Senator Godswill Akpabio explodes (part 2)

Senator Godswill Akpabio explodes (part 2)


Akwa Ibom people must stand up against those who propagate politics of tribe and hate.

In Itu, you have a peculiar problem. It happened in PDP. There was a state in this country where they will do election and after election, a single individual in Abuja will stay there and share things, according to the way he likes. Others will do the voting, he will do the sharing. I think that was the lot of Itu.

Some people will live in Le Meridien Hotel and not visit Itu for one day, but immediately after the election, they will go to the Governor and ask “Your Excellency, what is there for Itu, I’m the Leader”? Is that not what was happening?

The same people were the ones who brought tribalism into Nigeria as young men in politics. They use to sit down in Cross River radio shouting about Annang – Ibibio fighting during the days of Dr Clement Isong and yet there was no problem between the Annangs and the Ibibios.

The greatest supporters of Dr Clement Isong were from Annang. The then Paramount ruler of Abak, Chief Authur was 100 percent for Dr Clement Isong. Dr Ime Umanah (may his soul rest in peace) was one of the greatest supporters of Dr Clement Isong. Commissioner Etokebe from Ikot Ekpene was also another supporter of Dr Isong. E. P Umanah, the commissioner for Industries was for Dr Clement Isong. The whole of this area was for Dr Clement Isong.

What was the problem? The problem of the struggle in the then NPN was between the Oligarchy led by the Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas (not an Annang man) against Dr Isong. It had nothing to do with Annang and Ibibio.

Who was going to be the beneficiary of the fight between Dr Wayas and Dr Isong? If at that time, the then Senate President, Joseph Wayas had succeeded in removing Dr Isong the beneficiary was going to be a son of Itu and the person was Captain Asuquo Ekanem. But when they said, Captain go and consult with your people, that if Dr Isong is removed you are going to be the Governor of Cross River State, he came back home and went back to Calabar without a single delegate. He could not muster the delegates.

By following the young man (Idongesit Ituen) you have changed the paradigm of politics. What you are saying today is that you are now prepared to take your rightful portion of whatever comes to Uyo Senatorial District.

So this was the situation. It was not programmed for chief Donald Etiebiet. It was programmed for Captain Asukwo Ekanem but his people refused to follow him and so he had no delegates. That was how Chief Donald Etiebiet became the Governor of the then Cross River State for three months. It had nothing to do with Annang-Ibibio.

And those stories they use to tell about ineffective majority was blackmail against Chief Victor Akan, because it was a way to stop him from becoming a two-term Senator in Eket Senatorial District.

As young people who are growing up, our Elders have continued to feed us with lies. Some of the practitioners are still alive. Go and ask them what caused the problem. Chief Wayas and co brought the Governor into office. Chief Clement Isong was a good Governor. He built a lot of functional industries but because of one problem, he had worked in Central Bank for a long time and so he believed in protocol.

And so when some Senators and members of the House from Lagos went to see him in Calabar, he asked the Secretary to tell them to fill the visitors form and they pleaded with the Secretary that this is the Senate President, tell the Governor that he is here but the Governor insisted that the protocol was that they should fill the visitors’ form and the protocol must be followed.

Finally, they burst into the office and told the Governor, “Your Excellency, we brought you here. We came to meet you in Surulere, and we asked you to come and be the Governor but you said you don’t want to be Governor, that you have retired and you wanted to rest. We begged you and you said gentlemen, I have no kobo to put in politics and we said we will provide the money, just come and you finally agreed and followed us. Even to see you now,
we have to fill forms and we pleaded with you that we had to catch a flight to Lagos but you insisted we should fill the form, that it is the protocol. Your Excellency, we are not supporting you to continue this protocol in second term.” That was it. So that was the interplay of political forces and people read ethnic meanings into what they dont have any clue about.

Find out who was the originator of the politics of division and hate, who was the state youth leader of the NPN at the time?

He was the one who use to sit on the radio and television in those days to propagate the politics of hate and division through a programme: Just a moment!

Even now they are still up to their old tricks. But unfortunately for them now, it is not Godswill Akpabio who will stand election as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

I can no longer be Governor of Akwa Ibom State. And then looking at the APC, it is going to be an Ibibio man versus another Ibibio man. So what are they going to say this time around.? Tell me what they will say. Will that politics of tribe work this time around?

Akwa Ibom people must stand up against those who propagate politics of tribe and hate.

(Being excerpts from extempore remarks by Senator Godswill Akpabio when political stakeholders from Itu Local Government Area paid him a solidarity visit in Ukana. )

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