- Posted November 3, 2012 by
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Godswill Akpabio May Be A Man Of God, But Also Ruthless In Power.
I must tell you the truth, our governor does not have any serious attachment to money, but never you contest power with him,” a close associate of Governor Godswill Akpabio said on Wednesday night as the news of the resignation of Mr. Nsima Ekere as deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State filtered out. Ekere had shaken the political establishment in Akwa Ibom with his resignation from office earlier that evening. News of the resignation immediately sent tongues wagging with nearly all that heard it expressing great surprise. It was even more surprising given that Ekere was in pole position in the scramble to succeed the governor in 2015. As the news distilled in Uyo and around the country, the development was understandably welcomed with mixed reactions. Political rivals and those who have never liked Ekere welcomed the news as a comeuppance. Many were yet to forgive Ekere for replacing Patrick Ekpotu as deputy governor at the beginning of Akpabio’s second term. Others saw the development as the desperation of the incumbent governor not to share power with his deputy. Others still saw it as part of the inner intrigues in the plot to deny Ekere’s Eket senatorial district their quest to for the first time produce a governor for the state. Ekere spent exactly 19 months and 1 day in office as Deputy Governor to Governor Akpabio. Ekere’s downfall followed orchestrated plans by the majority of the members of the State House of Assembly to initiate an impeachment motion against him. 20 of the 26 members of the House of Assembly, it was learnt, had signed the article of impeachment of the former deputy governor. The immediate cause of the move against him has remained a mystery to many, but few doubt that Ekere’s problems are connected to his aspiration to succeed Akpabio. As at press time aides of the governor and his erstwhile deputy were keeping mute on the issue fueling conspiracy theories on the issues that led to the resignation of the deputy governor. Whatever it is, the governor and his erstwhile deputy reportedly fell out over some yet to be disclosed issues. Ekere was originally nominated by Akpabio in 2007 be his running mate for the election that year. Akpabio’s action was apparently because Ekere had stepped down for him at the heat of the raucous primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. However, he was compelled to drop him upon the insistence of the then governor, Obong Victor Attah that he, Attah should have a representation in the cabinet. Based on that, Attah was given the opportunity to nominate Patrick Ekpotu as Akpabio’s running mate. Ekpotu like Akpabio had served in the Attah cabinet and was the Commissioner for Information. Despite pretensions to the contrary, Akpabio still had reservations about Ekpotu and as the 2011 election approached, he dropped Ekpotu from the ticket and replaced him with Ekere. Some, however, felt that Ekere never reconciled himself with the fact that Ekpotu was occupying the office he was supposed to have occupied and it is no surprise that some associates of Akpabio rejoiced last Wednesday when the news of the deputy governor’s resignation leaked out. Ekere was, however, not without his supporters especially from his Eket Senatorial zone. Former Senator Etang Umoyo, Chairman of the Eket Senatorial Forum, blamed Ekere’s resignation on the intrigues surrounding the 2015 governorship contest and specifically faulted the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State government, Mr. Umana O. Umana and other governorship aspirants from Uyo Senatorial district for Ekere’s problems. The accusation is indeed not surprising given the close relationship between Umoyo, who was a member of the third republic senate and Ekere. Eker