2019: Beyond the Rhetoric, the battle is between Udom and Nsima not Akpabio
By Abel Udoekene
Two things prompted this write-up, first, over the last few weeks, I have received series of phone calls from some journalists and bloggers claiming that I have not championed the media evangelism of Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio’s greatness like I used to. Some of them even forwarded some articles I sponsored on their platforms to remind me of one of my famous hobbies; promoting Akwa Ibom State and celebrating the uniqueness its greatness.
Like I told one of my friend from the PUNCH, I was never an aide to Akpabio, I was not on his payroll, I have never benefitted from his benevolence and throughout his 8 years as the governor of Akwa Ibom State, my local government area, Oruk Anam L.G.A was ‘somehow neglected’ by his administration.
Secondly, the meeting I invariably sat as an uninvited guest on October 30, 2012, which was hosted by a man I respect so much, Mr. Inemesit Ina– the then chief press secretary to Obong Nsima Ekere brought back some memories that deserve urgent attention.
I remember I was on the campaign team of one of my friends who was seeking an executive position in the Student’s Union Government (UNIUYO), I had accompanied him to meet someone who was working with Mr. Inemesit Ina but surprisingly when we get to the office, we were welcome with a stern and a sad atmosphere, some people were moving up and down, some gathered in group discussing and shaking their heads. I was thinking maybe a relative of Mr. Inemesit Ina was affected by Superstorm Sandy that ravaged New York and New Jersey on that day, but my thought was not true.
“Nsima was supposed to be the governor, not that power drunk stupid Annang man, that has suddenly become a small god,” an aide of Nsima brought the long silence to an end, but they seem not to notice our presence.
“I told my boss before not to trust him, see how he has repaid him” he pushed the table away and was ranting out of control as if he was preparing to launch an attack on Akpabio.
“Stop this madness!” Mr. Inemesit Ina appeared from a distance. “we fought so hard to bring in this government, he doesn’t matter what happened today or tomorrow, we should be proud of our achievements” He sighed, I could sense the tears in his eyes and the reactions from his aides when he finally broke the news.
“He will send in his resignation letter tomorrow, they may allow some commissioners he nominated to continue, please pack your personal belongings, make sure this does not get to the press till tomorrow” he immediately leave the building and we sat down there helplessly listening to gossip and plans of what they would do to Akpabio if they eventually get the opportunity to confront him.
On 2019, It is very important that we understand that the governorship election is between governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel of the PDP and Obong Nsima Ekere of the APC, not Godswill Akpabio. But a situation where some APC media aides are busy fronting Akpabio instead of telling the people of Akwa Ibom the plans of Nsima Ekere for the State is highly regrettably.
Truth be told, I don’t know much about Nsima Ekere, I heard most of the Projects of NDDC under his leadership has been sub-standard especially in Akwa Ibom State, I have even driven through a road allegedly done by NDDC under his leadership that became very bad after just 4 weeks of commissioning, my friends will constantly remind me of the NDDC skill acquisitions scam which so many young people were deceived that they would be trained on different skills but till today nothing has happened. These are the issues that APC media team should address not billboards as if billboards will put food on the table of Akwa Ibomite.
On Akpabio, I have two issues with Akpabio, first, his Warsaw rhetorical statement whether it was comical as he claims has raised tension in many parts of the State, and this is very unhealthy to our collective existence as a State. Secondly, his very popular statement “While I was in PDP my heart was with you (Buhari)” has broken so many hearts, whether we like it or not, it will take years for those of us who spent money on our own and are still spending to project his image and that of our dear State.
On Udom Emmanuel, I met him just once in Lagos state when I was the Publicity Secretary, Central Christian Youth fellowship, QIC Lagos Superintendency in 2007 and we spoke for about 7 minutes. I must confess, he is someone who has an eye for quality and pride for excellence. That is why, he has brought in investors who have invested heavily in building a Coconut refinery, Metering factory, Syringe factory, etc. The major complain I have discovered during my tour of Akwa Ibom in the last one year is that he has so many dormant commissioners and aides, while this maybe true or not, as a people, we have between now and February to decide whether he should continue or not – of course his sccorecard is there for all to see.
But beyond the rhetoric, it is very important that we remembered that Obong Godswill Obot Akpabio is not contesting for governorship in 2019 and should be allowed to focus on his Senatorial ambition and cement his status as a true nationalist, while the media aides of APC and Nsima should leave telling us about billboards and focus on the plans of Nsima Ekere for Akwa Ibom.
I know Udom Emmanuel’s legacy in the last three and a half years is enough to win him re-election. And I think Nsima Ekere’s team should stop depending on Akpabio, Warsaw or Federal might to win in 2019 and discuss his plans with Akwa Ibom instead of fronting Akpabio as if Akpabio will be contesting for Governor in 2019.