‘Holy Ghost’ for votes in Akwa Ibom
THE governor of “uncommon transformation” has also introduced uncommon campaign rhetoric in the run-up to the 2015 general elections in Akwa Ibom State.
So sure was Obong Godswill Akpabio of successfully installing a successor that he jettisoned the internal democratic process that brought him to power in 2007.
In a keen contest, Akpabio had defeated over 50 other aspirants, including the one promoted by the departing Governor Victor Attah. But coming to his turn to superintend a primary election to pick a candidate for the PDP, the governor started off by sacking all the ‘sackables’, together with his politically avaricious Secretary to the State Government, Umana o. Umana.
This paved the way for Akpabio’s “hidden agenda” even as he held one town hall meeting after another, to tell the people of Akwa Ibom that he would not interfere in the choice of the party candidate “other than help steer the choice from the Eket senatorial.” But as his aides and the state party leadership began to parrot “Udom Emmanuel” or “Emmanuel Udom” for governor, the co-aspirants, 22 in all, smelt a rat, and started agitating for unencumbered primaries.
As a no-contest starred the G-22 aspirants in the face, they boycotted the primaries “and Akpabio and Emmanuel had a field day.” From there on, the G-22, joined by aggrieved elders of the PDP in the state, “vowed to teach Akpabio a lesson at the governorship poll on February 28 (now April 11).”
As they say, the heat is on, and the ebullient Governor Akpabio has suddenly realised that the opposition may spoil the day for him on Election Day.