Senator Godswill Akpabio’s planned departure from Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to All Progressives Congress, APC, has rattled political permutations, generated serious ripples and divided Nigerians across the different strata of the society.
Akpabio who is Senate Minority leader visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London on Sunday probably to seal plan to defect to the party this week and some Nigerians mostly cynics and critics have woken with sharpened writing knives to exact pounds of flesh from the APC’s new bride.
In a published article, Femi Fani-Kayode, a one-time Minister of Aviation reacted with rhetorical questions ‘’Does Akpabio honestly see any good in Buhari and his goverrnment? Is that what he thinks that Nigerians deserve to suffer for the next few years and if so what is their crime?
‘’Has he forgotten the gratuitous insults that Buhari dishes out so lavishly on the Nigerian people whenever he travels abroad and speaks to foreign leaders and the foreign press?
‘’Has he forgotten about all those that the Buhari government have killed and all those that have died and suffered in the struggle against them? Does the shedding of innocent blood by a desperate government mean nothing to him?
‘’Has he forgotten the tears of the tormented and persecuted and the cries of the widows, orphans and the bereaved whose loved ones have been butchered by jihadists, religious fanatics, cow-lovers and ethnic supremacists that Buhari has protected and encouraged over the last three years?
‘’Has he forgotten the anguish of those whose loved ones have been locked up indefinately and those who have been demonised and subjected to the most barbaric and insidious media witchunts in the history of our nation?’’
Conitnuing, the popular Nigerian critic and commentator posed ‘’Has he forgotten the practice of double standards in the application of our laws? Has he forgotten how the rogues in Buhari’s cabinet and government and the governors in his party are above the law and get away with blue murder?
‘’Has he forgotten about the slaughter of Northern Christians, IPOB youths and Shiite Muslims?
‘’Has he forgotten about the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Fulani terrorists and herdsmen? Has he forgotten about the attack against the Church and the attempt to undermine and ridicule Christendom?
‘’Has he forgotten about the censorship of the media and how newspapers’ houses and radio and television stations are warned against airing or publishing anti-government material?
‘’Has he forgotten about Buhari’s insidious secret romance with Boko Haram and how he has strengthened them in the last two years by freeing their commanders and paying them huge and unprecedented ransoms?
‘’Has he forgotten the appauling way that members of our Armed Forces are being treated by the government and how they are massacred on the front lines and given secret mass burials in secret graves with no honor or thanks?
‘’Has he forgotten about the brutal assault on the judiciary and judges and the undermining of the rule of law? Has he forgotten about the relentless attacks on the legislature and the humiliation of his colleagues at the National Assembly?
‘’Has he forgotten about the horrors and wickedness that members and leaders of the opposition PDP were subjected to over the last 3 years?
‘’Has he forgotten that Buhari considers himself to be the third and final Mahdi of the North and that he has nothing but contempt and disdain for those that come from the Middle Belt and the South and those that do not share his religious faith?
‘’Has he forgotten the insults the Buhari government heaped on southerners, Middle Belters, Afenifere, Ohaeneze, the Niger Delta Elders, the Middle Belt Forum and every single elder statesman and leader that has called for the restructuring of our country.
‘’Has he forgotten about the division, strife, disgrace, penury, corruption, poverty and despair that they have subjected the Nigerian people to over the last three years.
‘’Has he forgotten what Christians have been subjected to by these demons from hell? Has he forgotten their hatred for the Church? Has he forgotten the division, strife, turmoil, bloodshed, torment and havoc that they have inflicted on our nation?
‘’Has Akpabio forgotten about all these things or is that he is so tormented by the fear of his own shadow, the EFCC and Buhari’s ghost that he has capitulated like a fatherless peasant that lacks nobility, class, dignity, self-respect, good-breeding and honor?’’ he concluded.
But, Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, thinks differently, opining that the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen. Godswill Akpabio may have been contracted by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to infiltrate the camp of APC.
Omokri described Akpabio as a wise man, pointing out that there was more to the defection than meets the eyes.
In a tweet on Monday morning, he said that Akpabio will destroy the APC from within.
Omokri wrote, “Don’t assume the worst about Senator Akpabio.
“There is more to this than meets the eye. The Akpabio I know is a clever player!
“During war, you also send some of your own agents to infiltrate your opponents camp.
“Then you can destroy him from within. Politics is war by other means. “
Yet, Dele Momodu, the Publisher of the Ovation Magazine and former Presidential aspirant, expresses shock, saying that that former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio would become a ‘saint’ after joining the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Momodu said, Sunday, the Senator’s rumoured defection showed that ‘a devil’ changes to a saint when he dumps the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC.
In a tweet he shared on Sunday, Momodu said, “I sincerely congratulated Akpabio for proving to the world what we have always known, that a devil transfigures to saint from PDP to APC and the opposite when he moves from APC to PDP.”
Though mass media are awash with Akpabio’s defection, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has dismissed as speculations the defection of the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The party said it was not aware of the moves by the former Akwa Ibom State governor.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, told Daily Sun, Sunday, that Akpabio, was yet to inform the party about his alleged plan to defect to the APC.
“The party is not aware. He has not written to the party to that effect,” Ologbondiyan said.
However, Onofiok Luke, Akwa Ibom House of Assembly speaker and Moses Ekpo, Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor- Akpabio’s political beneficiaries and PDP members- have debunked notions that they would join him in APC.
In the contrary, members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Akwa Ibom state, under the aegis of Akwa Ibom Progressives Watch, have petitioned the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, protesting the defection of Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, to the party.
In a letter dated August 3, 2018, and addressed to the APC national chairman, the group said it had noted with deep concern the broad chorus of disapproval and complete despondency amongst different strata of members of the APC in Akwa Ibom state over the defection of Akpabio to the party.
The letter endorsed by Innocent Sylvanus, Chairman and Ubong Victor, Secretary, read in part: “Our group is an integrity watch team whose support for the APC is driven by the party’s change agenda, the fight against corruption as well as the near immaculate personality of the leader of the Party, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We metamorphosed from Ibom Transparency Watch under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), working assiduously in the last seven years to entrench in the party sterling values, such as integrity, justice, accountability and transparency, which are lacking in our political system.
“Hence, we have been on the watch so that such persons with tendencies which violate these values are not found tip-toeing around our party.
“For this reason, we feel sad, so are most members of the APC in Akwa Ibom State who looked up to our party as institution that will evict moral pervers as Senator Godswill Akpabio from position of authority, by the admission of Senator Godswill Akpabio into our party.
“Senator Akpabio who is now seeking asylum in the APC called our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, very unprintable names during the 2015 electioneering.
“He ordered the immediate closure of the Ibom Airport on the day Buhari, who was then the presidential flag – bearer of our party visited Akwa Ibom State.
“After our President won the 2015 election despite all their antics, Akpabio encouraged former President Goodluck Jonathan to challenge Buhari’s election victory in court.”
The group also informed Oshiomhole that Akpabio polarised ethnicity to its zenith in his bid to annihilate the Ibibio majority, and destroy the Oro ethnic nationality, when he was governor of Akwa Ibom State.