‘Akpabio maybe the last Annang governor’
Senator Philip Aduda with Senator Akpabio at the plenary
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jerry Akpan, has called on leaders of the Annang ethnic group to rise up and stop the current ethnic disharmony between the Annangs and the Ibibios of Akwa Ibom state.
According to him, the Ibibios should view Senator Godswill Akpabio’s defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his efforts at stopping Governor Udom Emmanuel, an Ibibio son, from having a second term, as a betrayal of the Ibibios.
He said the former governor’s action may block the Annangs from ever producing a governor in the lifetime of the state as the Ibibios may use their numerical strength as the largest ethnic group in the state to keep the Annangs away from power.
Akpan, who served in Akpabio’s administration as special adviser on bureau of political and legislative affairs, and later Commissioner for Economic Development, spoke in Uyo yesterday.
The former political aide said key political stakeholders in Annang land have teamed up to ensure that Akpabio does not win his ward and other areas in Ikot-Ekpene for the APC.
He said: “As at yesterday, somebody called me and I asked him to come tomorrow. He swore that Akpabio will not win his ward. I told him not to say that.
“Do you know what is happening in Akpabio’s ward? Those who left PDP because of Akpabio are returning to PDP. If you put your ears on the ground you will agree with me. Are you saying that Chief Afangideh, at 96, is playing games with us? Are you saying that Prince Akpabio and Emem Akpabio are playing with us? This man we gave ticket to Eseh, do you think he is playing? It is going to be very tough for Akpabio.”
The deputy governor spoke in Ukanafun few days ago saying that it was time for them to rise up now otherwise Akpabio would be the last Annang person to be governor in Akwa Ibom State.
The deputy governor, who is from Annang, reminded them at the meeting in Ukanafun that they were only eight local government areas in this state, and if the Ibibios teamed up against them, they will never occupy the governorship seat in this state again.
Akpan said Governor Emmanuel was not worried about the chances of winning a second term as PDP is a religion in the state, adding that the PDP has ‘strong men’ in every unit and ward across the state capable of ensuring victory for the party next year.
According to him, Akpabio’s kinsmen have risen against the former Senate Minority Leader because of his action which they see as capable of making them politically irrelevant in the political equation.