Former Military Governor, Air Commodore, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, has observed that the failure of Senator Godswill Akpabio to consult his supporters and critical stakeholders in Akwa Ibom State before jumping ship to the All Progressives Congress (APC), accounts for the poor followership he is currently enjoying in the state.
Speaking with newsmen in Uyo over the weekend, Nkanga said because of the feelings of betrayals and insincerity from Senator Akpabio, most people have deserted him, while Governor Udom Emmanuel‘s support base in the People Democratic Party (PDP) has increased astronomically.
“When you see people changing back and forth, it speaks on their followership; definitely their followership will start dwindling because people will feel betrayed and say ah, didn’t he think about it?”
Nkanga, who is the National Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), an umbrella forum for ALL interest groups of the region, maintained that, “I have not come across one person that said he consulted him. I am not too relevant to him but even people that ought to be relevant to him… The only person that I have not asked but I thought is important enough is the wife. I don’t know if he did. I won’t be surprised if he did not even consult with his wife. All the people that I thought were relevant enough, I have asked and they said he did not and that is what is causing people to be angry.
“So it is disappointing what he did because we thought that he should be more committed to the course of this region. If he was, he would never do what he did.”
On the claim that Akpabio was going to APC to pursue national interest, the Director General of the Divine Mandate Campaign Organization said, “with due respect, I believe he doesn’t understand what national interest means. He doesn’t. If he does, he wouldn’t even make a statement like that.
“He should go to Abuja to pursue national interest. National interest is not something you go and bring from the shelf and say this is national interest.”
Air Commodore Nkanga expressed dismay at the former senate minority leader’s lack of understanding of the need for restructuring in Nigeria.
“If you ask him now what is restructuring, he would not know, so also are the people that are carrying this country into ruins. If you don’t understand that and you say you went for national interest, what national interest? It is lack of understanding of what it is. I sympathise with him and with the people that think that way.”
Otuekong Nkanga extolled the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel for his prompt payment of salaries of workers, infrastructural development and the establishment of new industries in the last three years.
“We talk about industrialization– when Godswill Akpabio was here, one of the promises he made was that there would be an industry in each of the 31 Local governments. Did we have even one?
“Gov Emmanuel is somebody that within the short time he had been here he has rehabilitated the paint industry. He brought the syringe factory, the metering industry, the toothpick, etc. Those are the new industries that have come in.”
The former Military Governor further explained that the syringe industry alone can sustain the nation’s economy.
“The requirement for syringe in this country is about six billion and what this one is going to produce is barely four billion, not enough even to satisfy Nigeria.”
“Those that had left PDP because they were angry with Akpabio, are joyfully coming back. So l see Udom winning his second term very clearly and by that time, he will know that it is God that gave him the victory and not any human being,” he concluded.