Former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Engr. Chris Ekpenyong, strongly condemned any attempt by the Federal Government under the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to use anti-democratic forces to take over the governance of Akwa Ibom State during the 2019 general elections.
Ekpenyong, one of the founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), spoke in the wake of defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio who is representing Akwa Ibom North West in the National Assembly to APC.
“It would be unfair and unjust for the central government to want to use anti-democratic forces to take over Akwa Ibom State by force,” he said and enjoined the people to rally round governor Emmanuel, especially “now that Akpabio’s overbearing influence has been taken away by God.”
He, however, took a swipe at Akpabio’s stunning departure from the party that gave him fame and fortune, to pitch tent with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying it was a clear case self-serving.
Senator Akpabio, had while defecting to the APC at a ceremony held at Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium, explained that he was a nationalist on a mission to take Akwa Ibom to the larger picture of national politics, explaining that “it would be difficult for my State to have a fair share of national cake while remaining as opposition”.
He added that his migration from the PDP, a platform he stood to rule Akwa Ibom for eight years (2007-2015), to the APC was not to shield himself from the anti-agency’s long arm, but to join hand with President Muhammadu Buhari, to fix Nigeria.
But Ekpenyong, his kinsman from the same Ikot Ekpene geo-political entity was quick to fault the former Minority Leader, saying “Godswill is not used to consulting his people before taking decisions, even when he was the governor.
‘’And because he knew that his decision to defect from the PDP to the APC was entirely for his personal interests, he could not consult his people because he knew no one would support him.
Ekpenyong, who served as Deputy to former Obong Victor Attah (1999-2005), in an interview in Uyo, the State capital, “It is time for the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District to open their eyes because in 2019, we should not allow ourselves continue to remain under the influence of an emperor and a gangster because no matter how powerful you are, you cannot be greater than your people.”
“He (Akpabio) was the person that called all of us to queue behind Udom and we all obeyed, even when 23 aspirants declared interest for the position. So, if he was no longer comfortable with his choice, he should formally consult and explain why it should be so.
“I don’t feel bad about his exit from the PDP because it is within his right and a big relief for the party. Therefore, every Annang son and daughter should be guided to remain resolute for the PDP in 2019 because this kind of action by Akpabio is not in the interest of the people and Akwa Ibom.