LIVING IN THE SHADOWS OF PDP: THE CASE OF AKWA IBOM APC
Many adults today will recall a movie in the early 90’s entitled ‘Snake in Monkey Shadow’, where the style of martial arts displayed therein, was a mixture of both reptile and mammal attributes, making it difficult to spot the difference in tactics. In our clime, contemporarily, the opposition party in the state, The All Progressives Congress(or Confidence) has made it increasingly difficult for on-lookers to decipher their true identity and ideology, away from lurking in the shadows of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
Away from the movement of negative elements (most of whom were the major perpetrators of and beneficiaries from the impunity in the PDP of old) from our party to theirs, they have continually relied on the crumbs from our tables- this, history bears an eloquent testimony. In 2015, the gubernatorial candidate and his running mate, all three Senatorial candidates and numerous House of Representative and State Assembly candidates of the APC, were politicians who had commenced their ill-fated aspirations in our party and upon being unsuccessful, defected. So we can safely say that the APC picked their candidates from the crumbs of PDP’s table. The poser for them is: If you had credible aspirants in your party, why pick a benched player on loan as your star player? Of course, when the elections arrived, their candidates were a walkover. The APC in Akwa Ibom should therefore publicly thank our great party for being the chief supplier of her candidates.
In 2014, we informed the entire country that the principle of zoning (which is enshrined in our party’s constitution) was going to be the major determinant for the emergence of our candidate for the office of the Governor of our state. We received scathing attacks from the APC, particularly stating that zoning was unconstitutional and undemocratic. We ignored their ranting and continued on our assured path to victory at the 2014 nominations and subsequently, the 2015 elections. In nominating our candidate, our delegates(both statutory and ad hoc), drew from our rich history where in 1999, when we zoned the Governorship to Uyo Senatorial district, an Architect, (Obong) Victor Attah( from Uyo federal constituency) emerged; in 2007 when we also zoned the office to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, a Barrister, Chief Godswill Akpabio(from Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency)was elected; so in 2015, when it was the turn of Eket Senatorial district, a top notch Banker, Mr Udom Emmanuel was the popular choice. Whereas, APC filed a challenger to Udom Emmanuel from Uyo Senatorial District, dramatically, immediately after the Supreme Court upheld the election of Governor Udom Emmanuel, the APC caucus met, shamelessly capitulated and purported to zone their Governorship candidature to Eket Senatorial District. Again, courtesy demands that they should have apologized to Akwa Ibom people for their previous misleading position and ultimately appreciated our party for always blazing the trail for good. These later day advocates of zoning owe us some accolades.
Recently, we learnt that the APC had rented for their use, our old secretariat, along Ikot Ekpene road and at the ‘commissioning’, they were rejoicing. They are reported to have said that, the house was symbolic and carried our good luck cum secret of electoral success. They quickly forgot the age long saying that, ‘where the Judge is, there his court is’. They should never forget that in life, it is usually more about the content than the container. So celebrating the acquisition of an abandoned property should not call for celebration, except for persons (failed politicians) who are satisfactorily confined to existing in the shadows of another’s success. It does not just make sense!
While we are deeply concerned as to the amorphous identity and political ideology of the APC, which rather than being distinct, is crawling in our shadows, we advise that they emulate our party’s disposition towards quality infrastructure delivery, strong advocacy on burning state and national issues among other many positives. For example, it will be recalled that it was the strong advocacy from the PDP in the state, that demanded the appointment of an Akwa Ibom indigene as the NDDC MD, after the sack of the Bassey Dan Abia- led Board, while members of the opposition kept mum and enjoyed the crumbs that fell from the table of the Immediate past Acting MD, Mrs Ibim Semenitari.
As the 2019 general elections approach, we will love to hear the position of the APC, Akwa Ibom Chapter on the Herdsmen/Farmers crisis, Water Resources Bill and other burning national issues, not the colourless and timeworn blabs that have characterized their political communication since their inception.
Finally, like Francis of Assisi opined, “a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows”, the sunbeam of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s divine mandate will not only drive away, but extinguish and exterminate every shadow of opposition in Akwa Ibom State.
Comrade Ini Ememobong
State Publicity Secretary