By Brian Ekanem
It is no longer news that Senator Godswill Akpabio is decamping to the APC; all is set for the move any moment now.
Many have received this with great shock. Nothing about his decision seems to make sense especially at a time when the main opposition party, the PDP has put its house in order and is set to welcome even more decampees from the disintegrating APC.
It didn’t take long for the facts to leak, the politician who is looking to tighten the grasp he is losing in Akwa Ibom State has over the past three years been hounded and blackmailed by the ruling party over allegations of corruption.
The EfCC ran investigations on Akpabio in 2015 and instead of taking him to court, they forwarded every detail from Akpabio’s case for blackmail fodder to the Presidency.
Since 2015, the once vibrant politician lost his voice and failed woefully to provide proper leadership as minority leader in the senate.
While other frontline politicians like Bukola Saraki faced all allegations and politically motivated persecution head on, Akpabio thought he could quietly plead and “settle” with his blackmailers at the expense of the senate, his party, his political career and now ultimately, the people of Akwa Ibom State.
Akpabio’s paranoia peaked when he was involved in an accident and believed he was faced with two options; silence or be silenced.
Godswill Akpabio chose silence.
After three years of taking the back seat in the PDP opposition, Akpabio recently tried to save face by being active in welcoming decampees to PDP and throwing a big rally in his senatorial district to reaffirm his commitment and leadership in the party but it was too late. The APC already recognized him as the weak link within the party and swung into action to use him as a tool to cushion the effects of the major defection losses suffered by the APC.
Akpabio rendered helpless, met with PDP leaders at the dinner to welcome APC defectors to the PDP and explained his dilemma almost tearfully.
Governor Ayo Fayose and some other party leaders lambasted him for being weak but Senator Dino Melaye cautioned that Akpabio was to be pitied because APC is a devilish party that would stop at nothing to achieve its aims. Senator Melaye then went home with Akpabio and returned to some party exco with a promise that Akpabio was going to go into the APC but still work for PDP in various ways.
Akpabio’s intention to work for the PDP from the other side has done nothing to abate the anger of the people of Akwa Ibom who see the APC as a no go area for the state.
Anger and distrust mounts as the man they considered strong enough to fight for them has been broken by the slightest pressure. The people feel he has failed woefully a test which could have cemented him as a political leader.
Akpabio stands at the precipice of his career as a subdued man.
THE END OF AN ERA!
– Brian Ekanem
Brian Ekanem is a political analyst, youth leader and humanitarian from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.