(With report by Haruna Salami)
UPDATED: There was drama in the Senate Tuesday as Senator Smart Adeyemi reacted to the claims by Senator Eyinnanya Abaribe from Abia State. Abaribe had fired pot shot at Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
In his blistering reaction, Adeyemi, defended the progress by Kogi State governor and handed down the clincher when he said Abia state has always been governed by “drunkards.”
Following, Adeyemi’s outburst and name-calling of the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, Abia State Government has declared that Kogi lawmaker needed urgent psychiatric treatment.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, “the lawmaker must be suffering from mental illnesses for making inflammatory statement unbecoming of the office, he occupies”.
Part of the statement reads: “While the Senate was debating a motion on how to protect schools across the country, Senator Adeyemi in his contribution stated that his State Governor had awarded contracts for the renovation of schools.
“That Abia is governed by drunkards. He then went ahead to say that the Governor of Abia State is a “champagne drinking Governor”.
“Our initial response was to ignore the story because it is difficult to believe that a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will reduce both himself and the institution of the Senate to such gutter-level, but having confirmed that indeed, the Senator made such comments, a response has become imperative.
“Our view is that the Senator is either suffering from a protracted case of mental illness or is battling with occasional fits of schizophrenia, which manifests in making careless, dishonorable, unrelated, and incoherent statements.
“This conclusion becomes irresistible judging from the total disconnect between the matter being discussed by the Senate and the comments made by the senator as they affect the governor.
“If Senator Adeyemi was of sound mind, he should have known that when it comes to education, Abia is miles ahead of his home state of Kogi.
“Indeed, not just in education but in every single area of development.
“If Senator Adeyemi had his faculties intact, he should have known that under the watch of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State has maintained the first position in WAEC Examinations in the entire country for five years now.
“Kogi has not come close to the first 20. Never!
“Ever since Dr. Ikpeazu became Governor in Abia State, there hasn’t been one single case of an attack on any school anywhere in Abia State.
“Senator Smart Adeyemi is noncompos mentis. If not, he would have known that while his state is still awarding contracts for the renovation of schools, Abia had long completed more than 500 classroom projects scattered across schools in Abia state, and still counting.
“It is obvious that Senator Adeyemi is battling with acute dementia and has lost every one of his instincts as a journalist.
“If not, he would have known that just last week, the National Bureau of Statistics adjudged Abia state as No. 3 on the list of states that attracted foreign direct investments, with only Lagos and Abuja ahead of Abia state in the entire country.
“It takes much more than drinking champagne to guide a state from zero foreign investments to No. 3 in the country.
“Kogi state featured prominently on the list of states that attracted zero investments. It is only a state that is peaceful and secure that can attract such cross-border investments.
“Some weeks ago, the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) branded Kogi state unsafe for their consistent lip service to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Senator Adeyemi was never heard to have either responded to that statement by the NCDC or raise it on the floor of the Senate.
“Yet, he has the effrontery, or rather, the buffoonery, to abuse a governor whose state has maintained one of the lowest COVID-19 fatality rates in the country through proactive measures to protect our people.
“Between a governor who has consistently denied the existence of Covid-19 and the one who has put in place measures to protect his people, one wonders who is the drunkard.
“Let us even interrogate the statements of Senator Adeyemi further. According to him, his comments against Governor Okezie Ikpeazu were in response to some comments allegedly made by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe against the Governor of Kogi State in a social media post.
“This response, without more, confirms that Senator Adeyemi is mentally unstable.
“If Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe made negative comments against the Governor of Kogi State, the proper approach was to respond to the Senator directly.
“Governor Okezie Ikpeazu cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be vicariously liable for the comments allegedly made by Senator Abaribe.
“Interestingly, Senator Abaribe denied ever making such comments against the Kogi State Governor.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu does not take alcoholic drinks and he is shocked at the schizophrenic outbursts of Senator Adeyemi whom he has never met nor had any dealings whatsoever officially nor privately.
“Governor Ikpeazu makes it abundantly clear to the Senator that save for the parliamentary privilege which he unfortunately enjoys, Senator Adeyemi would have been put to the strictest proof of his wild and senseless comments before a Court of Law.
“Governor Ikpeazu concludes by advising the Senator to quickly seek psychiatric help before his case becomes unmanageable”, the statement concluded.