The political intentions of Senator Godswill Akpabio, former chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, are raising apprehension everywhere.
By Chioma Onuegbu
The Akwa Ibom political landscape has lately been enlivened by reports of the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The reports were further stoked by the senator’s equivocations about the political party he would use to contest the next general election during the joint endorsement held for him and the governor and his one time protégée, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
At that rally penultimate Monday, Akpabio without provocation had said that he could win election on any political party he chooses to use for seeking re-election. Why he said that has remained a mystery to many.
The matter has not been helped by the failure of the senator and his media handlers to explain. Even more, since a national newspaper reported the defection plan last Monday, Akpabio’s media handlers have remained incommunicado.
The insinuation has not been helped by claims by some APC stakeholders that the senator has been approaching them for peace after many of them left the PDP to APC.
Defecting and going to another political party would certainly bring the governor out of his well known path and legacy.
Defecting from the PDP to the APC, however, would come as a serious shock to the political landscape especially given the leading role Akpabio played in strengthening the opposition party and even become the leader of the party in the Senate.
If he defects as reported he would make history by becoming the first leader of a party in the Senate to leave his position and switch sides.
Few months ago the people of Eket Senatorial District (Akwa Ibom south) led by their leader Chief Nduese Essien consulted the people Ikot Ekpene senatorial district in Ukana Ikot Ntuen, at the residence of the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio seeking support for Governor Udom’s re-eoection.
Akpabio who while responding said the consultations were very important in lubricating democratic ideals, addled, “Udom remains the best candidate. I am satisfied with his performance.
“My wife, Ekaete Unoma Akpabio is going to join the women of Akwa Ibom state in campaigning for Governor Udom’s re-election. She is ready to receive her campaign materials and learn the campaign songs when such time comes.
“Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District is the only district that you are sure will not present any aspirant for the governorship position in 2019. That is because the district respects leadership. Take this message to Governor Udom Emmanuel, that in 2019, we in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district are with him 100 Percent.”
In the same vein while speaking on behalf of his area during the endorsement rally by Uyo senatorial district in May this year, Akpabio reassured that governor Udom remained sole governorship candidate in his senatorial district.
“In Ikot Ekpene senatorial district we are coming with bloc votes. His Excellency, you must institute a prize for the senatorial district that gives you the highest number of votes. And I can tell you that Ikot Ekpene will not allow any of the other two senatorial districts defeat them’”