The Akwa Ibom state governor, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, has vowed to spare no cash in ensuring the emergence of Mr. Udom Emmanuel as the next governor of the oil-rich state in the 2015 gubernatorial election. According to the governor, “I will spare no cash in ensuring that Udom becomes the governor in 2015”.
The governor made the declaration at the inauguration of a 31-member steering committee which he set up to coordinate the campaign of Udom Emmanuel across the state. Present at the inauguration ceremony were the governor’s loyalists including his clansmen, Emem, Ibanga and Prince Akpabio, derogatorily referred to as the “Ukana mafia”.
By the inauguration of the Campaign Steering Committee, which membership is drawn from the 31 local government areas of the state, the governor is believed to have set the tone for the 2015 gubernatorial election in the state.
Information reaching us indicates that governor Akpabio is bent on making Udom Emmanuel, who has been his long-time business partner, and whom he recently appointed as the Secretary to the AkwaIbom State Government (SSG), the governor of the state in 2015.
Those in the know believe that the motive behind the imposition of Udom would be to shield the governor and his family, as well as cover up his business dealings, while he (Akpabio) continues to administer the state by proxy after the expiration of his tenure in 2015.
To enable Akpabio have a smooth sail, the governor is said to have made Udom to swear to an oath of allegiance to him prior to Udom’s official swearing in last July. The essence of the private oath-taking was to ensure that Udom is bound by the terms and conditions dictated by Akpabio when eventually he (Udom) is sworn in as the governor in 2015.
However, the governor’s decision is said not to have gone down well with stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political stakeholders in the state. Consequently, the governor is said to be having a running battle with interested parties who feel that such an imposition may not augur well for the growth of the party in the state.
The opposition has therefore formed a coalition with a mandate to resist the attempt of the governor to foist his stooge on the people.
A few weeks back, a meeting convened by the governor to drum up support for the SSG among the Ibibios of the Uyo Senatorial district ended in a fiasco as a big fight was said to have broken out among the the governor’s loyalists and the faction opposed to Udom’s candidature.