Godswill Akpabio: Gone Too Soon?

AKHA Akwa Ibom Reports Elections National Politics


 

In 1st October 2011 at the Uyo township stadium, I beheld a man wearing an Annang traditional attire. He leaped from a black SUV on the turf. Immediately he jumped down from the vehicle, he started trotting round the stadium for more than three times.

While he was still jogging round the stadium, almost all the people who were there were applauding and cheering him on. Thus I asked who the man was, they told me he is Godswill Akpabio, the governor of Akwa Ibom State. I sighed because they were yet to ascertain the nature of the man Akpabio. They had a blind love for him because of his public display of comedy and showmanship. There’s nothing that would have made them to believe Akpabio is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is story for another day.

The then governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio rounded up his tenure in a grand style, handing over to a technocrat, Gov. Udom Emmanuel. He then moved to the National Assembly to represent his Senatorial District with the aide of his people. Everything was conducted in an unvarying manner until the day he ‘crosstitutioned’ to the Broom’s Confraternity, APC.

Before his crosstitution, Akpabio had vaunted before a capacious crowd that political party cannot determine his fate, he had claimed that he can win his reelection under the platform of any political party without support from any man. This was nothing but behemoth slap on his people.

Soon after amalgamating with the Broom’s party, Akpabio decorated himself a ‘god’. He engaged himself in an incessant act of blasphemy against God, gods and man. He mounted the position of the Commander of an unrepentant group of combatants which were at war with Akwa Ibom people. His first point of call was signing a death warrant on the governor of the State, Deacon Udom Emmanuel. He swore if the governor emerges winner of the March 2019 gubernatorial election, his head should not be buried in Ukana when he died. We’re waiting!

Because he was member of an unrepentant combatant group, he never rested but was combing everywhere looking for who to make victim of his unprecedented witch-hunting. Thus he took his madness to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Complex. He tried everything within his reach to stir mayhem and disorder thereby obliterating the integrity and sanctity of the Legislative House. This he did in line with his efforts to render and portray the State as a citadel of insecurity and lawlessness, but his plans failed. Even the gods and his hardened supporters, including his immediate family were against him for striving to desecrate the altar that once shielded him. This was the beginning of his woes, but he did not know.

The god of Ukana, Godswill Akpabio staged a dog-and-pony show how he would deliver the whole Niger Delta region to the APC within three hours. The story had long changed during his election as the three hours he pledged to deliver the region to APC changed to three days before his fate Akpabio was in disarray when an angel appeared to him in his dream intimating of his impending fate. Because he was afraid of what people would say, he moved to influencing the election’s outcome with Federal might which thereafter, he resorted to applying his best philosophy, ” what money cannot do, more money can do”. But it was too late for him because the handwriting “mene mene tekel upharsin” was conspicuously inscribed on the wall.

Akpabio who facilitated the tumbling of the peaceful conduct of the National Assembly election in Essien Udim ought to have been arraigned for the mayhem he perpetrated on some INEC Officials and international observers on his election day.

As one who loves fighting like a wounded lion, Akpabio soon after the declaration of Engr. Christopher Ekpenyong ( Ukarakpa) as the authentic winner of the election, moved to the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal to challenge Ukarakpa’s victory.

At the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, Akpabio’s case got unexciting as each day went by. Everyone got to know what they never knew. No authentic unit agent was presented by him, neither did any of his witnesses state the authentic source of the election results presented before the Tribunal Panel by them. Some of them maintained they got the results through calls and text messages, while others stated that they got the results from the internet. None of his witnesses was able to mention at least an authentic unit agent of his Political party. Everything they divulged before the Tribunal was based on assumptions and inspiration by tramadol, and some other hard drugs. In a nutshell, Akpabio and his APC wagons were trying to apply spirituality in a matter that needed authenticity of physicality.

He was aware that his inability to substantiate his claims in the National Assembly Election Tribunal would tantamount to his petition being dismissed for lacking in merit, he moved to inducing Justice Hafizu, one of the three member Tribunal Panel financially. The plan was for the Judge to also induce the other Judges in the Panel, but this failed as other Judges refused Akpabio’s millions of Naira.

While two members of the Tribunal Panel were giving their verdicts based on the facts they gathered in the cause of the Petition, Justice Hafizu because he was induced, gave a dissenting judgement in favour of his paymaster, Godswill Akpabio. This gave Akpabio and his supporters hope that indeed, more money would see them through at the Appeal.

While Akpabio and his blind supporters journeyed into town rejoicing, hoping that when appealing the case, the Appellate would be left with no other option than to rule in his favour, I knew nothing extraordinary would occur. Akpabio and his men were only basking in the euphoria of unattainability.

The Appellate set aside Saturday, 9th November 2019 for the judgement on Akpabio’s appeal. The verdict issued is not extraordinary as they reasoned, it is the same verdict that INEC, PDP and even Akpabio’s party men had craved for. The Court’s ruling is in line with the people’s cries prior to the irregularities and mayhem perpetrated by Akpabio in Essien Udim during the National Assembly election.

The National Assembly Election has been annulled in Essien Udim Local Government Area which means a rerun election will be conducted within the next 90days. INEC has come out to state that the total accredited voters for the National Assembly Election in Essien Udim was 19,455 meanwhile, Akpabio needs about 38,056 votes to upturn Ukarakpa’s victory. Akpabio would need a miracle water to sprinkle on the INEC’s accreditation register. Maybe it would miraculously change the figure from 19,455 to 50,000.

Akpabio was unaware of the fact that majority of his party members were patiently scheming his downfall. They knew with the recorded irregularities in Essien Udim by Akpabio and his men during the said election, there was no way the election won’t be annulled in that particular Local Government Area. They also knew once the election is annulled, Akpabio would be left with no option than to resign his position as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to re-contest in the rerun election.

Akpabio did not know he was on a self suicidal mission. Now, his makeup lovers have pull him to the pit once again. With this, One can possibly deduce that Akpabio is not only gone, but he’s gone too soon. We expected him to last longer than this.

Umani Uwemedimo an Activist and Public Affairs Analyst, writes this piece from Abak, Akwa Ibom State.

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