By Wole Arisekola
When he announced that he was switching political party loyalty to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), many never knew he would gravitate so speedily in a party he was freshly coming into. But recent facts emerging about this Akwa Ibom political kingmaker have proved naysayers wrong about their assessment of the Ukana-born political bulldozer, and this is without any fear of contradiction. Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former Commissioner for Local Government , former Governor of the state, Former Minority Leader has been pulling all the strings in his arsenal to ensure the APC makes a stronger presence in the state, as opposed to his erstwhile party, PDP, which he has vowed to beat hands down in the 2019 general elections.
The Nigeria Media Watch has reiterated Akpabio’s public image standing on the social media as having increased from a low 45 per cent two months ago to 69 per cent, as at, November 5. This is an astronomical rise in acceptability for someone who was coming from the opposition, despite all the shenanigans that have been deployed by his former party to denigrate him.
Again, Akpabio’s new-found chemistry with President Muhammadu Buhari is gaining momentum and there are indications that the man may have found a new and better nest in the APC.
Forget about the ranting of a few kindergarten politicians in Akwa Ibom State who can only bark on the pages of newspapers, Akpabio is daily proving that his wishes and desires in the state cannot just be wished away, incumbency or not. He understands the nitty-gritty of politics in the state like the back of his palm.
Little wonder, his surrogate and APC governorship candidate for the state in 2019, Obong Nsima Ekere, appears to be confident in his anticipated victory at the polls.
It is just like stating the obvious that since Akpabio defected to APC, he has whittled down the almighty power and stronghold of the PDP in the state with people of Akwa Ibom defecting to the APC, which is now giving the ruling PDP in the state sleepless nights.
As a political grandmaster and the garrison commander of Akwa Ibom politics, Akpabio knows how to take the battle to the opponent without being scathed. You can hear him from the message of peace he sent to his numerous supporters, “let the PDP continue tearing our billboards, they can’t tear your ballot paper on the day of the election. I don’t need billboard or poster to win the election in Akwa Ibom Stare.”
This is exactly what he has been preaching since the day he moved to APC.
Akpabio’s supremacy in the political terrain of the state is like that of a moving train, and anyone who attempts to come in its way may just have himself to blame. It’s about absolute loyalty and untainted commitment to a good cause, which Akpabio has been daily advancing since he moved over to the APC.
It is an attestation to the surge in his image on all fronts, especially on the social media, and it is still not abating. Truth be told, the opposition camp must be having a lot to grapple with on their drawing board right now, as they cannot ignore Akpabio’s increasing popularity.