Editor's note: The convener of Akwa Ibom Politburo For Good Governance, Bassey Amba Offong, writes on the rumours that Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state, might be on his way to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The report that His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state will soon join the APC is causing sleepless nights for Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The reason Akpabio is jittery is because he knows that such a move will confirm to the whole world that Governor Emmanuel had since taken over the political structures in Akwa Ibom state. Before Akpabio’s defection to the APC the general belief was that Akpabio was the political godfather who was totally in charge and that Emmanuel was a neophyte who had no roots nor structures.
But how has the mighty fallen? Akpabio left PDP to the APC with only 2 out of the 26 members of the House of Assembly and only 2 out of the 13 members of the National Assembly and only one member of the State Working Committee of the PDP. Political heavyweights in Akpabio’s Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District all abandoned Akpabio and declared their support for Udom Emmanuel.
These political gladiators include the Deputy Governor Mr. Moses Ekpo, Senator Emmanuel Ibokessien, Mr Emmanuel Enoidem, national legal adviser PDP, former deputy governor, Obong Chris Ekpenyong, Sir Udo Kerian Akpan, House Leader, Obong Ukata Akpan, Obong Bassey Inuaeyen, Obong Eno Akpan, Mr. Etido Inyang, Chief Micheal Afangide, Sir Emem Akpabio, Prince Ukpong Akpabio, Hon.Udo Ekpenyong, Dr. Iniobong Essien, Mr. Ufot Ebong and others too numerous to mention.
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Indeed Godswill Akpabio is an empty shell who has been unceremoniously rejected and abandoned by at least 97 per cent of his erstwhile political allies. Indeed the political demystification of Godswill Akpabio has run full circle.
It is against Akpabio’s current status of a political leper that his desperation to stop Governor Udom Emmanuel should be understood. Akpabio sponsored a false publication claiming that Chief Don Etiebet and other APC leaders were opposed to Governor Udom Emmanuel joining the APC. It is instructive that Chief Don Etiebet has denied issuing any such vexatious and childish statement. Governor Udom Emmanuel has the right to join the APC like every other Nigerian. If Godswill Akpabio whose defection has been of inconsequential value to the fortunes of the APC in Akwa Ibom state (as stated by Patrick Ekpotu, former deputy governor) can join the APC why not Udom Emmanuel a sitting governor?
With Akpabio’s defection confirming Governor Udom Emmanuel’s rising political strength and exposing Akpabio as an overhyped political paperweight living on past glory, APC at the state and national levels will be strengthened if Emmanuel decides to join. Governor Udom Emmanuel will be the real game changer as APC takes over Akwa Ibom state without firing a shot. It is a development well meaning APC members will happily welcome. Why is Senator Godswill Akpabio, the self acclaimed political godfather who has now been unmasked (and no longer has unlimited access to Akwa Ibom treasury) so afraid of Udom Emmanuel ‘s political shadow?
Governor Emmanuel enjoys the same constitutional right of freedom of association, which Akpabio has exercised by his joining the APC. It sounds so funny that the same man, who did not have any iota of consultations with leaders of the party in the state should invoke the influence of the leaders to frustrate the governor’s entry into the APC. I am sure no leader of the party at the national level will listen to such self-limiting effort.
Let Governor Emmanuel come to APC and let godfather and godson showcase who actually is on the ground politically. Akwa Ibom state will be better off with the entrance of Governor Emmanuel into the party. It will spell the end of PDP, which Akpabio and his cohorts have used to despoil our state.
Between Emmanuel and Akpabio who should APC debar from joining the party? Akpabio created all the problems in the state including the widespread and sponsored violence that characterized the 2015 governorship and presidential elections. Governor Udom Emmanuel is a child of circumstance and destiny who has refused to be Akpabio’s stooge by deciding to serve the people of Akwa Ibom State and the Almighty God. The days Baal in Akwa Ibom state are over.
Governor Udom Emmanuel, a thorough bred professional in politics is highly regarded by the presidency and the federal government. The time for him to join the APC family is now.
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