Engineer Patrick Ekpotu, who served as Commissioner under former Governor Victor Attah’s administration, and later as Deputy Governor to former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, during his first term in office as Governor of Akwa Ibom State, has described Akpabio’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) as overrated.
Describing Akpabio as one who relies “heavily on apparatus of state security to cow people into submission and dominion,” Ekpotu noted that his decision to embrace the APC is because “APC is today the custodian of that state apparatus.”
According to a statement by his media team, Ekpotu said the former Minority Leader is one who surrounds himself with people “who constantly drum to him the beauty of his weird world,” which encourages him to “live in delusion.”
He said: “His [Akpabio] 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 APC is today the custodian of that State apparatus. And I think he is highly mistaken for misapprehending that President Buhari is cut out in the weaknesses of the former President that was recklessly used to his political peril and became the first to dump him."
“Even if Buhari avails him the security apparatus, remember that Akpabio is not used to elections, which is the norm today but 'return of entire number of votes' in INEC register to himself. But with INEC’s card reader system today, hardly would we have such number of votes in consideration, let alone to be 'returned'. So, all odds are against him and the APC.
"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 majority of its citizens playing this out strongly, stoutly, and committedly in days ahead.”
According to him, there was not much basis for comparing Akpabio’s defection with that of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, as he noted 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."
He stated that Akpabio is rather, "surrounded by those who constantly drum to him the beauty of his weird world; he gets encouraged to live in delusion. He is fully conscious of these shortcomings, but rather than work to improve on them, pretends that all is well. And APC will soon know his true value.”
Ekpotu had nursed ambitions to govern Akwa Ibom State under the Peoples Democratic Party, before Emmanuel Udom emerged the party’s flagbearer in the 2015 elections.