Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio will not cease to amuse me. He has a way of keeping his secrets really under wrap. One of such secrets is his 2015 senatorial ambition, which is the best-kept secret I know of. One distinguished senator told me a story early this year. It went like this: some senators went on a visit to Akwa Ibom State.
And typically, Governor Akpabio personally led them on tour of some developmental projects he had executed, and the governor is widely known to have done noble in the area of infrastructure in the state. Inside the luxury bus they rode in to go round inspecting the projects, Akpabio told them how happy he was in their company. According to the story, he then informed the senators he would join them in the Senate come 2015, thus hinting at his senatorial ambition. One of the senators in the bus was Aloysius Etuk, the man the governor would replace in the Senate if he won in 2015. The senators were flustered, Etuk was thrown off balance; Akpabio himself was embarrassed.
If that was a slip, Akpabio repeated the same thing again last weekend, though he claimed he was joking. It was at the 20th year remembrance of governor of defunct South-eastern State, Brig. Gen. Udoakaha Esuene, in Eket and in attendance were many prominent people including some senators. Akapabio said the same Senator Etuk would be his campaign manager for his 2015 senatorial plan. “This is the first time the senators are going to know that Senator Aloysious Etuk will be my campaign manager during the senatorial election in 2015,” he said. Now, Governor Akpabio is entitled to his 2015 ambition.
He has done nothing wrong by wanting to be like his colleague governors who covet moving to the Senate after their governorship tenure as the best form of political ascendancy. Apart from sitting as governor up till the time of the election in 2015, the political indices are stacked heavily against Etuk as I understand Akpabio is also from the majority Annang stock in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district, which Etuk represents at present in the Senate.
Etuk is from Ikono local government area, an Ibibio speaking area, but a minority in that senatorial district. As I said, Akpabio is entitled to his ambition and though I’m not trying to stoke ethnic fire in any way, but methinks the governor shouldn’t be oppressing Etuk the way he is doing. Or if that is not plain oppression, I don’t know what it is.