Akwa Ibom, Where APC Is Comic Relief
By Imoh Etimudo
Actions win elections not reactions. The reactions of APC to their crushing defeat by the PDP in the just concluded Local Government election in Akwa Ibom State are comic reliefs. They got it wrong from the outset. To them, preparation for the election was to activate their so-called federal might. That has become APC syndrome across the country. It is not Akwa Ibom syndrome. They did that. They went further to attempt hijack of electoral materials from wards and units across the State; at some places, they succeeded, at others, they succeeded in disgracing themselves.
It was also to the credit of APC that some of their political thugs were caught at Ikot Ekpene, supervised by Chief Sunny Ibanga. The over Five Hundred thugs that were allegedly recruited and camped at Ika and Etim Ekpo for further distribution alongside electoral materials to all parts of the State were fortunate enough not to be caught.
But in all these, APC were neck deep in the election. Their eyes were fixed on victory; Pyrrhic victory. They voted from Oron to Ini, and from Itu to Ukanafun. They were part of the game till the final blast of the whistle. All of a sudden, on sighting the weight of defeat by the PDP, they changed the rhythm of their rhyme, wailing. Why did the boycott take so long before they contemplated it? It was obvious that the election could have been a walk over for PDP. But the contest was already completed. How do you boycott a process you were an integral part of from start to finish? Sounds humorous!
It could have been more honourable for APC to fail honourably than making this mockery of their failure. It is not that they did not know they will fail. The truth is that they did not know what to give as an excuse for the failure. They failed even with their big names, or better put, their big for nothing names; a clear pointer to what is expected in the 2019 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.
The Chairmanship and Councillorship election in Akwa Ibom State was an eye-opener in many ways. It showed clearly that by the cross-carpeting of some party faithful like Aloysius Etok, Ita Enang, Nsima Ekere, Umana Umana and the rest to APC, the problem of PDP was over. Inside PDP, they were covered by the political miens of resilient party faithful. Under the umbrella, they could pose as heavyweights but with the brooms, they become paperweights. The election results showed so. PDP won more without them.
Therefore, they were the problem of the PDP; and the problem is over. There are a million and one lessons for the experimentalists in APC to learn. Hard lessons though. The prodigal sons felt when they left PDP for pots of porridge; they would have created a vacuum. They were actually the vacuum of the PDP and by their departures, that chasm and gulf of emptiness was bridged by the party.
APC’s failure largely exposes that those front runners are not on ground, and they will never be. Even within the APC, there is NDDC Chapter. It’s like this outing was for this new chapter to test its popularity, and the “Original APC” groaned. Worst still, most of the wards fielded two APC councillorship Candidates, working at cross-purposes. How can they ever win in such situation! The post-failure analysis of the party also reveals a blame game. Most of these supposed APC stalwarts used the desperation of their chief financier to breathe life into their dying pockets. There had been a serious disconnect between them and their people; they do not pitch their tents with the masses, and they know. All what was on their mind was how to milk NDDC dry in the name of elections. Even when the funds were promptly released from the heart of the party, it could not circulate to the real parts of their political bodies. The veins and arteries of the channels were broke and broken. There ended the blood in their pockets. Money was in wrong hands. Wrong hands do not do right things.
How relevant were these guys beyond the rubrics of rhetoric? The armour bearer and APC ‘ECOMOG Commander’, Senator Aloysius Etok, politically is like oil on water in his constituency. He flew on the wings of Chief Otu Robert to become a senator; the only senator that was very close to being recalled. He wanted a third term but was lifted out with one finger by Senator Godswill Akpabio. Shame! And the man removed him seamlessly. How can such a person ever dream of dislodging PDP in Ikono/Ini? As a senator, what could he beat his chest and point at as the benefactor? That was why he resorted to carrying thugs around which yielded no impact. Is that how they win elections?
Senator Ita Enang is just on an ego war with Governor Udom Emmanuel. He knows APC cannot win PDP in Akwa Ibom State. He himself does not also have political relevance even in his community. All his being former this and former that are often circumstantial. Any man that cannot win election in his domain is not a grass rooter. Local Government elections are for grass rooters. Are these the men APC would have used to win election in Akwa Ibom State? It is not possible; not now, not in 2019, not even in the near future.
If APC wants to grow in Akwa Ibom State, the first step is to accept their excruciating defeat by the PDP in the Local Government Election. Accept you lost, and tell it to the world. That acceptance can be followed with self-audit and way forward. If APC avoids the truth of their huge failure, and sweeps their fumbling under the carpet, they will continue to inhale dust and eventually choke and give up. Or they continue to be comic relief to the world. The truth can set them free. PDP is the truth. PDP cruises on!
Imo Etimudo, a journalist, was one of the accredited journalists in the last local government elections in Akwa Ibom