Udom, Akpabio’s 2023 Presidential Bids Rupturing Akwa Ibom PDP

By: Godwin Offor / May 8, 2022 / 1197

The Akwa Ibom State wing of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is currently being polarized because of the 2023 presidential ambition of Governor Udom Emmanuel, and r Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio.

Akpabio who dominated the affairs of the party from 2007 through 2015 before defecting to All Progressives Congress (APC) for fear of being messed up by weighty allegations of corruption is locked in a backstage battle with Udom for the soul of PDP in the state.

Insiders say Akpabio took good care of the party when he was governor than the present administration.

That may explain why the PDP is boldly supporting the presidential aspiration of the minister. At his official declaration ceremony at Ikot Ekpene Stadium, a banner purported to be from PDP, declared, “People Democratic Party (PDP) Akwa Ibom State chapter in support of His Excellency Chief Dr. Godswill Akpabio for President 2023.”

It was displayed under the VIP section of the venue. Though some PDP supporters are alleging that this was done by APC to embarrass PDP, others are insisting that the banner is a reflection of the simmering internal crisis in the state PDP.

PDP State Publicity Secretary, Borono Bassey, has dismissed the banner, claiming that it was not from the party. In a statement, he said, “we have seen a photograph of a banner with an inscription to the effect that a party with the name – “People” Democratic Party is in support of the presidential rally of the Minister of Niger Delta, Akpabio.

“Whereas the aforementioned “Party” does not exist as a duly registered Political Party in Nigeria and certainly not in Akwa Ibom, we understand that the innuendo that the mischief makers set out, but failed to achieve was to use the name of our Party – The Peoples Democratic Party to score points.”

The PDP spokesperson said the party is moved by sympathy to wonder why Akpabio’s handlers chose a day like this to embarrass their principal by reminding him that any of his political aspiration will amount to nothing if such aspiration does not come on the platform of the only Party in Akwa Ibom State – the Peoples Democratic Party.

The statement continued that “As a Party, we are glad by this overwhelming decision by Chief Akpabio and his handlers to again admit the obvious truth, that without the platform of the PDP, electoral victories in the state are impossible.

“We however offer a lot of sympathy to the Minister of Niger Delta and his few guests who will be forced to eat from the dish of this monumental embarrassment that has been served by his handlers.

“More importantly, we are motivated by the reverberating message by Akwa Ibom People that the only party they have come to accept is the Peoples Democratic Party,” the release boasted.

Bassey reminded mischief makers and people with unrealistic political ambitions that although the party will not be the ones to throw the first salvo, it will stop at nothing to visit her sledgehammer on any political fly that wants to perch on and abuse her pristine image as a Party.

But some PDP players are saying that the banner at the venue of Akpabio’s declaration was a product of the discontentment within Akwa Ibom PDP and not that of mischief makers as claimed by the party spokesperson.

According to them, Governor Udomhas been, allegedly running a clanish administration, that only few members of the party have access to him or enjoy the booties of his administration.

‘’During Akpabio’s administration, many party members and Akwa Ibom residents were empowered by the government but that is not the case with the current administration that have literally handed over every business of the state to consultants and outsiders, thereby pauperising the locals’’, they said.

For them, Udom was among the first to pick the PDP presidential form, he is yet to make an official declaration of interest in the state to inform Akwa Ibom people of his desire rather he is busy traversing across Nigeria giving an impression that the people who gave him a platform to aspire for the presidency do not matter in his political future.

‘’The banner at Ikot Ekpene Stadium is a clear statement that in an event of Akpabio and Udom getting their respective parties tickets, the PDP in the state will vote for the minister, because of his antecedent’’, they said.

Another reason for the discontentment in Akwa Ibom PDP is the imposition of Pastor Umo Eno by Udom as the preferred aspirant and candidate for the 2023 governorship election which denied other gubernatorial aspirants a level playing group to vie for the governorship ticket.

They pointed out the conduct of the previous Saturday ward congress to choose delegates for the forthcoming primaries was controversial and did not go well with some governorship aspirants and their supporters, thereby widening the gulf between the governor and some party stakeholders in the state.

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