by Solomon Osadolo
One of the strongest supporters of Pres. Goodluck Jonathan is Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state. The influence of the governor is rising in the party ever since his selection as the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.
Akpabio whose tenure as Akwa Ibom governor expires in 2015 has declared interest in running for senate in 2015 on the platform of the PDP. The main problem with that is that the incumbent senator, Alloysius Etuk, who is also of the PDP, does not want to leave. The relationship between the two, who used to be allies, has now degenerated.
Last weekend, Etuk declared that he would not concede his re-election ticket to anybody. He said that in neighbouring Calabar, the Cross River State capital, shortly after the inauguration of the South-south zonal office of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) in Cross River State. The senator expressed confidence that with his performance at the national assembly, he was capable of defeating any other aspirant (including Governor Akpabio) who dares to challenge him.
‘’I am one of the founding members of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State. I cannot leave the PDP; leave the PDP for who? I am sure of another victory as nobody can stand on my way. The people of my senatorial district cannot say I have disappointed them. They are happy with my performance,’’ he stated.
With Akpabio’s star within the PDP continually rising, it is hard to see how Etuk can defeat him in the PDP. But this is politics, and 2015 is still far off. That will be a race to watch.