PDP national leader declares support for APC candidates in Akwa Ibom

The immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom, Victor Attah, has launched a rare public criticism on his successor, Godswill Akpabio, and campaigned for the governorship candidate of an opposition party.

For the first time since he left office in 2007, Mr. Attah, Saturday, publicly attacked Mr. Akpabio, describing the latter’s senatorial aspiration as not only hypocritical, but deceitful.

The former governor, who is a founding member of Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and is a member of the party’s Board of Trustees, spoke at a rally of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in Uyo, the state capital.

Though he said he remained a member of the PDP, Mr. Attah said he had to campaign for the APC due to “compelling circumstances” to lead Akwa Ibom residents to make and implement a succession plan in the 2015 elections in the interest of the state.

To justify his action, Mr. Attah reiterated President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement during the latter’s campaign rally in Akure, Ondo State, on January 28 that because politics is about people, he cannot be a leader if he fails to do what his people want.

He said the overwhelming wish of Akwa Ibom residents in the April election was to support a governorship candidate of their choice and not one imposed on them.

“I am a leader of my people. My people do not want anyone to be imposed on them as governor. They want Umanah Okon Umanah as their governor,” Mr. Attah stated.

Mr. Umanah, a commissioner in the administrations of both Messrs. Attah and Akpabio, is the governorship candidate of the APC, a party he joined from the PDP after falling out with the outgoing governor. His main challenger is Udom Emmanuel of the PDP who is supported by the outgoing Mr. Akpabio.

Defending his decision to support the opposition candidate, Mr. Attah said, “As a prime advocate of power shift (zoning) among the major component tribes of the state, I always believed it was logical to assume that after Uyo and Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts produced the governor, it should be the turn of Eket.

“But, the present posturing of those now parading themselves as champions of zoning is not only hypocritical, but deceitful,” he said in apparent reference to Mr. Akpabio who has made reference to the zoning as one of his reasons for anointing Mr. Emmanuel.

Speaking further, Mr. Attah said he would support the restoration of the zoning principle in the future, but it should to be jettisoned in 2015 as certain other compelling reasons cannot be satisfied with zoning alone.

The ex-governor mentioned the example of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, who he said not only withdrew his support for a governorship candidate, but also abandoned his senatorial ambition in 2015 in the interest of justice, equity and fair play, in order to save the PDP in Delta from crisis.

“In Akwa Ibom, everybody knows that it is the turn of Abak Federal Constituency to produce the next senator. So, why is His Excellency, Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio insisting on contesting that position, if at all he believes in zoning?” Mr. Attah asked rhetorically.

Criticizing his successor’s ambition as “very provoking and totally unacceptable”, the former governor urged all indigenes of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district to team up with the people of Abak and support the APC senatorial candidate against Mr. Akpabio.

On the governorship election, Mr. Attah said political leaders in the state had resolved to resist any form of imposition after they failed to get a level playing field that would allow the people’s collective will to prevail.

According to the former governor, Mr. Emmanuel, the PDP candidate, was not nominated by the PDP but by Mr. Akpabio.

“The governor told us that in fact it was the wife, the so-called ‘Mother Theresa’ of Akwa Ibom State that discovered and sponsored Udom Emmanuel. And he, ‘The Imperial Majesty’, is determined to impose him on us as puppeteer on the throne,” he told the crowd.

“A surrogate of Godswill Akpabio must not be allowed to govern us” the former governor said. “Akwa Ibom, listen to what I say, Umanah Okon Umanah is the man.”


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  • amazing2012

    Acknowledging failure of PDP at all level !

    • barron

      APC can’t win in Akwa-Ibom state

      • ilesanmi

        GBAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Harry

    PDP is gone forever. Sai Buhari.

  • Frank Bassey

    Defecting to APC a week to the Presidential election shows that Attah has lost political value. Pity!

  • DANLEKES

    Victor Attah lifted the hand of Akpa udohedehe an ACN governorship candidate in 2011 campaign rally in Uyo. He is ready to support anything (even a chicken) contending against Akpabio or his wish because of his un forgiven heart, he is not doing this because he has the interest of the state at heart.

  • dd

    This heading is misleading. Simply “Attah declared for APC candidate”

  • Godfrey Etokebe

    Dear Attah,
    Is Senator Ittak Bob Ekarika (PDP, 2003 -2007) not from ABAK constituency?

    • T-Rex

      He is from Oruk Anam/Ukanafun Federal Constituency,not Abak.

  • halima

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  • Uzoma

    If everyone in Akwa Ibom says they want Mr. Umanah, the APC candidate, where is the problem? Mr. should go to sleep and not disturb our peace.

  • GbemigaO

    Lol. Useless old politician. Speaking from both sides of the mouth. He believed in zoning but does not want the people to use zoning in 2015 for the governorship election. In the same breath, he is castigating Akpabio for not allowing zoning to work in the senatorial election. Which one should we believe now?

  • Arabakpura

    This is injury time; a lot of strange things will happen! The Deputy Governor of Rivers State just defected to PDP.
    Just that he jumped ship late but will make some little news. They have finally got him!

  • T-Rex

    Former Gov Victor Bassey Udo-Adiaha Attah is one man i respect so much for his dogged commitment to the resource control struggle and the emancipation of the Niger Delta region. He is very brilliant,articulate and well educated. I am stating all these qualities to show how baffled i am that a man so highly endowed intellectually has allowed personal hatred to compel him to dance naked in the market place with lunatics! Who is ex-Gov Attah to talk of imposition? Is this not same person who fought tooth and nail to impose his son-inlaw on Akwa Ibom people in 2007? Even when a commissioner who served in his cabinet defeated him at the governorship primary he refused to accept the result! Which Akwa Ibom people are looking for Umana? Certainly not those i know! If Umana was not sacked by Gov Akpabio two years ago,would he have remembered the Akwa Ibom people? I can see that Ex-Gov Attah is still carrying on with the battle of 2007 up to 2015! Our leaders and elders should please stop misleading the populace with fake stories,trying to justify their personal/selfish quest! This is a conduct powered by an overblowned ego,not public interest please.

  • Udozend Jeho

    Oooh oooho ! This man again in 2015, after his anointed candidate failed woefully in 2011. Wonder shall never end!

  • richkid

    It’s a pity how people like to make headlines! You can’t stop pdp in that state and presidency as well. Because you felt they didn’t handle your case in your favour. Thief leave PDP! You made no difference, and jealousy is killing you. GEJ all the way you can get more of his quotes to motivate you. GEJ!!!!!!

  • MushinSpeaks

    For the good of the nation, we can only embrace CHANGE

  • Jeremiah Mbong, Ph.D

    Governor Akpabio is afraid of his own shadow. He is running to the Senate so he can have immunity from prosecution for the rape of the people of Akwa Ibom State. In a state that teachers have not been paid in 3 months, he dumped money into the stadium. Someone told me that Mr. Akpabio is a student of Maslow. I wonder if Maslow would have support building a stadium for those who lack health care, security and jobs. I wonder how much money the stadium pumps into the state for other development programs. He gave Akwa Ibom a parting gift, a hugely expensive yet useless white elephant, just like his appointed successor; lacking in experience or vision will become a white elephant if Akwa Ibomites let him.