In every parting there is a spectacle of death, and in treachery subsists a spectre of comradeship gone sour. Hence, when two friends go their separate ways, they drift like tramps having no conscious sympathy or loyalty to all things that bound them.
The truism of the above came to the fore over the weekend as the hotly-contested governorship battle in Akwa-Ibom wound down towards a drama-filled and tension-soaked finale.
It was a contest that pitted the political might of a godfather and his newest ‘chosen one’ against an incumbent who had thrown away the shackles of stooge-hood and dared to meet his former benefactor eyeball to eyeball in fierce combat.
It is no news that Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel ascended to the position by flying on the wings of current senator and former governor Godswill Akpabio. From nowhere, he emerged the state executive while more entrenched candidates ate the bitter fruits of defeat in 2015.
And for a while, godfather and godson enjoyed a honeymoon period as everything seemed rosy. Then came dwindling revenues and a clash of interests and Emmanuel decided to strike out on his own.
This incensed Akpabio who fumed so much at the betrayal. Not only did he leave his party, the PDP in a huff and decamped to the APC, he also withdrew his support for his former protégé and raised a new lion to take over the government house in Uyo; thus the emergence of Nsima Ekere, the former DG of the Niger Delta Development Commission and a powerhouse in south-south politics to challenge Emmanuel’s new-found dominance at the polls. Along with Akpabio, a whole host of top state officials also packed their bags from the PDP and joined the APC.
Amidst the setbacks, Udom remained steadfast like a reinforced wall. While his opponents roared their impending victory, he was silently concocting his own grand plan. The student was determined to outwit the master and so it proved in the just concluded elections.
First came the stunning knockout of Akpabio as Emmanuel orchestrated the victory of the PDP candidate in Akwa-Ibom North West Senatorial District, thus scuppering his former godfather’s bid to return to the Senate for a second term.
Those wounds were yet to heal when Udom delivered another sound thrashing that is sure to send Akpabio and his chosen one into a cocoon of sober reflections. At the governorship elections on Saturday, Emmanuel of the PDP trounced his challenger, Nsima Ekere of the APC, after convincingly winning 30 out of the 31 local governments in the state.