By Esseh Ikora
The rift between governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state and his political god-father, Senate Minority leader and immediate past governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, last week took political pundits by surprise, when the ex governor openly threatened to withhold his endorsement of his successor’s second term ambition.
Senator Akpabio cited issues related to marginalization of his constituency, Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district, Akwa Ibom state. But, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) in the district who is also the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Uwemodimo Nwoko, weekend, told selected journalists in his office that there is no cause for alarm.
Q : The utterances of distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio at the annual get-together organized by the Deputy Governor , Mr Moses Ekpo, in Abak, indicated that all is not well in the governor’s camp. Political analysts see a potential danger to the governor’s second term ambition. What’s your take?
A: Distinguish Senator Akpabio and indeed the good people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district are 100 percent with His Excellency, governor Udom Emmanuel for another four year term. In fact a day after making the comments, Sen Akpabio and the leadership of the ten local government areas that make up the senatorial district held a new year breakfast meeting with the governor in government house, Uyo, where governor Udom Emmanuel was unanimously endorsed for a second term. The people of the district reaffirmed their support for governor Emmanuel and his government. They expressed their satisfaction with the performance of the governor. All the political leaders who command the political force including distinguished senator Akpabio were there and they all pledged their support for the governor come 2019. There is no element of dissatisfaction or discontent with the performance of the governor.
Q: Why did the former governor of the state choose to capitalize on the get together to publicly ventilate his dissatisfaction with the performance, especially on the marginalization of his constituency ?
A: The former governor did not ventilate his dissatisfaction over the performance of the governor. He only drew the attention of the governor to the fact that we are entering the political year. If you understand the dynamics of politics and given the time table for the elections by INEC, fixing the elections for February,2019, you should know that 2018 is a year for politicking while 2019 is for voting. Every politician who is worth his salt has to be proactive . He has to be prepared, know the timeline. Between the governor and Sen Akpabio there is no misgiving. There is no misunderstanding. Even after the using the family get together to point out certain areas of concern about the people of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, that same night they had a closed door meeting drawing plans for 2019 general elections. The senate minority leader’s position is to market the governor. If you are a good marketer you will dwell on the weak points of your opponents. All the senator said was telling the people that we are not unconcerned about the present state of the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road.
A: When Sen Akpabio told the people that all is not well with the party, what is your interpretation of that statement?
A: Let me tell you, if you are a fighter or a warrior you cannot afford to underrate your opponents. When the distinguished senator said all is not well, he was talking to the people of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district to work hard. They shouldn’t go to sleep. Don’t be complacent . The fact that you have the governor doesn’t mean you should go and sleep more so that you are entering the year of politics . He was addressing the people of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district not governor Udom Emmanuel. He was only asking PDP stakeholders at the wards, Local Governments and the district to put themselves together in readiness to play politics of the year. As far as Sen Akpabio is concerned, Akwa Ibom state has no alternative platform. We will play one political party. That decision has been taken and there is no wavering about which party we are going to play, it’s all about the PDP. The party in the state will not have another governorship aspirant beside Mr Udom Emmanuel. That decision has been taken at the state level of the party. We are going to play PDP, we are not going to mortgage it. PDP at the national level banks on PDP, Akwa Ibom state in its effort to march back to Aso Rock come 2019.
A: Akpabio said if the last Local government election in the was a mock examination, PDP would have failed, what is your comment on his impression?
A: The meeting was called for PDP stakeholders of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, it wasn’t an open rally. He was talking to the people of that district.