June 10, 2013 – Rivers Vs Akwa Ibom State: Governor Rotimi Amaechi & Godswill Akpabio In Intense Political Fighting
Many of us came to know the stylish world of Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, when editors from all walks of the media in Nigeria converged at Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, for their Editors Guild summit. All the newspapers were awash with the glowing tribute the editors paid to Akpabio, for being a gentleman that had the reasonableness for good governance. But all those facial-appearances the editors saw in the governor seem to have been thrown to the dogs, following the precarious politics that Akpabio has been playing in the imbroglios that have surrounded the once admired and redoubtable Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), which the non-hovering Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, has made to be pronounced and today, it has become the fear of the presidency, which Akpabio now could been seen to be posing as an errand boy for.
It is not yet clear what Akpabio had at heart with his involvement in all the battles in the politics of the NGF he has been in the forefront against Amaechi, but has always bitten the dust and Amaechi, has always been the winner. Not even the splinter group named PDP Governors Forum, which Akpabio cheers, also, has been functional in the direction it was formed. This group was formed in order to whittle the powers said that Amaechi was brandishing in the NGF. Yet, it has not worked. Since Thursday 21 February, when the first ‘political coup’ was staged against Amaechi in the NGF, Akpabio has been opposing everything Amaechi.
In all the roof-rofos from Akpabio against Amaechi, it has been indicated that Akpabio is not a good strategist, which has given Amaechi the hardheartedness to floor him in any plot. But instead Akpabio would accept defeat in the fights Nigerians know that he has lost many times before Amaechi; he is yet posing before the president as Mr. Remedy to all the plots that have been and that are going to be played by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Amaechi. Surprise that Akpabio does not want peace to reign in the PDP, as recent facts in the newspapers can buttress.
From the February 21, when it came to the public notice that the presidency has enormous interest in how the NGF should be run, Akpabio has been speechifying against Amaechi. But with the much heralded election of the NGF, which took place on Friday 24th May and Amaechi was said to have won Governor Jonah Jang (the choice-candidate of Akpabio who was in collaboration with the presidency against Amaechi), Akpabio does not want to give up and does not want to accept defeat. What the victory of Amaechi signifies is that he (Amaechi) stands a better use for the PDP, than Akpabio, who was said to have promised President Goodluck Jonathan that he had the machinery in place to deliver Jang. Yet, he failed to deliver and has refused to be remorseful and plead to Jonathan, for accepting to engage in the fight against Amaechi, he knew appropriately that he was no match to Amaechi.
The election of the NGF in which Amaechi re-contested and was said to have won, has exposed a lot of things about the once revered Governor Akpabio. The presidency relied much on Akpabio to deliver Jang, due to the hope he had raised against defeating Amaechi, but he scurried. This is the man whom it was said that a peace move by the leadership of the Senate led by the deputy senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was initiated and he became the spoiler within, with a lot of deep-necked promises to Jonathan. In the news reports, the leadership of the senate was said to have agreed that Amaechi would be allowed to run the headship of the NGF for one year (to 2014) and stay by the side, following the 2015 presidential election, which Jonathan has been caught in-between desperation and authoritarianism.
Why Jonathan has not booted Akpabio out from his side is yet to meet the eyes. Jonathan had seemingly accepted the plan of Ekweremadu, before he left the country for Addis Ababa, in the event of the African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia, except for Akpabio. “But no sooner the Senate leadership travelled to Rivers State to meet with Governor Amaechi on the agreement, than Akpabio boasted to the President that he should not accept Ekweremadu’s proposition as he was capable of turning the tide against the Rivers State governor. Akpabio told Jonathan that he had most of the governors behind him and that they would vote for the President’s candidate. He boasted that he would disgrace Amaechi in the election,” a report said.
All the purportedly boasts of Akpabio was later carpeted, with Amaechi said to have won the NGF election, a development which Jonathan was said to have not been pleased with, when he was in far away Addis Ababa, where he heard the news. Reporters described Jonathan’s mood against Akpabio thus: “He was ‘very angry’ with Akpabio.” Why would Akpabio not allow Amaechi be, having been favoured with oil blocks said was belonging to Rivers State, which (the President has collected and given out?) to Abia, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states, to the chagrin of unsuspecting residents of Rivers State?
With these unfolding issues, it ought to have been known to Jonathan by now that Amaechi was not the problem he has, but the hawks around him, who have been selling Amaechi in bad light around for cheap publicity, that he is his problem. If Amaechi is the problem of Jonathan, as the holier-than-thou members of the PDP want the world to believe, who are bent on fighting Amaechi to standstill, Akpabio then wouldn’t have been described in one of the newspapers reports this way: “The man is more problems to the President than ever envisaged”. What is the sense with what Apkabio has been doing around with the Governor Jang faction of the NGF, when he (Akpabio) was incapable to deliver Jang during the NGF election, having boasted to Jonathan of having all the governors in his palm and that they would vote for Jang? Could it not be deduced here that Nigeria has gotten a flatterer-governor in Akpabio?
It is very sad how petty Akpabio has become with the NGF election result. Is this the same man that the reverenced editors had attested for as a good man? Why must Akpabio continue to make Mr Asishana Bayo Okauru, Director-General of the forum`s Secretariat a liar, after Amaechi’s re-election was announced? Akpabio’s continuous protestation against the election could be directed that he has been playing the ostrich before Jonathan, so that the later does not vent out his anger against him, for promise and fail. Akpabio’s continuous harangue that Amaechi was not supposed to preside over the election could be taken as the outburst of a defeated pro-Jonathan anti-troop that is against Amaechi.
Akpabio forgot that his unremitting voicing that his camp would do nothing than the recognition of Jang is not justifiable in any frankness. Could it be possible for Akpabio to tell Jonathan to leave Amaechi alone and give Nigerians good governance? Is it Jonathan that is using Akpabio against Amaechi, or the other? And if Akpabio was saying that Amaechi was supposed to have stepped down before contesting in the NGF election, Nigerians should ask Akpabio if he stepped down before re-contesting for the position of governor of Akwa Ibom.
In an organize clime, a person like Akpabio ought to have since put down his resignation dispatch, for failing the president in his promise. Yet, Akpabio is not embarrassed, but resorted to embarrassing the sensibilities of Nigerians, and while taking cover that he is fighting Amaechi. Any person with a sound mind is expected to fight injustice and not Amaechi, who won in a declared free and fair NGF election. This habit of Akpabio is not expected anywhere, let alone, from a man who was said is a lawyer.
What is the gauge of a dippy and unfilled person? Akpabio should spare Nigerians with these embarrassments in the fight against Amaechi. His new found fabricated lifestyle opposite what the editors saw and applauded should stop. Akpabio should in earnest stop deceiving Jonathan and masquerading under the tutelage of the PDP struggle. It has become obvious that Amaechi was not the traitor that was within the PDP. If Jonathan can bend down without the support of the hawks around him, he may find out who the true traitors in the fold are and send for Amaechi and make peace with him. Why Akpabio can’t leave Amaechi alone lacks reason in its context.
About the author: Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Tel: +2348057778358 (or) +2348032552855. Email: [email protected]