Scrutinising Akpabio’s Political Card, By Aniekan Ukpong
How does Akpabio, failing in his election become a threat to the unity of the State? How is Mr. Ememobong, by simply doing his work as PDP publicity secretary, a threat to Akpabio and the Annang nation?
I am constrained to respond to an epistle by one Sampson Sampson which sought to denigrate the person and office of Mr. Ini Ememobong, the publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State.
From the tone and language of the publication, I strongly suspect that the author is Chief Godswill Akpabio or one of his henchmen.
For Akpabio or his proxy to lack the courage to own up to the publication speaks volumes about his character.
After his defeat at the polls by Engr. Christopher Ekpenyong, the outgoing Senator Godswill Akpabio has been lamenting and blaming everybody but himself. He has attributed his defeat at the polls to a conspiracy by some leaders of his party.
He has also blamed the resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, and made several other allegations.
Mr. Sampson (read Senator Akpabio) claimed that Mr. Ememobong came to limelight through Akpabio’s (his) benevolence.
Senator Akpabio and his associates have never stopped boasting that they made everybody in Akwa Ibom State.
Akpabio ceaselessly seeks glory and adulation. He appears to want to compete with the Almighty God for glory, adulation, and worship. Anybody who had the honour and privilege to serve the State when Akpabio was governor is always reminded that he came from the gutters.
Akpabio is not only loud and garrulous, he seems to be also forever seeking attention and validation because of insecurity.
Are other governors like Babatunde Fashola, the former governor of Lagos State, who served at the same time with Akpabio, boasting about their achievements, and denigrating those who served in their administrations?
Indeed, the bottom line is that Akpabio lacks class.
We have had other former governors in the state. Has anybody ever heard former governor Victor Attah boast about bringing anybody to the limelight just because the person served the State during his tenure? Has Attah ever boasted that he brought Godswill Akpabio and others who served under him from obscurity to limelight? Attah will never go so low because he is God-fearing and has class and proper upbringing.
As the then governor of Akwa Ibom State, Attah treated all those who served the State under him with dignity and respect and always thanked them for their contributions to the development of the State.
Out of office, Attah remains a role model and father figure who is loved, respected and honoured by all who served the State under him.
Can the same be said of Godswill Akpabio? Of course, no!
Enduring respect and honour is earned by those who are deserving. But not with Akpabio who erroneously thought respect could be bought.
He must have learnt by now that the office of the governor is not a permanent thing for the occupier of the office and that you will not be respected just because you once were a governor who shared state resources to all and sundry to buy respect. People will respect you for your integrity, comportment, honour, and character.
Godswill Akpabio, while he was governor, consistently disrespected and avoided Attah.
It is shocking that Akpabio could accuse Ememobong of disrespect because the Akwa Ibom State publicity secretary of the PDP is only 35 years old.
What has age got to do with someone performing the duties of his office? Is this not the same Godswill Akpabio who (with his wife) in 2014 insulted Buhari (a former head of state and a man old enough to be his father)? Did Akpabio not dismiss Buhari as an illiterate and a senile old man? If Akpabio has forgotten or is prepared to lie on this, I can send him clips of the videos now trending on YouTube.
Out of desperation, Akpabio is now trying to play the ethnic card. This is a cheap act of desperation. Akpabio wanted to be the only cock in Annang land and even Akwa Ibom.
He should tell the world what he did to prominent Annang leaders (many of whom were his benefactors) like Atuekong Don Etiebet (lucky to be alive), the late Ime Umana, late Albert Ukpana, late Okon Uwah, and late Chief Fidelis Etim.
Did Akpabio help bright upcoming Annang politicians like Honourable Uwem Udoma, Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, and Hon. Pat Ineme, etc?
The people of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district have spoken. They rejected Akpabio because of his boastfulness and unattractive character.
Senator Godswill Akpabio is not indispensable.
How does Akpabio, failing in his election become a threat to the unity of the State? How is Mr. Ememobong, by simply doing his work as PDP publicity secretary, a threat to Akpabio and the Annang nation? Is Akpabio more Annang than Christopher Ekpenyong, the man who defeated him, or the former senator, Ibok Essien, or even his (Akpabio’s) cousin, Prince Ukpong Akpabio – a serving commissioner in Udom Emmanuel’s administration?
As governor then, Akpabio’s performance was grossly overrated against the background of the huge revenue that accrued to Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015.
His performance as a Senator and a minority leader similarly has no record of outstanding leadership.
How many bills of national consequence or significance did Akpabio sponsor in the Senate? His colleagues and constituents (including Emmanuel Enoidem) see Akpabio as a sycophant who cannot stand the heat and provide leadership when courage is required.
If Obong Attah were such a coward, how could he have led other distinguished Akwa Ibom sons and leaders like Senator Udo Udoma and Senator Ibok Essien to win the 13 per cent derivation battle for Akwa Ibom?
The difference is that these distinguished leaders whose achievements changed the economic fortunes of Akwa Ibom have carried themselves with humility, decorum, and dignity.
Attah has not been boasting about his historic and monumental achievement of winning the 13 per cent derivation battle. After Attah won the battle, the Akpabio regime came in to squander and waste the resources.
The truth is that Akpabio was promoted beyond his capacity and competence.
Will anybody in good conscience claim that Akpabio has created more impact in the Senate than a patriot like Senator Ibok Essien who served as deputy chief whip? All those who are shedding crocodile tears because Akpabio lost an election should realise that Akwa Ibom State will thrive with or without Akpabio. There are still many leaders in the mould of Attah, Udoma, and Ibok Essien who abound in Akwa Ibom State.
Nobody should write off the senator-elect for Akwa Ibom North West, Engineer. Christopher Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor and foundation member of the PDP, who cut his business and political teeth at a time Akpabio was an unknown struggler in Lagos.
Ekpenyong will do better than Akpabio, a man who lacks real depth and substance and covers his weaknesses by being loud and lousy.
Aniekan Ukpong Ukpong writes from Abak, Akwa Ibom State.