Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio was yesterday slammed by the seven aggrieved governors of the People’s Democratic Party, yesterday, over his claim that the governors could face possible rebellion from their followers if they moved to the All Progressive Congress.
Speaking to state House correspondents in Abuja after an official engagement with President Jonathan, Akpabio said it was wrong for the governors to threaten to leave the PDP for another party as it was a sign of disrespect to the President.
“I believe that you cannot be a good leader unless you’re a good follower and I believe also strongly that leadership comes from God. So the question of rebelling against leadership does not occur because if I rebel against the leadership at the federal level, I should expect somebody also to rebel against my leadership at the state level, maybe from my own local government or thereabouts.
“And it is expected that as a governor state, I should be expected respect the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So it is not important who occupies the position. I think what is important is to give respect to the institution of the presidency in Nigeria. And that way, the international community can respect also Nigeria.
“I don’t see a problem in the issues of certain politicians wanting to change party, it is a normal thing in politics that people move from one political party to the other.
”But what is important is that we move on and the country moves on. And as PDP is very big and robust enough, with its branches in 774 local government areas in Nigeria, if you have five persons moving awY from PDP, you have 10 to 50 moving into PDP.
“You know, there are so many APC members who are approaching me on a daily basis that they want to move into PDP but I keep telling them that it is not yet time, let us resolve this issue of G-7 governors and then you see the big fishes that will come out of the APC. They are ready to come out and when they come out, it is going to be a boom. It something that the entire country will shout.”
The G-7 governors, however said the declaration by Akpabio, who is the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, amounted to an incitement of Nigerians against them and asked Mr. President to take note of the statement.
Speaking on behalf of others, Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, noted with dismay the declaration of war on them by Akpabio and wondered who made him lord over them.
“Mr. President should be wary of people like Akpabio who wants to chase away other Nigerians from him so that he alone would be seen as a loyalist.
“Mr. President should note the outburst by the Akwa Ibom governor and call him to order before he causes more people who would have been of help to him to ditch him,” Nyako said.
The governors restated their aversion to the leadership of the PDP, saying that what the party has been doing amounted to a disservice to the members and Nigerians.
“PDP as presently constituted does not promote justice and equity but constitutes a major setback to democracy. Indeed, the current PDP can best be described as the enemy of democracy.
“The leadership started by substituting its Anambra governorship candidates’ names in Abuja and ended disowning the candidate even after INEC had owned up to a dismal election that was seriously sabotaged.
“The PDP has lost its voice in democracy and now constitutes an enemy of what is just and honest,” the governors noted. [Vanguard]