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Akpabio And The Zero-Sum Concerns of Nigerian Politics



Penultimate weekend when speculations filtered into circles of Mass Communication, alluding to the possibility of Senator Godswill Akpabio leaving the Peoples Democratic Party, many felt it was a black propaganda.

Probably, considering the chattels, things said and done by Akpabio in times past, in defense of his esteemed party, the PDP. He once said the following:

“Before you make promises to the people you must have done not just the detailed analysis of the economic situation of the government, but a review of the economic policies of the government. So, if they say they underestimated the mess created or left behind by the PDP that means they, on their own part, were not prepared for governance.”

“If it is not Panadol, it can’t be the same as Panadol. I believed that if it were PDP–between 2015 and 2017, we would have made more significant progress,” he said. “A lot of plans have been outlined but not much has actually been seen in terms of progress and delivering promises; most of the campaign promises have actually not been met.”

“Our brothers who were misled into thinking they are changing party, the doors are open for you. Feel free to come back. You can come back and join us, you are always welcome. It is time to change the change. A change that is negative must make room for positive change.”

“Many of them are fighting selfish wars; many of them are coming out because of their personal aggrandisement; many of them are coming out trying to sponsor instability in Nigeria. We cannot handover the Federal Government of Nigeria to enemies of progress. We cannot hand over Nigeria to people who are trying to destabilize us; we cannot hand over our future to people who are blackmailers and propagandists.” he said at Eagle Square, in a rally ahead of 2015 general elections; where he described APC leaders as enemies of National progress.

But alas, the former governor of Akwa Ibom state and past Senate Minority Leader, yesterday in his constituency home town, Ikot Ekpene, officially dumped the PDP, bringing to mind the illimitable saying that in politics, there are no permanent enemies or friends only permanent interest.

Aboveboard, his decision to leave the PDP after visiting President Muhammadu Buhari who is on a 10-day vacation in London, took many aback—unable to figure out in proper terms why such a hasty adjudication popped out of a 55-year-old lawyer and politician who relished enormous goodwill from PDP’s regional, state and federal structures.

Although Akpabio who governed Akwa Ibom for eight years under the PDP before contesting and winning the National Assembly seat in 2015, said he joined the ruling All Progressives Congress for the interest of his people, political pundits have it that he was wooed with the promise of emerging Senate President by the time Dr. Bukola Saraki is ousted and that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will stop investigating allegations of financial misappropriation leveled against him. But EFCC had said that wasn’t part of it.

However, whether or not Akpabio will be adjudged to have betrayed Dr. Saraki, who earlier dump the APC and returned to his first love, the PDP is another twist with an entirely different interpretation since it’s expected that a politician in an emerging democracy like that of Nigeria, where parties and their members navigate arbitrarily without clear-cut ideology shouldn’t expect much from companions. Akpabio succeeded in proving that personal interest is the primary driver of politics wherever ideology is lacking.

Akpabio only succeeded in proving that personal interest is the primary driver of politics whenever ideology is lacking.

His defection to APC is not exceptionally worthy documenting considering the barrage of items competing media space on the subject matter of defection in nowadays politics of Nigeria which had over time fueled the notion that the Nigeria type of politician is like the ecclesiastical Delilah who doesn’t feel guilty for betraying trust.

It was previously recorded on July 24, 2018, well over fifty high flying APC lawmakers including: Bukola Saraki (Kwara) Dino Melaye (Kogi West) , Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano Central ), Lanre Tejuoso (Ogun Central), Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara North), Banabas Gemade (Benue North East), Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara South),  Shitu Ubali (Jigawa North-East),  Danbaba Ibrahim (Sokoto South), Usman Nafada (Gombe North), Nasif Nafada (Bauchi North), Isah Misau (Bauchi Central) and Suleman Hunkuyi (Kaduna North) just to mention few. They left in troop to the PDP alongside over thirty members of the House of Representatives.

So, from that standpoint, no one is expected to criticize Akpabio too much for boomeranging the tide of defection. It is possible he doesn’t like to be challenged. Because it’s explicit that articulating the caliber of men currently in the PDP, members of the party may struggle too had to prove their relevance. This may not go down well with Akpabio who probably feels it’s a good reason to go where he would not have much people competing with his political aspirations, which he’s yet to make public.

But the doleful part of Akpabio’s decision to join forces with the APC is the actuality that it produced, by this singular act; he openly revealed the vulnerability of his capacity in public service. He forgot that when people respect an individual, that person’s only responsibility to the people is to respect himself!

He failed to remember that the international community regarded him greatly for the uncommon transform his two term administration as a PDP governor brought to Akwa Ibom state; he lose consciousness of  his notable campaigns against APC’s attempt to rule at all cost. Now, APC has won their arch-enemy who had records of quality stewardship from the PDP. Akpabio as Akwa Ibom state governor took pride in everything PDP; he repeated same as a Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, before dumping of PDP. His current choice of APC over PDP has more to it than meets the eye.

It’s only APC that can tell PDP what it did to its proud member and if the ruling party refuses to reveal such, then PDP must understand that no room in its structure should be left unattended to. The PDP has to sell persuasive promises to its members who peradventure are being wooed via carrots into APC. The transfer market of the Nigerian Political League is still open. Let it not be a surprise to the PDP that another big-wing from its fold suddenly decides to visit President Buhari, wherever, without any form of notification as in the case of Akpabio. PDP needs to closely examine the carrot stick App being passed down by the government at the center to sway its members to change their conviction; because that is the only way to stop the boomeranging trend activated by Akpabio’s defection.







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