Godswill Akpabio walked away from his party in 2018, lost the goodwill and empathy of his trusted allies, lost the empathy of his god-son that became governor after him, fell into the ravenous pit of unrepentant political foes in his new party that quickly embraced the agenda of decimating his leadership and endured the worst local gang up by his former scions, allies and foes in a romance for the political annihilation of their enviable brother.
In the beginning and till now, he said and still says that he is a nationalist and that he wants to connect Akwa Ibom with the centre. As he often likes to quote from Helen Keller, what is worse than blindness? A sight without vision. So he gave up the sight of the senate minority for the vision of gaining the presidency of the senate.
In the loss or better put the sacrifice, he had only one option. To fight and depend only on the force of victory aided by God. For he is a man that is susceptible to hatred as he is susceptible to love, susceptible to envy as he is susceptible to admiration. Nothing good comes uneventful for him, he fights, bleeds and wins.
Despite my benefit of a privileged perspective and a clearer panorama, I was sometime anxious of the strength of one man against several banana peels laced home and abroad. The anxiety pans from the “off your mic” soap opera, to the exit of prominent relatives and allies from his political family, further to when he had no synergy with an old friend that had gotten to the pinnacle of APC leadership and was going to deny the senate president hopeful a role in the least emergence of his ward chairman in Ukana West, the courage of the APC presidential convention night and attendant sidetalks, the heartbreak by the Court of Appeal, the famous resolution of ‘bipartisan’ elders of the senatorial district in Ikot Ekpene, the shenanigans of local power brokers seeking to stop the consultation of Itai Afe Annang etc.
It is astonishing and humbling that the cat with nine lives will live again and this time by God’s grace he is on the verge of becoming the chairman of the National Assembly and No. 3 citizen of the country. The highest political office ever held by an Akwa Ibom person dead and alive in the history of this country.
The inviolable grace is scary but maybe it is time for us to interrogate the works. A heart easily stirred with compassion, a heart that forgives easily and an aspiration that prides in improving people and growing men. An addict of presidential commissionings and a development protagonist without many equals. This is the leadership sermon for posterity as shown in the life of a poor boy that didn’t even meet his father. We learn through him that power is a trust and must be used for the benefit of the owners of the power.
As we await the full manifestation of God’s will for Nigeria with gratitude, we pause to ponder these many lessons.
Kemfon Neke Esq writes from Ukanafun and served as the Director of Legal, Research and Documentation at the Senator Godswill Akpabio Campaign Council 2023.