10th September 2018

The 2019 general! elections are few months away from this September. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) – the body responsible for the conduct of Nigeria’s elections has set the stage with the release of elections time table.

This piece is dedicated to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district. Because, this is interesting moment for that zone in Akwa Ibom state. Interesting!? Yes! I said so with utmost sense of responsibility.

It is noteworthy that since the defection of its serving Senator and former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the situation in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district can be likened to the title of a novel written by a famous Nigerian Author, Late Chinua Achebe, published in 1958, called; “͞Things Fall Apart.”

Obviously, things have fallen apart in the zone and the centre finds it difficult to hold. Akpabio’s defection has dislodged and destabilised the political firmament, not just of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district but, of the three senatorial districts of Ikot Ekpene, Uyo and Eket of Akwa Ibom state.

No doubt, Senator Godwill Akpabio maybe representing one of these three zones in the Senate of the National Assembly, howbeit, his political legacies traversed the three zones, by way of infrastructure and human capital development.

As one of the ardent critics of Godswill Akpabio’s 8 years administration, I might not have been a direct beneficiary of his human capacity development during his adventure in the governance of Akwa Ibom state. Truth be told; I have benefitted from the infrastructural renaissance in the state – the feats of his administration which cannot just be wished away by his adversaries.

Akpabio has over the years metamorphosed himself into what I may call ‘the political junction’ of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district. Akpabio it was, that used to decide who represented the four federal constituencies, to wit: Ikot Ekpene/Essien Udim/Obot Okara;
Ikono/Ini; Ukanafun/Oruk Anam; Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika and above all, who got the Ikot Ekpene senatorial seat. I do not think, anything has changed from this political calculation of the zone. Because Akpabio is still a force to reckon with.

As a law abiding citizen, I will avoid commenting on Akpabio’s defection since, it is now a subject of litigation in the law court. However, without prejudice, suffice it to say, his defection has created an open wound in the hearts of members of the PDP family, which can only be healed when INEC announces the final results of the 2019 general elections in the state. Cause, there certainly will be alignment and re-alignment of political interests and camps in the state after the elections. Trust politicians. DEM NO DEY CARRY LAST, AT ALL! HAHAHA!

In my opinion, Godwill Akpabio is the political peacock (one of the most beautiful birds with large feathers) in the politics of Akwa Ibom state nay Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, which he currently represents in the Senate.

Hence, political pundits opined that his cross-carpet, however, became, more than, a bitter pill, for the PDP to swallow and come to terms with the fact that, indeed, her Commander– in- Chief and the Peacock on whose feathers all activities of the umbrella party (PDP) in the Nation and in Akwa Ibom state used to converge, has left the opposition platform (PDP) on grounds of national patriotism.

And so, the vacuum created by Akpabio’s defection, has become so difficult to fill both in the state PDP and at the national level of PDP. This could be probably one of the reasons the party had a herculean task to get a candidate to face the former Senator Minority Leader in the forthcoming 2019 senatorial poll. As a last resort, the party had to settle for Engr. Christopher Ekpenyong, a former deputy Governor, who served under former Governor Victor Attah’s administration.

For the information of my readers, in the build up to the 2019 general elections, it is my self-imposed duty and I consider it as one of my social responsibilities as a journalist to unbiasedly scrutinise and bring to the fore, for public discourse, the personage of those seeking the mandates of the electorate. The duo of Akpabio and Ekpenyong will not escape the focus of my Radar.

Godswill Akpabio, I have overtime, describe as a charismatic politician with a lot of zing, whose large-hearted political goodwill will always speak for, any time any day. I do not think Akpabio needs to print any campaign poster(s) or electioneering material(s) of any sort to floor his would-be opponents to the Senate seat in 2019 election.

In all modesty, Akpabio’s goodwill will definitely serve as his campaign posters and materials that will drive home his election to victory in 2019.

If my words are anything to go by, I would advise the PDP not to waste its resources by filing a candidate for the Ikot Ekpene senatorial seat because, no matter, whoever, flies PDP’s senatorial ticket, the result of the poll will appear as though, Godswill Akpabio did not have any opponent at the election. Mark my words! Whereas, such wasted monies could have been used to successfully prosecute other elections for the PDP.

At this critical time, I am perturbed that the only interest beclouding the minds of those I describe as political vampires, who have conspired amongst themselves to build a wall around Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, with the selfish intention to continue to deceive him and milk away millions of our common patrimony from him (Governor), under the guise and assurance of working hard to stop Godswill Akpabio’s re-election to the senate in 2019, which feat remains a farce.

I pray God should open the eyes of Governor Emmanuel to come to terms with the reality on ground. These vampires are the real enemies of his government and the state; and not his critics like Yours truly.

In conclusion, take it to the bank, if you like, the 2019 elections are going to be based on a tripod of; scorecard of aspirants, goodwill of aspirants and persona of the aspirants. So, no one aspirant should think that he/she will ride on the feather(s) of another to victory, far be it! It shall be; “TO YOUR TENTS O ISRAEL,” as recorded in 1 Kings 12: 16.

Here, I rest my ink.

~ Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society

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