Akpabio lashed for comments at Wigwe’s funeral 

Leah TwakiMarch 13, 20243 min

Akpabio’s retort at Herbert Wigwe’s funeral service did not sit well with many, drawing criticism on social media platforms. 

Senator Godswill Akpabio and Governor Fubara

In the aftermath of the funeral service for the late Access Bank CEO, Herbert Wigwe, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, found himself under intense scrutiny and criticism for his comments at the solemn occasion.

A viral video shared on X (Twitter) captured the Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayo Fubara, urging the political class to reflect on the purpose of their struggles and political activities. He questioned the essence of the power struggle, asking, “What is this struggle all about? You want to kill, you want to bury, what is it all about? Is it not enough today to ask ourselves why are we struggling.”

In a direct response, Senator Akpabio said, “I will answer you. We are not talking politics. In 2006, I wanted to become the deputy governor and the then-deputy governor invited me and said this office has no money, there is nothing in it. I don’t know why you still insist on removing me from here and taking over.

“So, a woman who went with me said Your Excellency, don’t wait for impeachment, just resign since there is nothing in it, I said Your Excellency, don’t punch the woman, she is telling the truth, there is nothing in it. That’s why I want it because you are too big for it.

“Your Excellency, Governor Fubara, if there is nothing in the struggle, don’t struggle,”

Akpabio’s retort did not sit well with many, drawing criticism on social media platforms.

Atedo Peterside, founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc on X, expressed his disapproval, stating, “For the record, I was among those who found the Senate President’s comments at the Wigwe Family Funeral in PH to be in poor taste. He began by lamenting that @PeterObi received greater applause than he (Akpabio) got & later told us to join him in consoling the widow who was lying in one of the 3 caskets in front of him. Jokes? Political jibes at a solemn Combined Funeral? Methinks that was self-centred & totally insensitive”

Another user, Tonye Barcanista, emphasized the contrasting messages between Fubara and Akpabio, noting, “Fubara’s message was clearly talking about the vanity of things we struggle, kill, and die for. While Senator Godswill Akpabio is talking politics.”

David, a social media user, labelled Akpabio’s statement as “despicable, distasteful, disgraceful, and disrespectful,” criticizing its insensitivity to the Wigwe family and the people of Rivers State.

This is not the first time Akpabio’s comments have sparked controversy. Earlier statements like “Let the poor breathe” during discussions on electricity price hikes and a reference to lawmakers receiving tokens for holidays had previously drawn public backlash.

In another gaffle, the Senate President made an unverified claim during plenary, suggesting that state governors received N30bn each from the Federation Account to offset inflation and high food prices. Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, promptly refuted this assertion.

OrderPaper recalls that Mr Wigwe, along with his wife Chizoba and son Chizi, died in a helicopter accident in the United States on 9 February.

Their bodies were laid to rest on Saturday at their ancestral home in Isiokpo, the headquarters of Ikwerre Local Government Area in Rivers State.

Leah Twaki

A Chemistry graduate, excels as a social media manager, digital journalist, and content creator with an interdisciplinary skills blend of science and communication.

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