Senator Godswill Akpabio, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, is the Minority Leader of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His selfless service to the state, unfettered loyalty to his party; the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), his unprecedented leadership of the party’s Governors’ Forum, are said to be among the very many reasons which earned him his current position in the Senate, even though,he is a non ranking Senator.
Akpabio, as the governor of the state, left the state better than he met it in 2007, and this has been and still being attested to, by those who had either visited the state when he called the shots, or visited after he had left office as the state chief helmsman.
The history and the development trace which the Ukanna- born legal practitioner cum politician left behind after his meritorious service to the state abound in all the nooks and crannies of the state. Akpabio, whether we like it or not, remains a recurrent decimal in the history of the modern Akwa Ibom state which he took from the level of land of promise to that of promise and fulfillment.
It is instructive and pertinent to note that the myriad of sponsored attacks now being unleashed on the senate minority leader, on the social and other media platforms, despite his achievements, are orchestrated and selfish attempts by those who saw his decision to side with the common people as an affront that must not be allowed to go unchallenged wherever and whenever Akpabio finds himself in any leadership position.
Therefore, his recent elevation to the position of the Senate Minority Leader, is yet, another bitter pill being forced down the throat of those who saw, and are still not seeing anything good in whatever he does or had done.
His current leadership position in the Nigerian Senate,even as non ranking member, means nothing to them. They have refused to acknowledge the presence of, and the hand of God in whatever the Senator lays his hands to do.
While, Nigerians both within and outside the country, celebrate Akpabio as the face of future Nigeria, the vocal minority in the state are, on a daily basis, castigating his person and achievements for reasons best known to them.
Recently, the Diamond Bank Plc, published the list of debtors to the bank and unfortunately, Akwa Ibom State was listed as one of the debtors. His detractors and apostles of hates, expectedly, went to the media, running their mouth against the former governor, that he plunged the state into serious debt and the Diamond debt saga must have been the handiwork of the Ukanna-born politician.
But recent revelation on the procurement of the loan showed that the erstwhile Akpabio-led administration knew nothing about it. In fact, the loan was actually obtained by the Ex Governor Victor Attah administration for the construction of the Ibom power plant.
The management of the plant stated this much, while speaking with the media on the development. The management disclosed that the facility was obtained during the administration of Obong Attah and was secured by Prof Okon Ansa- led board. The management of the plant also exonerated the Akpabio-led administration from having anything to do with the facility as he was only aware of the loan when the plant could not service the facility, years after his assumption of office. The loan deal, it was further learnt, was not part of the handing over note that was given to Akpabio in 2007.
Condemning Akpabio on the pages of newspapers and whipping up ethnic sentiments just to give the dog a bad name in order to hang it, is certainly not the route rational thinking people tread.
Written by Jackson Udom