? Why did you not share your reservations with the others, until they had held as many as 26 meetings with the former governor, as has now been discovered? You saw it that “power was handed over to an Annang son who became smarter than all of us”, in your own words.
“Sir, you could have gathered all the groups to yourself and ask that the Oro governorship project be shelved, while the Oro nation then rally round an Ibibio candidate of choice. This should have been pressing upon you, bearing in mind that your tactic of being the PDP National Vice Chairman had borne no fruit, in actualising the next governor coming from Oro nation!”
Contacted, Arc Otu Ita Toyo noted that Princess Imikan Attah lacks the standing to earn what he described as credence from him on matters concerning Oro Governorship struggle.
He insisted that Attah has never been involved in Oro struggle hence she is just out to use his name to gain popularity.
Arc Toyo stated “I don’t give credence to people who just creep up from the woodworks to begin to make themselves popular over something they don’t know anything about.
“The important thing is what is her standing on the matter? What credibility does she have to comment on the matter? Is she from Oron? Even if she is from Oron, was she part of the struggle? Even if she was part of the struggle, who and who did she struggle with?
“Where did she get her story from? I don’t give credence to crackpots. I don’t even know a person like that exist and she is talking about me.”