On the basis of how he is running around the country and dispensing money in order to get his way, it is reasonably safe to say that the embattled governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, is being tormented by fear of the unknown, panic over those who may come after him after he leaves the office in May 29, 2015, and is paranoid that those he wronged may come after him.
When the former Secretary to his government resigned to contest for governorship, it was rumored that Akpabio will appoint Mr. Enobong Uwah—another Ibibio-speaking indigene—to the position. But because of his paranoid state of mind, Akpabio has vowed that he is not going to offer the position of SSG (Secretary to the State Government) to another indigene of Ibibio-speaking extraction. The position is open while Akpabio is said to be busy searching for Ibibio of Annang-speaking extraction.
History is full of leaders who were afflicted with paranoia, fear, and panic; Godswill Akpabio is no exception. But the difference is when compared to what many other leaders went through, Akpabio really does not have to put his brain and body through any unnecessary state of mental torture.
The population of Akwa Ibom State is estimated at five million. These five million people have consistently and repeatedly told Akpabio that they don’t want anyone to impose a leader on them, but Akpabio has refused to listen.
Rather than listen to the people, Akpabio, instead, has resorted to keep them hungry and put them through grinding poverty while taking the money, which he could have used to alleviate the pains suffered by the people, to bribe people of and in other places to agree with him. This self-induced stress is what is killing Akpabio inside.
Because of his uncompromising attitude, all those who were in support of his lousy policies have deserted him. The loneliness is putting Akpabio in a state of paranoia, which is why everyone who disagrees with him is expelled from his government and even the party. The latest examples are the expulsion of Sunny Ibanga and Friday Udo from the government and the party. Since 2007, the two men have been doing the bidding of Godswill Akpabio, until a couple of weeks ago when Akpabio found out that they were not in support of his choice of a successor.
At the national level, Akpabio has just been made to understand that he is the main reason many stalwart supporters of PDP are leaving and defecting to the opposition party. The rancor between him and the other state governors is due to the insults and the back-biting that Akpabio has been engaging while trying to find favor with the presidency.
It is now apparent that nearly every state governor, especially those in the northern part of the country, is keeping comfortable distance from Akpabio.
Few months ago, when Governor Njako was impeached and removed from office, he blamed Akpabio for bribing the members of his House of Assembly to vote for his (Njako) impeachment. Since then, PDP has experienced several defections, the latest is Hon. Tambuwal. It is rumored that when the Federal House of Representatives resumes sitting on November 3, more defectors will follow Tambuwal—all because of Akpabio.
In Akwa Ibom State, Akpabio wants to contest for Senate while at the same time struggling to impose a successor. Oppositions are coming against him from all fronts. The Abak sector of the Senatorial District, in which Akpabio wants to represent at the Senate, has on many instances made it known that they don’t want Akpabio. But Akpabio has remained unrelenting. The entire thing is driving him insane.
Even after realizing that his decision to impose a successor is wrong and is being rejected by the people, Akpabio is still holding on to the principle of what money can buy, more money can buy. The pressure of the rejection is creating panic in the mind of Akpabio. The very idea that one of those people whom he wronged could become his successor is driving Akpabio into a state of real fear.
Sometime I would wonder if some of the behaviors of Akpabio are results of careful advice or the results of instinctive reactions. Because it boggles my mind when I think about how any individual could ever imagine that he can continue to create enmities out of everyone and still, as a leader, maintain a sound mind to deliberate and decide on issues that affect the millions of people that he leads.
The collective will of the people is to stop Akpabio from imposing unto them a successor. Before it is too late, Akpabio must know that no matter the money and no matter how fast he can talk over the heads of people, no individual can single-handedly suppress the collective will of the people.