…As Onofiok Luke, AKHA Members Form Alliance
By Our Reporter
The recent removal of Mr. Bassey Albert from his cabinet as the Finance Commissioner by Gov. Godswill Akpabio, has allegedly pitched some political interests in the State against the Governor, our paper can authoritatively report.
Our reporter gathered that the former Commissioner’s removal by Governor Akpabio was in defiance to advice by some PDP stakeholders in the State who had told him (Akpabio), to allow Bassey Albert in his cabinet, at least for now, as according to them, he was a stabilizing factor in his administration.
A PDP source in the State, while responding to a telephone interview, noted that it was a mistake to sack Mr. Bassey Albert now; but regretted that it was the Governor’s style to take actions against the advice of the elders. “Let me inform you that there was a time the young man wanted to resign; but the Governor refused to acknowledge his resignation letter. Quite unlike him (Akpabio), he ran to us to seek advice, and we told him to do everything to ensure that he (Basssey), remained in his cabinet, because to some of us, we saw Bassey Albert as a stabilizing factor in Governor Akpabio’s administration…
“And you know, in politics, there are some people you keep for specific reasons; and of course, once the reason must have been accomplished, you may let go of them (or discard them if you like). But in this case, the Governor is discarding a very important figure in his cabinet, which of course, is causing a great rift within the Party (PDP), he averred.
Our source, who did not wish to be named in this report, further confirmed the alignment of some PDP big-wigs, some of who are members of the State’s House of Assembly, along the camp opposing Governor Akpabio’s choice of a successor in 2015.
“There is how you won’t expect that to happen. Some notable members of the State’s Assembly, mostly of Ibibio extraction, have joined the sacked Finance Commissioner. Mind you, politics is a game of interest. Where you have your interest, is where you pledge your loyalty. And from the look of things, the Governor has been making a series of mistakes in recent times; which makes his administration less popular. And of course, you know what that means. His dwindling popularity is what is giving birth to many other interests and by the time people begin to identify with different interests as against the central interest of the Governor, there is a problem.
“The reason is that people will begin to contribute their quotas towards the success of their respective interests, thereby killing the interest at the centre, irrespective of the incumbent factor.”
But in a swift reaction, a source close to the Commissioner for Information, Mr Aniekan Umanah, rebuffed the claims, stressing that “as far as the Governor and the State politics are concerned, whoever purports to have left the Governor’s camp would “come back begging to be given even a part to play in the success story of Akpabio’s administration.
“Bassey Albert is a ‘nobody’, as far as Governor Godswill Akpabio is concerned. He is not the first Commissioner to be sacked in the State, yet the Akpabio administration still goes on…
“He was not more important than other Commissioners, so his sack would not cause any problem in Governor Akpabio’s cabinet.
“But mark my words, even if he claims to have withdrawn his support for the Governor in whatever capacity, very soon, he will come back begging; and whosoever followed him would regret…” he said.