Elders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Akwa Ibom State, have written a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, rejecting the listing of Senator Godswill Akpabio for ministerial appointment. The group, Ibom Integrity & Servant Leadership Culture Initiative said that such an appointment is an invitation to the crisis in the State. They claimed that the poor representation of APC in Akwa Ibom state in the last general election was large as a result of the destabilizing and authoritarian tendencies of Akpabio, who only believed that it’s either his way or nobodies.
The letter titled “Ministerial Appointment: Why Appointing Akpabio Maybe Counter-Productive”, was signed by the Executive Vice President of the group, Dr. Asuquo Edidem Etim. Copied to the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, the petitioners described Akpabio as a ‘destabilizing agent’.
Akpabio, a former state governor on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and later minority leader in the Senate, defected to the APC shortly before the 2019 general election. His return bid to the Senate failed in the recent general election. The group stated that the “same Senator Akpabio that in years past, had been your and our party’s nemesis cannot suddenly become the gadfly of your political generosity”.
According to them, Akwa Ibom State boasts of men of immense integrity who can fit into the ministerial positions to help realise the next level agenda of the APC government. The letter read in parts: “Mr. President, this second mandate affords you the opportunity to select your ministers in a manner that will ensure that they do not become liabilities to your government or dent your impeccable image.
Characters with known corruption allegations or propensity for pettiness, mischief, treachery, profligacy and vendetta, should be avoided. Senator Godswill Akpabio, unfortunately, is one of such integrity deficient individuals. “Many had thought that his (Akpabio) joining APC would bring cool breeze of good fortunes to the party in the state, but rather his highhanded nature and disrespect for internal democracy in the party and the will of the people to chose their leaders, became a raging storm that uprooted the recognized structures of the party right from the grassroots, as he imposed party leaders from the wards and even unit levels.
Leaving many party men and women very bruised, trampled and disgruntled. This sadly affected the chances of our governorship candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere”. “Akwa Ibom has many respectable, level headed personalities that would represent the state with grace at the federal executive, just as our son, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Economic Planning, has done creditably in the past four years. In terms of loyalty to the party and contributions to its development in the state, we have Party men including Chief Umana Umana and Senator John Udoedehe, among others who had toiled to keep the party afloat over time in the state”.