An immediate past factional chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Udoma Ekarika, Friday, left tongues wagging after he admitted to employing lies and vile propaganda to tar Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration.
Ekarika, who defected from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, August 20, this year, was a guest in a programme aired on a privately owned radio station, Inspiration FM, Uyo.
Known as an ardent critic of Akwa Ibom Governor Emmanuel, the former Commissioner for Works shocked his listeners thus: “My going back to PDP today is divine because Udom has done so many things that impress me as a person. I’m not talking about money or road; one of the things the governor has done for Akwa Ibom people is that you can sleep with your two eyes closed.”
As he spoke, he readily forgot that many residents of Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun communities in Akwa Ibom cannot sleep with their eyes close due to killings, kidnappings and rape by suspected cultists while others are Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in other local government areas and states.
When asked why he, in less than a month, came to support a government that he had consistently criticised for more than three years, Ekarika said that he was only playing opposition politics at the time and that there was no truth in his criticism of the government.
“You know, this is pure politics when you want to make your party up there. We were in the opposition and we had to talk strong but in reality, this is the time to say the truth. What I am saying is that as an opposition party, you have to do everything to make sure that you win election. It was all politics.
‘’What I am saying is that it was all in the essence of politics. You know, when you are in opposition and you want to take over, you will do so many things,” he said.
A caller, however, asked if he would have left the party had members allowed him to be chairman and he responded thus: “If they had allowed somebody to be where God has destined the person to be, not using personal influence to scuttle somebody’s destiny, I would not have left. That is why there are many parties. When one is not good for you, you go to the one that is good for you so that you can actualise your ideals.”
Ekarika, a medical doctor, also claimed that he was instrumental to the emergence of Senator Godswill Akpabio as a commissioner in the then Governor Victor Attah led administration. He made it clear that he could not function in the same political party with Akpabio.
It was unclear if he was a political godfather then because it was alleged that Senator Itak Bob Ekarika, a PDP stalwart and his uncle recommended him for appointment and susbsequent swearing in as Commissioner for Health from 1999-2003, though he later became married to Victor Attah’s daughter.
Continuing, he recalled “I was the president of Annang students in the University of Calabar in 1986 when Akpabio came as a fresher. From that time I knew him and even made him the speaker of the Student Union alongside the late Barr. Usen Ibokette, the President of Student Union Government. They finished and left me because I was reading Medicine and Surgery. He left for Lagos.
“During the wedding of my brother in-law, Chris Attah in May 19, 2001, he came to the wedding and invited me to his house and when I went there, the wife was pregnant with the second child. He told me things were very very difficult with him.
‘’When His Excellency Obong Attah dissolved the cabinet, I sent for him to see what I could do to make him become a commissioner. When he came and his name was sent to the House of Assembly for confirmation, Obong Attah did not ask for his CV because I was his CV,” the factional APC chairman claimed.