Godswill was the father; Emmanuel was the son. Together they defeated opponents and ensured that Emmanuel Udom succeeded Godswill Akpabio in 2015 as governor of the Land of Promise.
15 months later, speculations are rife that the two men no longer see eye to eye. But unlike Rabiu Kwankwaso and Abdullahi Ganduje in Kano state whose fight is now in the open, the Akwa Ibomites are insisting that all is well in their camp.
Akpabio, who is now the minority leader in the senate said last weekend in Abuja that the purported rift between him and his successor is in the imagination of political jobbers and fair weather friends hoping to reap where they did not sow. He said he is not disappointed with the governor.
“Please tell the governor that I said in the public, there is no shaking and that the three senators and ten members of the House of Representatives, are solidly behind him,” Akpabio said at the 50th birthday celebration of the Special Adviser to the governor on Security matters, Captain Iniobong Ekong (rtd).
“Tell the governor that we love him and he should not listen to slanders and blackmails, that the state is intact for him and that we are proud of what he is doing. The thirteen of us will remain steadfast with him beyond 2019.”
Akpabio told the guests that his support for Gov. Udom will extend beyond 2019 when the governor will be up for reelection.
He accused unnamed persons who benefited from him while he was governor as the ones now sowing discord in the state, “calling some people Akpabio boys and others Udom boys.”
Governor Udom was represented at the event by the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Uwemedimo Nwoko. Nwoko assured Akpabio that none of his former aides will embarrass him and promised to protect him from any form of embarrassment.