Akwa Ibom State 2015: Why Bassey Albert Akpan May be the Next Fall Guy
It is very likely that Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan is not the most likeable person among members of Akpabio's inner circle. But Bassey Albert Akpan does not give a damn about what people say of him. As far as he is concerned, he is seriously thinking about entering the gubernatorial race of 2015. After all, he has all the machinery that are needed to contest election in Akwa Ibom State.
Commissioner Bassey Albert Akpan is a rich man---a very rich man! People say of all the potential PDP governorship candidates of Ibibio extraction, except Umana Okon Umana, he is the only one with more than enough money to stand toe-to-toe against a formidable opponents picked by Godswill Akpabio. How Bassey Albert Akpan became so wealthy, no one wants to know and no one really cares---at least no now.
Besides plenty of money, Mr. Bassey Akpan---sorry, Honorable Bassey Albert Akpan---also has thugs, which is the number one tool to possess before any potential candidate, who considers himself a candidate of substance, could dare venture into the platform of political campaign in Akwa Ibom State.
Other attributes Commissioner Bassey Albert has to his advantage are the every-year-young-looking appearance, with a face one could mistake on the Facebook as that of a 15 year old. And the fact that Bassey Albert is not from Eket Senatorial District is not a concern that would make him lose his sleep. He is seriously considering running for the governor of Akwa Ibom State and that is the only thing that Hon. Bassey Akpan cares about. To avoid confusing himself and those who are blindly loyal to him, he refused to endorse the charade of the Exco meeting where Godswill Akpabio wanted the members to endorse Udom Emmanuel, Abia Bassey, Bassey Ntekim, or all of the above.
On the surface, it appears as if Commissioner Bassey Albert Akpan is the people's choice; all he needs to do is make his intention known to the public and he will succeed Godswill Akpabio. But when one is privy to all sides of the issues, it quickly becomes apparent that the findings are not as pretty as things appear on the surface. Behind the scenes, there is a whole different background as to why things may not be as rosy and so easy for Honorable Bassey Albert. His number one problem is not whether he will be able to garner enough votes for victory to the Hilltop Mansion---after all, when did the votes cast by the people ever matter on who becomes their representatives? Rather, his number one problem is his boss---Godswill Akpabio. And here is why.
It may not be an open secret, but there are those who know very well that Godswill Akpabio does not want Bassey Albert Akpan to succeed him. In order to stop Bassey Albert Akpan, Akpabio came up with a self-serving strategy erroneously considered by him as ingenious. His first strategy was to appoint Bassey Albert into the campaign team of Udom Emmanuel. But now that Akpabio is not at all sure about the acceptance of Mr. Udom Emmanuel by the people, especially the fierce opposition mounted by the Ibibio group, he has gone back to the drawing board to destabilize Bassey Albert Akpan.
Strategy #II: Create tension between the two brothers
It took Honorable Bassey Albert Akpan a long time to find out that, while Akpabio was enticing him to join the race for 2015, he was also in contact with his brother---Ime Albert Akpan---persuading him to also enter the governorship race. But before he can support Ime, Akpabio handed to Ime some conditions; Ime must be able to convince the key leaders of all the dialectical groups to support him. According to reliable sources, Akpabio told Ime that he would support him if he could muster the likes of Obong Victor Attah, Chief Ime Umana, Chief Etiebet, and Ambassador Sam Edem to support his candidacy. What eluded Ime Bassey Albert Akpan at the time was the fact that Akpabio's strategy was to politically weaken his brother, Bassey Albert Akpan, as a serious candidate, by instigating the two brothers into political rivalry, which may lead to a serious enmity between them.
Sources said Ime Albert Akpan trusted Akpabio and became excited. First, he contacted a few Ibibio leaders and they were very candid to tell him that whatever Akpabio said to him was a ploy to manipulate him towards the path of trouble between him and his brother. But before he could have the patient to study what Akpabio was telling him, Imeh had already printed campaign posters and business cards and was discreetly distributing them to anyone who cared to listen to him. Meanwhile Akpabio was laughing and telling behind his (Ime's) back how stupid he is. As if he was in so much of a hurry, Ime contacted his friends on Facebook; “I am contesting for 2015,” he wrote---no one responded and no one commented.
Back to Honorable Bassey Albert Akpan
It has been confirmed that Bassey Albert Akpan is in serious consultations with other PDP stakeholders within the State and even beyond. Reliable sources have also confirmed that barring any last minute persuasions, he may soon announce his resignation from Akpabio's administration to prepare for the 2015 gubernatorial race. Those he has contacted have advised him to thread with caution in order to avoid another scenario in which Akpabio may have to send his wife to put a padlock on the door to his office, as he did to Umana Okon Umana in July 2013.
One analyst told me that if Bassey Albert Akpan fails to listen to the advice freely given him by his well-wishers, he may become another fall guy---a victim of the intrigues of Godswill Obot Akpabio.
Ikpafak Thompson Essien, City of Portland, Oregon,