By Tony Nyong
UYOâ€”Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State thrice apologised to his predecessor, Obong Victor, yesterday in the latterâ€™s country home and sought his blessings before the reconciliatory committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that visited the state to resolve the face-off between both personalities.
At about 5.55pm, Akpabio, who was handed the microphone by a member of the 15-member reconciliation committee, headed by Major Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd), simply echoed:Â â€œYour Excellency, the former governor, Obong Victor Attah, I want to please apologise to you for what I have done and what I have failed to do and, on behalf of the entire party, plead for your forgiveness.â€
Addressing the chairman of the reconciliation committee, Governor Akpabio said he accepted the verdict of the reconciliatory committee and promised to make amends, after apologising to Obong Attah.State Chairman of the PDP,Â Mr. Uwem Ita Etuk, pleading with the former governor whileÂ reciting the Lordâ€™s prayer, saying â€œforgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against usâ€ to get the former governorâ€™s nod to remain the party chairman at the state level after the long battle to kick him out .
The high point of the melodrama came when the 23 members of the state executives of the party knelt down for close to 13 minutes, asking for Obong Attahâ€™s forgiveness, and refused to stand up until the former governor directed them to do so.
Responding, Obong AttahÂ said he did not believe in lip-service and the paying of homage after a grievous insult, adding that the state chairman had no powers to announce the suspension of a man of his pedigree when the party did not give him such powers.
He said the National Executive Committee of the party would look into the case at appropriate time Attah said the offence for which he was purportedly suspended was that he was not attending meetings of the party when, in fact, he had never been invited to any of such meetings and wondered why such a decision was taken against him.
The governor of Gombe State, a member of the reconciliation committee,pleaded with the former governor to accept the position of the reconciliation committee in the interest of the party.Chairman of the Reconciliation Committee, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd), blamedÂ the state executives for attempting to drag the entire party into public odium by trying to ridicule a member of the Board of Trustees of the party.