As Senator Godswill AKpabio ramps up his arrangements to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to the ruling ALl Progressives Congress(APC), there are media reports that he will not leave alone.
According to inside sources, the Senate majority leader will defect with at least 5 House of Representative members, 10 Akwa Ibom lawmakers and the deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State
Akpabio had recently faced threats of arrests by the country’s anti-graft agencies on grounds of massive corruption during his reign as governor if he failed to defect to support the president in 2018.
Sources close to the former governor accuse incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel of not doing enough to protect Akpabio from the ruling party’s threats.
”Udom betrayed Akpabio by opening him up to the scavenging federal government. He didn’t do enough to cover the tracks, and this is the result”, one of Akpabio’s senior aides said in an anonymous interview granted Propeller Newspapers Saturday night.
According to him, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission “could not have come this close to unearthing everything during Oga’s era if Udom had not maliciously cooperated with them by allowing them unrestrained access to classified financial documents”, the aide said referring to the massive thievery and misappropriation of public funds during the Akpabio era.
More than 800billion Naira is believed to have been stolen by Akpabio and his cronies within 8 years.
Authentic sources confirm that the EFCC have evidences of foreign currencies stashed away by Akpabio in his country home and in foreign nations which they believe is part of the stolen resources of the state.
But rather than press charges against him, “they seek to take political advantage of the helpless man by forcing him to work for the APC in 2019”, a top government functionary in Abuja said.
We can also confirm that some political heavyweights mostly from Ikot Ekpene senatorial district are moving with Akpabio to the APC.
They include former works commissioner in the state, Mr Don Etim, former senator Effiong Bob, Leader of the House, Mr Udo Kieran Akpan, former Speaker and House of Reps member for Etinan Federal Constituency, Mr Sam Ikon, respective House of Reps members from Abak and Essien Edim/Etim Ekpo/Ika, Mr Emmanuel Akpan and Mr Emmanuel Ekon, former Information Commissioner, Mr Aniekan Umanah, state House of Assembly members, Nse Ntuen, Usoro Akpanusoh, Aniekan Uko, Aniekan Bassey, Idongesit Ntekpere, Uduak Ududoh, Mark Esset, among others. At least 10 house members are said to be ready to defect to the APC with Akpabio.
Also defecting are Mr Victor Antai, serving commissioner for Culture and Tourism in the state as well as Ibanga Akpabio, commissioner for Labour and Manpower Development.
Chairmen of Ikot Ekpene and Essien Udim are said to have also signed on to the defection plan.
Speaker Onofiok Luke and Senator Bassey Albert are said to have defied Akpabio’s request to move with them to the APC.
In a meeting with stakeholders of the PDP at the banquet hall of government house on Saturday night, Governor Udom Emmanuel called on partymen to brace for a “rough and tough” battle in 2019.