A one-time Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Ita Awak, has disparaged APC’s stand at the national level thus: ‘’You cannot be wrong if you say that Senator Godswill Akpabio is APC Leader in Annangland.’’
Recall that Senator Akpabio, who defected from PDP to APC on Wednesday, August 8 at Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium, was declared APC Leader in Akwa Ibom State by Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the party and Adams Oshiohmole, APC national chairman.
But Awak, who is also the Director of Airworthiness and Standards (DAWS) in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) stated this Wednesday in a privately owned radio station, Planet 101.1 FM, Uyo, noted ‘’If you say that Senator Akpabio, the former PDP Minority Leader is APC Leader in Annangland, that is fair and square!’’
Awak, a one-time Commissioner for Information during ex-Governor Victor Attah’s regime stated ‘’If because of the crowd you saw in Ikot Ekpene (probably alluding to the National leader and National Chairman of the party), you pronounced him (Akpabio) the leader of APC in Annangland, you cannot be wrong.’’
The ex-APC spokesman who equally defected from PDP to APC in 2014 recalled ‘’Before Akpabio’s entrance into APC, there were leaders and there was already structure. What is going to happen or emerge now- it is going to be a collegiate.’’
He asserted ‘’NO PERSON OR NOBODY can arrogate to himself the leadership of APC in Akwa Ibom State. All we are going to do like my in-law in Mbo- Eyosuang- used to say during elections that ‘Stand in your territory, I stand in my territory’. Go to your territory; do not sprinkle your influence in my territory. This is territory matter.’’
A die-hard critic of Senator Godswill Akpabio and Governor Udom Emmanuel before his present Federal government’s appointment, he explained ‘’When it comes to the constitution of APC in Akwa Ibom State, it is going to be a collegiate thing. He will come with his strength and will add to the strengths of others. We will then work together to bring about a better government for Akwa Ibom State.’’
Speaking on his disagreement with Akpabio, Awak said ”Senator Akpabio commands a status. He is a very charismatic person. My disagreement with him is pathological hatred for my Oro ethnic group. He is a likable person. He throws stuff around. We were colleagues. Providence gave him opportunity to take over from ex-Governor Victor Attah, yet he committed fundamental error.”
On whether Akpabio regrets foisting Udom Emmanuel on Akwa Ibom in 2015, Awak said ‘’Akpabio is calling on us to do what Roman Catholic priests call ‘exorcism’ and I want our people to come and do exorcism. I want us to exorcise from the state the damage or calamity he brought to the state. I will join hands with him to ensure we exorcise from the state the calamity he brought to the state.
‘’I will do everything with him to make sure the calamity is exorcised from the Akwa Ibom psyche to form the government in 2019. In that formation of government, no one or individual will be Suno bono- the only person that determines the next governor. Akwa Ibom people stand and let us vote out PDP from the state in the forthcoming elections.’’
However, some weeks ago, Atuekong Don Etiebet, a former Minister of Petroleum and APC Board of Trustees (BOT) member who did not attend Akpabio’s defection ceremony due to his medical tourism to overseas, had styled himself as the leader of the party in Akwa Ibom State and debunked media reports that he might quit the party for PDP.
One caller queried why Awak has not defected based on the pronouncment that Akpabio is the state leader, he said he would want to stay in the party and win the state for APC.
Another asked why he defected from PDP to APC that had many Oron governorship aspirants instead of staying there to produce Oron governorship candidate, Awak who described the aspirants as G-22 noted that the leader of the party had already made up his mind to produce a candidate of his choice.
Though he described the state as having a tripodal arrangement- Ibibio, Annang and Oron- and the fact that producing Oron person should have emerged as a governor, no one asked why he as APC bigwig did not ensure emergence of an Oron person as APC governorship candidiate during the 2015 general elections.