Though Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Udom and his predecessor and Senator, Obong Godswill Akpabio had said that there is no quarrel between them, the loyalists of both men have a different view.
The fact that all is not well between the supporters of the two political gladiators came to the fore during the last concluded PDP Ward Congresses-there were two clear factions.
At many of the venues visited by our Correspondent, it was observed that many of the leading candidates who were gunning for offices brandished the fact that they are from Udom or Akpabio Camps.
We were told that the impending split became apparent when contrary to the norm, the State Governor has not automatically become the leader of the party in the state.
Some members of the Akpabio Camp reportedly said that Udom should concentrate on being Governor and should not bother about being Party Leader-and this has angered die hard supporters of the Governor, who see this as their opportunity to shine.
Therefore during the Congresses, the election process was filmed from beginning to end.
A source told us why “we do not want a situation where the final list of ward executives are changed when it gets to the Party HQ in Abuja”
All of this week, there has been uneasy calm as the Wards Congresses have not been ratified by the PDP HQ.
The source said that if the names are changed, there will be crisis because we cannot have two Governors in one State, probably referring to the overbearing influence of the former Governor.
The Ward Congresses we were told, would soon be followed by a minor cabinet reshuffle, our source stated.
In a recent Interview, Governor Udom has stated that he would not have any friction with his former boss as it is being orchestrated by the Media.
According to him ” Predecessor/ successor ’s sour relationship in Africa as a whole occurs because people don’t know how to relate.
“Two, you must put a round peg in a round hole. If I am a professional in politics, I must also know if a professional in politics would succeed me to ensure there wouldn’t be problem. If I am a professional in politics and I go and look for a professional politician, there would be a problem in his own ideology and so on.
“Three, it also depends on what you are looking for. Because that is the question many people don’t bother to answer. I am looking to set my dream and if you are also looking to set your dream, then you must face that project. And if you are facing that project, there must be no problem. So, here we have no complaints, our goal is to make Akwa- Ibom a better place. So, that goal actually unites our sense of direction and purpose.
“And also, there must be personal determination because they say determination is victory. If you are determined, the banana peel that others marched, you wouldn’t march it. Because it is a banana peel, we’ve just decided two of us won’t march it irrespective of the pressure.
“You see at times, some of the pressure is from the press because in Nigeria, people don’t believe that two people must work in harmony. If you work in harmony, they start looking for a name for you, because they expect you to quarrel with your predecessor. That is what people expect and if they don’t see that happening, they say no, he is subservient to this one. You know it does not work that way. We must learn to work with one another for this country to move forward because it is going to be a major distraction for you to leave what you are doing to be doing what does not benefit a common man. How does that bring food to the table of that poor girl inside a village that has never eaten since morning?
“So I don’t pray that Nigeria should continue that way. People should also learn to know where they are going to and design their style of living and everything because at the end of the day, what matters most is the people, the citizenry and we must be able to actually take them from where they are to a better place”
Meanwhile, the PDP in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by the party’s National Organising Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha cancelled ward congresses in three states- Adamawa, Lagos and Osun.
The statement also said that new congress committees in the affected state had been reconstituted accordingly after the dissolution of the previous ones.
“Congresses will continue in these states from Friday May 6, 2016,” the statement added.