Ibanga Akpabio, the younger brother to former Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio, has just ended his eight-year tenure as the secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom.
The state congress of the party was held today, Tuesday, in Uyo, to elect new officers.
But Mr. Akpabio, the former secretary, won’t be leaving the party exco just yet; he has been elevated to the position of the party’s deputy state chairman, courtesy of the influence of the older Akpabio, the Senate Minority Leader.
A reclusive University of Nigeria law graduate, the new deputy state chairman of PDP is perhaps the longest serving party official in the history of PDP in Akwa Ibom.
His elevation confirmed that Mr. Akpabio, the senator, almost one year after handing over power to his successor, Udom Emmanuel, remained in firm control of the party structure in the state.
More than 70 per cent of the commissioners and other aides working for Governor Emmanuel are known allies and loyalists of Mr. Akpabio.
At the just concluded congress, Paul Ekpo, an ardent loyalist of the senator was re-elected as the state chairman of the party.
Not that the people really expected anything different, since no one contested against Mr. Ekpo, and several others elected officials, and more so, the names of the new officials were already being shared around on the social media, even before their election began.
Mr. Ekpo had previously served as a commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs under the former governor, before he became the PDP chairman.
“We have been able to manage and sustain a very stable party in the last four years,” Mr. Ekpo said, before a large crowd of party delegates at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.
Harrison Ekpo, Akpadiagha Ebitu, Joyce Udoh, and Ini Ememobong were also elected into the party’s exco as secretary, treasurer, financial secretary, and publicity secretary respectively.
Other elected officers include Saturday Akpan, organizing secretary; Ufot Nkangude, auditor; Goddy Umoh, legal adviser; Meme Akpabio, woman leader; and Enobong Harry, youth leader.