“There’s none so blind as those who will not listen” – Neil Gaiman
Despite all efforts made to rid political undertone, and to silence the waves of political tension during the townhall meeting held by Prof. Yemi Osinbajo with Akwa Ibom stakeholders in Uyo on Thursday, 2nd March 2017, the PDP linchpin, Senator Godswill Akpabio, would not let the function end in a dreary. Senator Akpabio was to provoke, in a most tactful manner, a sensation of political rivalry existing between APC and PDP. First, he innocuously pummeled both APC stalwarts from Akwa Ibom State, Senator Ita Enang, the Senior Special Adiviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assemblies matters; and Engr. Ita Awak, the newly appointed Director of Air-Worthiness Standard with innuendoes. In Akpabio’s comic rendition, Senator Ita Enang was the Managing Director of Planet FM – a local radio station in the state; and Engr. Ita Awak was dissed as being uneasy with television broadcasting. Both men might have been quivered with indignation. But the political Maradona would not stop at that. He would tell the acting president Osinbajo to allow free and fair elections in 2019, and to let Akwa Ibom State remain PDP. – Oh Akpabio.
Aside from the queer remarks on the APC duo, the important issue here is the question of free and fair elections in 2019, and an entreaty to leave Akwa Ibom a PDP State.
The actual challenge of PDP, if truth be told, is not the ravenous desire of APC to snatch Akwa Ibom from its grasp come 2019. The main problem is that PDP, at the moment, is weakened by its internal contradictions coupled with gross misrule and impropriety of its administration in the state. Put differently, the party is fraught with self-induced torrents capable of wrecking it before 2019 even approach. Again, it would cause one to wonder if there is anything unfair about elections that have a robust, coordinated party coasting easily to victory ahead of a crisis-ridden, disorganized rival. Is Senator Akpabio unaware that Akwa Ibom PDP is undergoing ruination since the beginning of this year? That the undergirding principles of the party have been subverted and rendered ineffectual by individualistic tendencies? And that the power has been usurped from the people to few political adventurers? Oh Akpabio!
The PDP in Akwa Ibom is teetering at the brink of precipitous decline. In January this year, Senator Nelson Effiong representing Akwa Ibom South in the Red chambers made a shocking defection from PDP to APC – a move that incensed PDP beyond description. In February, Mr. Emmanuel Ukoette, member representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency moved with the mandate given to him on the platform of PDP to APC – causing exasperation to PDP faithful. Still in February, Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, in a case with Suit No. FHC/UY/CS/1807/2015 before Justice Fatun Riman, handed a ruling at the displeasure of the PDP State exco which deracinated Obong Bassey Albert in the senate, and replaced him with Elder Bassey Etim, (aka Bafil). Who knows if Bassey Etim whose name was incautiously substituted would not leave his strange bedfellows in PDP to APC where his seat would be secured?
Indubitably, 2019 elections would be a clash of the titans in Akwa Ibom State. For the first time, Akwa Ibom PDP would face a gigantic opponent it has never faced before. Yes! Akwa Ibom is PDP, but the centre would no longer remain PDP in 2019. The party would be confronted with federal might in the APC. For the first time, the PDP in the state would not face an opponent incapacitated by insufficient funding. This time around, one party would match one another both with cash and popularity. Today, the federal presence in Akwa Ibom is on the increase, not necessarily the presence of uniformed policemen as Senator Akpabio would say, but the presence of the likes of Senator Udo Udoma, Minister, Budget and National Planning; Obong Nsima Ekere, the Managing Director of Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC); Obong Umana Okon Umana; Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone; Senator Ita Ennang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters; Engr. Ita Awak, Director, Air-Worthiness Standard; Senator Nelson Effiong, who is representing Akwa Ibom South in the Senate, and a whole lot of those who would move to the centre as the political permutations continues, and as 2019 is fast approaching.
It is unfortunate that the once biggest political party not only in Nigeria but in Africa, PDP is crumbling like a pack of cards. Indeed, PDP in Akwa Ibom used to be as powerful with mammoth structure as Communist Party of China (CPC), or CPSU party in USSR before Gobashev’s Glasnost shredded it. But what would be the fate of PDP come 2019, if it fails to pull its strings together?
PDP had a glorious past beginning from when the famous G34 who took the risk by opposing Gen. Sani Abacha with fervour from being transmuted from military Head of State to civilian President. After the event of Abacha’s death, the coast was opened for democracy. The G34’s people democratic movement championed by Shehu Musa Yar’adua evolved into People Democratic Party on August 13, 1998. It was conjectured with utmost conceit by most PDP members after the party assumed power on May 29, 1999 that PDP would be at the helm of power for more than 50 uninterrupted years. But all that have changed with the 2015 elections.
Yes! I am UbongAbasi Ise. For comment, please send SMS to 08189914609