A former Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Patrick Ekpotu, and the chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, Mr Akinlayo Kolawole, have disagreed over the value accruable to the APC from the recent defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio from the Peoples Democratic Party.
Ekpotu, on Monday, said those celebrating Akpabio’s defection were overrating the former governor’s political influence.
He said the defection of the former governor only showed that Akpabio was incapable of operating within an opposition platform.
Ekpotu made the assertions in a statement made available to journalists.
He claimed that the former Senate Minority Leader’s defection was because the APC was the current custodian of state apparatus, which he usually relied on.
He said, “Akpabio’s recourse is often to rely heavily on apparatus of state security to cow people into submission and dominion.
“His decision to embrace the APC now, among others, is because the APC is today the custodian of that state apparatus.”
Ekpotu claimed that a rude shock awaited Akpabio in his new party.
He said, “A journey into that past rather evokes disdain and repugnance following its glaring shortcomings to which the people had long answered objections and cannot allow a replay, no matter where Akpabio derived his inspiration.
“I see, not just the PDP in the state, but also the majority of its citizens playing this out strongly, stoutly, and committedly in days ahead.”
Dismissing the comparison between Akpabio and Senate President, Bukola Saraki’ defections, as misplaced, the former deputy governor argued that, “In Saraki’s Kwara, his ancestors may have left behind many distinctions to give him a dominating hold on that state and their people cherish it.
“Unfortunately, it is not so in Akwa Ibom where no such commensurate wand is inspired, be it in depth, attainments, legacies and fairness.”
But Kolawole said Akpabio’s defection had neutralised the effect of the defection of the likes of Senate President Bukola Saraki; ex-Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso; Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, and others from the APC.
Kolawole said the recent gale of defections from the APC would not stop President Muhammadu Buhari from being reelected for a second term in 2019.
He argued that Buhari’s fate would be decided by the Nigerian electorate as opposed to the politicians who left the party in droves.
He said, “The whole world, with the exemption of the gullible ones, know that the trio of Saraki, Kwankwaso and Governor Tambuwal are desperate to be President of this nation. But it was sad that they had refused to learn from history that no desperado had ever ruled Nigeria as a President.
“Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan got to the seat through divine intervention at different times. Even President Buhari contested three times for the exalted position but lost out. He only won in 2015 after he was persuaded by Nigerians to lead them to the Promised Land, when it was obvious that the PDP had ruined the country.
“Far from the foregoing, Nigerians are desirous of having a President that has the passion to confront poverty, corruption and insurgency and only President Buhari has these antecedents among the contending forces for the race, not even Saraki or any other person has such records in his political career.”