By Aniekeme Finbarr
Other than demonizing former Governor Godswill Akpabio, Governor Udom Emmanuel and the PDP, the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State is short of ideas and what it takes to govern Akwa Ibom State. It would have been naturally unnecessary to mention the APC in a serious discuss concerning development and governance, but the recent judiciary pronouncements concerning Akwa Ibom state has given the APC the window to play on the sensitivities of Akwa Ibom people.
Take the campaigns during the 2015 elections for instance, the few promises made by the APC and their Governorship hopeful were nothing short of being comical. The party promised Akwa Ibom students bursary of N50,000 each just as the party at the national promised unemployed graduates N5,000 each monthly. The scales have fallen and it is clear now that there is little or no nexus between propaganda and governance.
The propaganda machinery has again been refuelled. Rather than focus on practical ideas that will take Akwa Ibom state to an enviable status, the APC in the state, basically made up worn out former PDP faithful are changing the narrative. The truth is that APC has no plans for the state.
Just as my brother, Joe Iniodu agrees with me, It is false and misleading the notion that PDP is finished in the state. The Peoples Democratic Party won in almost all the elected offices in the State. It won all the senatorial seats – judicially confirmed; all the 10 Federal seats – judicially confirmed; and 22 seats in the House of Assembly – the stated number are all judicially confirmed. The postulations of the APC is therefore not in tandem with reality. It was just demagogy as usual with the intent to confuse and mislead. The converse of the APC’s submission is rather the truth which is that there is no way APC will win if a rerun eventually comes.
APC in the State is an emergency contraption designed to carter for the interest of the aggrieved. It does not have the structure to win election but has a bunch of fanatical and boisterous people who assume that anger can win election. But it has never been so. Anger imposes instinctive options that are not rationally distilled. Such base passions fizzle out when the individual is sober or encounters truth. I know that the so called APC faithful of today would return to the altar of truth after the Supreme Court judgement and their failure to clinch their much desired federal appointments. Only then would they know that APC is not their party. The APC in Akwa Ibom state is too hurriedly assembled and too angry to avoid mistakes.
Above all, the people of the state have kept faith with the PDP because of its excellent record of performance in governance. A party, though not perfect constantly engages the sections of the society before arriving at any major decision. How else can one explain that the APC is brandishing a candidate who is not from Eket senatorial zone, a section of the state that is enjoying the governorship for the first time, since 1987.
That singular miscalculation has ridiculed the chances of the APC and betrayed its ethno-superiority complex and total disregard for the ethnic minorities in Eket senatorial district. It is further shocking that the party did not even have an aspirant in the race from the Eket zone, not even one, even a cosmetic candidate for the cameras. The party apparently deficient in sound ideology or political tradition opted for a man who was disqualified from the PDP for attempting to deny the people of Eket Senatorial District a chance to taste the seat of power after 16 years of democracy. A school of sane minds in the APC however argue that it wasn’t their decision to hand him the party’s flag but that he forcefully twisted the hands of the party’s hierarchy and snatched the ticket after barely a few weeks since he joined the party.
Whatever the case is, the APC in Akwa Ibom state is sitting on the heads of justice and logic. No amount of flowery expositions, fine articles or loud radio interviews will justify the fact that Eket Senatorial District is not deserving of the Governorship or that a certain set of persons were divinely granted the right to rule over others.
The APC wants to plunge Akwa Ibom state into a needless political tussle and crises in the future. Governor Udom Emmanuel is a product of a consensus predicated upon fairness, justice and equity. The overwhelming decision to shift the governorship slot to Eket Senatorial zone was for the sake of inculcating mutual co-existence among our people and essentially to give every man, woman and child of our dear state a clear sense of belonging. APC has no respect for equity and justice.
Sadly still, this APC candidate in Akwa Ibom state does not have a better record of prudence with public funds neither has he better ideas than the present governor. So what is the hullabaloo about? The entire plan is to mortgage Akwa Ibom state so that some political godfathers from the west and north can indiscriminately put their itchy fingers into our state treasury at will. It will not work. Akwa Ibom State is not a conquered territory, we are a federating unit with equal rights and privileges.
The APC is attempting to derail Akwa Ibom people. First, it is making frantic efforts to distort the sense of brotherhood that has defined the political union in the state. Secondly, the party intends to use the judiciary to needlessly take Akwa Ibom state back to elections. No state or country develops by conducting elections every year. Elections are generally demanding financially. There are severe logistic burdens to be carried by all the players in the game. From consultations to open rallies, publicity and the main elections, a lot of money goes down the drain for a leader to emerge. With the state of the economy, is election a luxury Akwa Ibom people will love to afford? The answer is no. The PDP is not afraid of elections, not with the grasp it has in the state. But are we always going to have elections every year? Parties must learn to accept the results of elections like President Jonathan did and move on.
Akwa Ibom people are satisfied with Mr Udom Emmanuel from Eket Senatorial zone as Governor. He is a man who has proven to be a reliable manager of men and materials. The PDP got it right with the right man, from the right place, with the right name for the right time. The people of Akwa Ibom state are with the Peoples Democratic Party. And so be it!