Akwa Ibom APC: After INEC and Igini, is it now Tribunal Judges?

Richard Peters

A common denominator seen in Senator Godswill Akpabio, Nsima Ekere and Akwa Ibom APC is the fact that if they try to compromise a particular person or institution and could not, they must resort to blackmail, campaign of calumny, and media attacks, all aimed at demonising such persons. It has been a recurring decimal. Akpabio had used this strategy throughout his eight years rule as governor, and Nsima Ekere who was his Deputy then had been a victim of Akpabio’s tool of manipulation. Today, Nsima has been baptised into the cult of using blackmail and media attacks to whip into line those who refused to dance to their tunes.

It is no longer news that Akpabio and Nsima had at several instances attempted to bribe Mike Igini, the Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commission(REC).

Prominent people within Nigeria and close friends were sent to compromise him, Igini had allegedly been offered cash, house gift in any city of his choice, and many more perceived gratifications which he conscientiously turned down to the amazement of Akpabio and his cohorts.

Remember Akpabio’s uncommon slogan that what money cannot do, more money can do. However, this evil philosophy consistent with Akpabioism has been defied by Igini whose conscience of integrity and justice has been seared with hot iron.

Igini has through his unshakable stance on the foundation of equity and fair play shown Akpabio and the APC that there are still some prophets that have not, and will never bow to baal. And because of this, Igini became a consistent subject of attack, blackmail and insult by the APC. They went to different courts to secure exparte order to remove him but were refused. They planned to bomb his official vehicle before the election but God remained with him.

One doesn’t need a soothsayer to explain that Nsima Ekere and Akpabio were so desperate to have their way in the recently conducted election. They used all strategies known to man to manipulate the election, all to no avail. They went into negotiation with militants to sell the destiny of our dear state for power, but God turned it down. They ‘imported’ political thugs from Edo state to cause mayhem in Akwa Ibom, but Only God frustrated their plans. It was desperation to take over power by all means that pushed them to do all sort of unthinkable things prior to the elections, during and after the election. They insulted and accused the election umpire when it was very clear that he can never be bought with gifts and other gratifications.

It is so unfortunate that instead of them to allow the wounds of their atrocities to heal in the minds of the people, they are waking this up on daily basis by their constant attacks on revered personalities who are committed to the delivery of their assigned duties. Akwa Ibom people have come to know who they are. Their true colours that were masked with calculated and emergency benevolence are kept bare for all to see.

Nigerians are in the know of what happened before, during and after the election; how they used all known machineries to blackmail, and sponsor propaganda on the Akwa Ibom REC, Mike Igini, up to the point of going live on national Television to call for his redeployment, paid some youths to hold protest and several media attacks. This can be seen as an aftermath of their attempt to compromise him and his strong resistance.

Immediately after the election, their cry didn’t stop, they constantly accused him of not allowing them to inspect election materials and have access to other sensitive items, when actually their legal team met and even signed the material inspection attendance register. The most ridiculous thing is that their lies are often very naked for even the blinds to see the truth therein.

After their lies were exposed, they tried to instigate INEC at the national level against Igini. They said all manner of evil against him. He was accused of colluding with Governor Udom Emmanuel and the PDP to rig the election, when they were the ones who attempted to commit different forms of electoral malpractices. They engaged in abduction of election officials, harrassment of electorate and officials, seizure of ballot boxes, intimidation of election observers and monitoring teams, coercion of returning officers to manipulate figures at gun point, among others. We all know this.

After they had tried with Igini and failed, now their fight is against the tribunal judges. Why are they now against the judges? Were the tribunal judges not appointed by the APC government? Why are they now afraid of the final judgement? Have they sensed that their poor outing at the tribunal will be as unproductive as their poor outing during the election? Why do the duo try to tarnish the image of our celebrated judges who have over the years built their reputation on the altar of justice and equity? Why is everyone that had refused to dance to their tune always attacked? Why can’t they accept defeat in good faith, at least for once, after seeing their nakedness and open-air failure? These are questions begging for answers.

Their recent media attacks against the judiciary is unbecoming and could be seen as political tantrum consistent with failures deficient with the spirit of sportmanship.

However, there is nothing new about their tricks. Even babies in the womb are aware of their strategies. They are as old as some of them who have now become politically irrelevant. They have exhausted all they knew, and there is nothing new again in their bank of manipulation.

Just imagine this, they went to court and were given enough time at the tribunal, instead of using it wisely, they used it to attack Igini and the tribunal members, and ended up establishing no facts at the tribunal. They engaged in blame game. Nsima Ekere abysmally attacked his counsel. He accused him of not couching him well. What else could be done by a man who has lost every sense of decency and humanity? Like an angry lion, he bites everything he perceives is standing on his way, including trees, rocks and even his shadow.

How long shall they continue to deceive the gullible? How long will the duo continue to distract the people? How long will they continue to attempt to thwart justice? Time will tell. But one thing is sure, no one takes them serious again, as everyone has come to terms with the fact that they need more of psychiatric attention than political position. Until they realise this, they would continue to wallow in confusion and celebrate in ignorance.

Richard Peters is a good governance advocate