As Fresh Crisis Rocks Akwa Ibom APC, Akpabio’s Group Drags Etiebet before Buhari

Akanimo Sampson

Akanimo Sampson

Fresh crisis is currently brewing in Akwa Ibom State’s wing of President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC). At the centre of the storm are Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, and his hitherto political ally, Don Etiebet.

These two feuding political heavyweights in Akwa Ibom politics are battling to control the soul of APC in the state. Some of the delicate moves by Etiebet in the party are not going down well with the Akpabio camp.

In a seeming desperate bid to cut Etirbet to size, a pro-Akpabio group that goes by the name, Senator Godswill Akpabio for Common Good, (SGACG) is lobbying President Buhari and APC’s Acting National Chairman to call Etiebet and his group to order, and to desist from creating confusion in the state branch of the party.

While they are pressing for a transparent democratic process to be allowed in the party, the pro-Akpabio group describes Etiebet as ‘’a half-forgotten politician’’ who is allegedly trying to destroy APC in Akwa Ibom.

SGACG’s National Coordinator, Dr. Jibril Tafida, said so in a statement while reacting to what they described as ‘’a sham meeting’’ of the state wing of APC allegedly led by Etiebet and his supporters. Adding, the Akpabio group said, ‘’it is a new gang-up to destroy and create uncertainty in the state chapter of the party.

“He, Don Etiebet has neither constitutional power nor mandate to decide for the party. Not even the local government chairmanship candidacy, let alone who becomes the governor in Akwa Ibom.”

Etiebet, according to the group, has contested elections and endorsed many candidates, but he and his sponsored candidates lost woefully and miserably. Between 2006 and 2007 when Etiebet ran for elective office, he came 5th in the election.

“In 2015 he lost again and supported Umanah against Akpabio’s candidate and was beaten mercilessly. In 2019 he supported Nsima Ekere and hijacked the APC leadership in the state, the result was betrayal, sectional conspiracy with PDP to stop Akpabio’s Senate Presidency ambition thereby foisting defeat on APC in an election APC clearly won

“Known for backstabbing, he took the Chairmanship of ANPP with nine sitting governors but after secret collaboration with the incumbent PDP President Obasanjo, ANPP was left with only 2 governors on his exit. He was also a one-time founder of a political party – NCPC – during late Gen. Sani Abacha’s military administration.

“True to his nature, he abandoned the supporters of the party nationwide a night before the election to pitch camp with NRC to the chagrin of Nigerian politicians with integrity

“Today, he is surprisingly claiming to endorse a governorship candidate and we wonder how such shenanigans would ever work in a state of enlightened voters like Akwa Ibom.

“In fact, even when he contested against Senator Akpabio in 2011 and came a miserable 4th in the primaries, the margin of his defeat was a deafening rejection of his brand of politics.

“It is ridiculous that he assumes he could succeed with his gambit and attention-seeking project, to actualise Amaechi’s misplaced ambition as a stepping stone,” he said.

SGACG stressed that truths must be told so that innocent Akwa Ibom members won’t fall victim to this empty new charade, adding, “we also call on the good people of Akwa Ibom in particular and the Niger Delta in general to ignore the rantings of Etiebet, who was already half-forgotten politically before this inglorious mis-step.’’

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