Senate Minority Leader Akpabio: A Square In A Square Hole
The emergence of Senator Godswill Akpabio as the Senate Minority Leader is a triumph on common sense over politics and an expression faith in achievements over sentiments.
Understandably, the Peoples Democratic Party arising from its loss in the election, went through a lot of soul searching in making a choice for such a strategic post which shall be the pivot of its activities in the nation's highest law-making body. As a matter of fact this position means that Senator Akpabio is the PDP man who currently holds the highest ranking office in the country.
Through a process of careful selection. which approximated auditioning for a starring role in a movie, the Party picked and considered each candidate from the South South, the region it favored for the position. The calibrated search pointed the searchlight from one state to the other and from one person to the other and finally the pendulum swung the way of Akwa Ibom. All senators in Akwa Ibom are first time senators and on the basis of experience Senator Akpabio, as a phenomenal two term governor with astounding achievements, stood out of the pack.
His choice was instantly approved by the PDP Northern Senators Caucus, the South Eastern Senators Caucus, the entire PDP National Caucus, the National Working Committee of the PDP among others. A knotty political equation had been solved.
Contrary to the mischievous insinuation that ranking was sacrificed, ranking was maintained as the party considered contributions to the national cause more important than realpolitiks. PDP wanted a man the party can trust as it seeks to reinvent itself and go on to winning ways in the next general elections.
Akpabio is known as the promise keeper in Akwa Ibom State because of his integrity. He commands the love, trust and respect of his kinsmen in Akwa Ibom State who received the news with great joy and gladness.
Akpabio's pedigree is the stuff of the id! He has been the Chairman of the PDP's Governors' Forum, a member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, a member of the National Caucus of the PDP... etc. He is a loyal party man who stuck with PDP even when the there was a momentum swing and some abandoned the party to seek for greener pastures and struck unholy alliances with other political parties.
HIs faith had always been that there is nothing wrong with PDP that what is right with PDP cannot fix. He showed uncommon loyalty to the past administration in the country and made it clear that to him party loyalty was an article of faith.
Last Tuesday, his loyalty to the party was rewarded in his being led to the hallowed seat in the red chambers as the Minority Leader of the Senate.
Reflecting the sentiment of Akwa Ibom people, the Director General of the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, Pastor Anietie Ukpe, said it was a credit to the PDP that they they have found in Akpabio a man who could lead the charge in the party's fight to reposition itself again as the party of the people. He described Akpabio's emergence as one small step for Akpabio but a giant leap for Akwa Ibom State, which he represents, adding that the Akwa Ibom gem has become a national treasure."
Also commenting on the emergence of Akpabio, Rev. Dr Innocent Idiong, a former local government chairman and PDP chieftain, described Akpabio as a true and worthy party man, great performer and someone who gained global plaudits for his transformational leadership of Akwa Ibom State. Says Dr Idiong, "It is not for nought that celebrations broke out in Akwa Ibom State and in many states of the Niger Delta when the news was broken. This is a case of a square peg in a square hole and a glittering tower of hope for the PDP." .
Okon Okorie is an Uyo-based Public Affairs Commentator.
Uyo, A'Ibom State