On Wednesday, Godswill Akpabio, two-time former Governor of Akwa-Ibom State and Minority Leader of the Senate, formally defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP0 to the All Progressives Congress (APC). But don’t be deceived by two keywords above, ‘democrat’ and ‘progressive’. Nigeria is no United States of America where there are clear-cut political ideologies and politicians belong to political camps based on what makes them tick politically.
In this political clime, our politicians are much of a muchness. The insatiable thirst for power drives them; the end for them is what justifies the means. That’s why political affiliations are protean, to say the least. No permanent friends or enemies but permanent interests, self-interest to be precise. Every member of a political party is a potential member of the opposition depending on where the pendulum of power swings.
That Akpabio now belongs in the APC is no news. But to buttress our point that a typical Nigerian politician is a political prostitute who goes, without compunction, with anyone that can pay his price, here is a compilation of the not too pleasant things Akpabio said of the APC while still in the PDP.
‘IF IT IS NOT PANADOL, IT CAN’T BE PANADOL’
In an interview he granted to THISDAY in 2017, Akpabio mocked the APC for performing below par even after two years in power. He said had it been the PDP that was in power, more significant progress would have been made.
“If it is not Panadol, it can’t be the same as Panadol. I believed that if it were PDP–between 2015 and 2017, we would have made more significant progress,” he said. “A lot of plans have been outlined but not much has actually been seen in terms of progress and delivering promises; most of the campaign promises have actually not been met.”
Now that he has joined APC, will he still insist that PDP will perform better in power? We’ll soon know.
APC LACKS FOCUS AND EXPERIENCE
In the same interview, he said the ruling party lacked focus and experience. He said these twin-shortcomings were responsible for the ruling party’s inability to deliver on its campaign promises.
He said: “Before you make promises to the people you must have done not just the detailed analysis of the economic situation of the government, but a review of the economic policies of the government. So, if they say they underestimated the mess created or left behind by the PDP that means they, on their own part, were not prepared for governance.”
APC IS ‘GREEDY’
In June 2016, while speaking on the floor of the Senate, Akpabio had a sly dig at Senate President Bukola Saraki, and stopped short of calling the APC “greedy”.
“You (Saraki) were jittery and sweating on that day. If we had wanted to take over the Senate, the PDP would have done that,” he had said. “We had the chance to take all the positions but because we are not greedy, we decided to allow the APC take over.”
‘APC’S CHANGE IS NEGATIVE’
Speaking at a PDP national convention in August 2017, Akpabio described the ‘change’ brought by APC as negative, and urged PDP members who defected to the APC to “come back home”.
“Our brothers who were misled into thinking they are changing party, the doors are open for you. Feel free to come back. You can come back and join us, you are always welcome,” he said. “It is time to change the change. A change that is negative must make room for positive change.”
APC MEMBERS ‘ENEMIES OF PROGRESS’
At a pre-2015 election rally at the Eagle Square, Akpabio described APC leaders as “enemies of progress” who were seeking the presidency for ‘selfish reasons”.
“Many of them are fighting selfish wars; many of them are coming out because of their personal aggrandisement; many of them are coming out trying to sponsor instability in Nigeria,” he said.
“We cannot handover the Federal Government of Nigeria to enemies of progress. We cannot hand over Nigeria to people who are trying to destabilize us; we cannot hand over our future to people who are blackmailers and propagandists.”
Well, as things stand, we can safely say Akpabio has himself now become an enemy of progress.