Senator Godswill Akpabio has confirmed rumours that have been swirling around for some time that he has been negotiating to join another political party, possibly the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Senator Akpabio told Ikot Ekpene senatorial district PDP members on Monday at a rally where they endorsed him and Gov Udom Emmanuel that his interest is beyond PDP.
“Don’t be worried about election. Election is all about voting. Today, you have noticed that I did not shout too much about party because you have endorsed Godswill Akpabio as an unopposed candidate. And this endorsement as an unopposed is irrespective of whether you call it CUPP, Coalition of Political Parties in Nigeria or whether it is PDP. No matter the party, you are saying let God’s will be done again.”
There have been rumours for more than one year that Senator Akpabio has been lobbying APC national and state leaders to allow him join APC.
Observers believe that this might have accounted for his rather muted approach to his job as Minority Leader. Irked by his accommodating stance towards APC at the federal level, particularly his refusal to criticize President Buhari, members of the PDP Senate caucus nearly had him removed as minority leader recently.
Our reporters gathered that his claim to belong to all parties at a rally meant to endorse Udom Emmanuel, his protégé, as the unopposed PDP candidate for governor in 2019, threw Emmanuel’s camp into a fit of disbelief and anger.
A PDP leader from Eket Senatorial District told our reporters, “it is clear, Akpabio won’t support Udom Emmanuel to return as governor in 2019. He couldn’t have been more obvious even if he carried a banner proclaiming same”, he added.
It will be recalled that the duo of godfather and godson fell apart some months earlier when Senator Akpabio made his now famous, “All is not well with Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District” speech. The two men were believed to have kissed and made up. It has now emerged that they hadn’t, or perhaps the cracks between them that were papered over have since split open.
Another observer told our reporter, “Godswill’s major problem is that as minority leader, he is most uncomfortable sitting on the sidelines. The man didn’t go to Abuja to play opposition. By character and temperament, Akpabio needs to be where things are happening; where the power is. As minority leader, he is not on the central stage”, he concluded.
Culled: Atlantic Observer