APC: Beware of Akpabio
By Tom-Chris Morgan
It was the PDP that gave Senator Akpabio a platform to serve as a Commissioner for 4 years in Akwa Ibom State under Governor Victor Attah from 2002- 2006.
The PDP gave Senator Akpabio the platform to serve as a two term Governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2007 to 2015.
As Governor, he was the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum.
Akpabio as Governor of the oil rich State became a major financier and power broker in the PDP.
The petro-dollars at his disposal enhanced his political reach and he sat at the front row of major political decisions in the country.
His moneyed hands were in every pie and he walked the political runway in Nigeria like a giant.It was at this time that the former Spokesman of PDP, Olisa Metuh, described Akpabio as the face of PDP.
The 60 year old Senator, as Governor , was behind the infamous 16 is greater than 19 result of the Nigerian Governors Forum(NGF), an erstwhile stable political interest group which outcome sowed the seeds of the disintegration of PDP when five Governors led by Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State ,who were aggrieved by that infamy left to team up with the Progressive flank to float the APC.
In his home State where he had under his feet, Akpabio brook no dissent. He was the Emperor and whoever posed a challenge to his authority paid dearly.He presided over a gestapo -like regime where more than 200 persons were kidnapped,scores of girls and women raped while those unlucky to escape were murdered.
The families of the late Peter Ebere (EPISCO),Udo Okoiso,Barr.Imo Udonwa,Edidem James Robert Obot,Iniekong Udonwa, the Ekpenyong brothers , Engr.Ukpana,Rt Hon.Uwah and others too numerous to mention who were murdered under his watch are still waiting for Akpabio’s day of reckoning.
What APC now has and is celebrating in Akpabio, is a double faced genie; corrupt and dictatorial. Examples of these are several white elephant projects which his government paid for fully but are now lying in various uncompleted stages with the contractors denying ever being paid by Akpabio’s opaque government.
Few days ago in Anambra while campaigning for his associate,Sylvester Okonkwo,he is quoted to have boasted that he will invest N2 billion to ensure that Sylvester Okonkwo wins the Anambra Central Senatorial seat.
One wonders how a man who in 2002 lived in Dolphin Estate with only plastic chairs as seats in his parlour could become so stupendously rich without owning any business or “a second address”.
This new APC god is an adept at throwing the kitchen sink at his benefactors.When his former boss withdrew support from his Governorship aspiration,Akpabio ran into the embrace of Chief Ufot Ekaette,then Secretary to the Federal Government and through the SGF got President Obasanjo’s endorsement and backing for his aspiraton.
However, no sooner than Akpabio become Governor than he abandoned the old man.
After cutting Obong Ufot Ekaette “to size”, he turned his attention to another of his financiers,Ambassador Sam Edem,then serving as Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) and disgraced him out of that job.
The same fate befell the late Chief Fidelis Etim who physically took him around the state to introduce him to people since Akpabio was never known in the State.
His next victim was Senator John James Akpan Udoedeghe,former Minister of State (FCT) who was his Gubernatorial Campaign Manager in 2006, whom he hounded for challenging him in the 2011 Governorship race.
Akpabio as Governor, pushed his former Deputy ,Obong Nsima Ekere out of office on trumped up charges and another benefactor,Umana Okon Umana ,his Secretary to the State Government was locked out of his office and sacked not minding the fact that it was Umana Okon Umana who bankrolled his first Governorship Campaign effort in 2006 from money stashed away as Governor Attah’s Commissioner for Finance.
In both cases, Akpabio saw them as peers who could compete with him on equal grounds in the billionaires club and he could not just stand that.
Akpabio is a study in betrayal.He said this much recently when he stated publicly that in the build up to the 2015 elections which pitted Goodluck Jonathan of his erstwhile Party (PDP) against Muhammadu Buhari of the APC,that his heart was with Buhari while his body was with Jonathan.Talk of Janus !Talk of a victim of Split Personality!
So far, Senator Akpabio has spoken and warmed his way into the hearts of the ruling APC.His entry into the Party in Akwa Ibom state has resonated with men of shady character,cultists and leaders of kidnapping gangs across the State.
Again ,they have become emboldened having in tow a former DIG who liaises with the Nigerian Police High Command in Abuja to do the dirty security work for him.
As a politician who fully knows that the Security Agencies are extensions of the Party in power at the centre,he is exploiting his new status in the ruling party to foster crisis across the state.And not minding the security challenge in the North East,the unrest in the North Central and restiveness in the South East,the APC seems to be relishing in opening a new flank of insecurity in the heart of the South South by encouraging the Security Agencies to align with Senator Akpabio’s destructive and destabilising agenda in a State which he once governed.
In all these,the ruling Party and President Buhari should beware that their new poster boy and enforcer is a well known victim of Acquired Trust Deficiency Syndrome (ATDS). Trust and depend on him totally at your own peril.
Here,one can only admonish the All Progressives Party, as a buyer, to beware.