By Ed Chukwuemeka Otuchikere
Senator Godwill Akpabio, former governor, ex-Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, former minority Senate leader on the platform of PDP, the list can go on and on. This was a man that came to political limelight riding on the back of PDP. Today, in an uncommon defection or carpet crossing, Akpabio has joined ranks with the so-called ‘progressives’ in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
While the public is curious and looking for motives, why this celebrated staunch PDP stalwart will defect at this point in history. Some insiders think that it has everything to do with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) that may be looking at Akpabio’s financial records during his tenure as governor of Akwa Ibom state. Akwa Ibom happens to be one of the oil rich states in the Niger Delta with huge allocations coming in monthly from Abuja.
With this latest assimilation of an ex-PDP bigwig, the APC is currently viewed as a political party of contradictions, whose sole focus is electoral victory. Rather than fulfilling it’s myriad campaign promises, they have gone ahead to absorb key members of the PDP a party they claim was a pack of thieves while travelling around their campaign train.
The general feeling is that nothing exposes the hypocrisy of the APC and their much hyped war on corruption than their affinity with high profile ex-PDP members.
That APC has gone ahead to embrace these key figures who have so seamlessly defected, certainly speaks volumes about their plan or lack of plan for Nigerians and the nations transformation. One begins to believe one of two things- It is either that the APC is a reformation centre or has strong tolerance for bad conduct and characters.
The coming weeks and months will unveil to Nigerians and the world if our war against corruption is simply a slogan or a genuine determination to rid our nation of this malaise that has held us bound for ages at the rock bottom of all development indices.
For Akpabio, we cannot tell if he has made the right political decision or simply taken the line of least resistance. Only time will tell. One thing I know is that his constituents back home are yet to properly recover from this sudden political shock treatment which came as a surprise to all and sundry. The unceremonious resignation of his position as senate minority leader and the orchestrated photo sessions with President Mohammadu Buhari (PMB) in far away London is self-explanatory and clear testament to how far Akpabio can go to remain politically relevant.
However, like most ambitious men, Akpabio must have his sight fixed on a higher goal. His is a grand defector and has consequently established himself firmly on the consciousness of Nigerians as a man who can go to any length to preserve his political career. What is involved here is not principles, but a drive to self-perpetrate himself in power by all means possible. It does not change the lot of the good people of Akwa Ibom who are currently pauperised and marginalised by the skewed political appointments at the centre.
After all said and done, we wish Akpabio well with his new political bed-fellows.
(Written upon Senator Akpabio’s defection from PDP to APC)
Otuchikere is a geologist , entrepreneur and social commentator.