Akpabio had been viewed by many as one politician whose political direction can alter the political equation in Akwa Ibom state but curiously, his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has proven otherwise.
But from the charade that took place in Ikot Ekpene on Wednesday, last week,and the general feeling across the state, it is clear even to the blind that Akpabio has been rejected by his people. Akpabio, once revered, has descended from a leader that had followers to a lonely and desperate ruler taking a long lone walk into perdition in alliance with those bent on feasting voraciously on our common patrimony.
To be sure, only Nse Ntuen and Gabriel Tobby from the House of Assembly followed him to his political doom. These are men whose reelection is hanging on a thread if not dead totally. Their defection only gives them out as political prostitutes who are already down hence in desperate need of straws to clutch onto.
As prove that Akpabio does not and will never have the support of well meaning citizens of the state, no local government chairman of all the 31 local government areas of the state has followed him to his new found bride, APC. If, as they say, all politics are local, it therefore shows clearly that Akpabio has lost his way this time.
To show and reaffirm their unalloyed solidarity and support for the hardworking Governor of the state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, all the local government areas in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District held a counter rally the same day he embarked on a macabre dance to pass the message to him that he is on his own.
The mammoth crowd that turned out at each of the venues spoke volumes of the love the people have for Governor Emmanuel and their stance on his second term ambition. These were passionate and well meaning citizens of Akwa Ibom State who are at home with the ideals of forthrightness, brotherhood and sincerity who came out en masse to support what is right, noble, fair and just.
The absence of Ikot Ekpene stakeholders like Chief Michael Afangide, Engr. Chris Ekpenyong, Sen. Emmanuel Ibok Essien and several others from the rally of deception and destruction again, speaks to their total rejection of whatever took place in Ikot Ekpene and the wayward path their son has chosen to follow.
Only few Essien Udim and Annang people decamped with him portraying him as being clannish and a tribal champion. Ibanga Akpabio, Etekamba Umoren, DIG Udom Ekpoudom, Godwin Afangide and others who have decided to pitch their shredded political tents with the Senator can be described without equivocation as enemies of the state whose overriding interest is to take the state back to the dark age. But they will not succeed in their evil plot.
Today, Akpabio is seen by the Annang people as going against the tradition and attributes of a typical Annang man or woman. He has proven to be a betrayer with a dead conscience dripping with vile and cascading dangerously to self-destruct.
He is a coward who does not respect his in-laws. It is shocking that Akpabio is expecting Udom to do in 3 years what he couldn’t do in 8 years notwithstanding the monumental debt he left behind for his successor to which Udom is struggling to pay up coupled with channeling resources to put the necessary infrastructure in place for the benefit of the state.
In his desperate bid to sell a dummy that people are with him, Akpabio paid and hired a crowd from other senatorial districts in the state,Cross River and Edo states to dance to his destructive political tune. He had sent Gloria Useh to mobilize women for the event but the women of Ikot Ekpene and Essien Udim rejected the broom and rather attended the PDP rally for Udom to demonstrate their stand on what is just.
It is a crying shame that Akpabio who fought and installed Mr. Udom Emmanuel three years ago is the same person turning his back on a man who is doing all he can within the limited resources available to him to better the lots of the people of Akwa Ibom State.
No matter how one looks at Senator Godswill Akpabio’s defection, the fact is that he is doing so purely for his selfish interest goaded on by his over bloated ego which makes him believe that without him, Akwa Ibom State cannot move forward or take a stand on what they believe in.
Anybody who chooses to follow Akpabio does so at his own peril. He must not be taken seriously by any well meaning citizen of Akwa Ibom. Akpabio is on a path that will lead him to the biggest regret of his life. I just hope he’ll receive sense and make a detour in order to save himself from the huge disaster that awaits him.
Akwa Ibom people are solidly behind Governor Udom Emmanuel irrespective of what a few disgruntled individuals think. For us, he is and remains the best man to pilot the ship of Akwa Ibom State beyond 2019.
* Ndarake Ntuen is a public affairs commentator