In his desperation to hold on to power even after the expiration of his second term in 2015, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswil Obot Akpabio was said to have recently forced a number of politicians and party leaders from his Annag ethnic group to swear to an oath of allegiance, popularly known as mbiam in the local parlance of the state.
Sources told us during the weekend that Akpabio, who just returned from a pilgrimage to Israel had summoned the politicians, including members of the House of Assembly and local government chairmen of Annang extraction to this vodoo affair.
According to reports from the meeting which was said to have been held in October at the Uyo home of the governor’s brother, aside from enlisting the support of everyone present at the meeting for the smooth imposition of the current secretary to the state government, Mr. Udom Emmanuel as the successor to Akpabio in 2015, Akpabio also disclosed plans of making an Annang son the next Deputy Governor of the state.
We learnt that in spite of the groundswell of opposition to the governor’s intention to appropriate every office in the state, including the senatorial seat of his district, which is believed to be the turn of the Abak people to himself, Akapabio would stop at nothing to see that he continues to rule the state by proxy come 2015.
This perhaps, informed his decision to forcefully commit his own kinsmen before reaching out to other ethnic groups in the state.
According to local sources who spoke to us, Mbiam is a dreaded traditional oath-taking, which when administered on people results in dire consequencies should they fail to abide by the agrrement swornn to.
We understand that it is a serious ritual that involves swearing to an oath before a powerful local deity, with the powers to visiti the oath-taker, his family and posterity with, pain, untold hardship and even death should he go contrary to what he has sworn to abide by.
To seal off the deal at the said meeting, the governor went ahead to “reward” everyone present with a handsome amount of money. It however remains to be seen how other ethnic groups in the state would react to this development.