By Joe Iniodu
When I read the above vacuous story, I came full cycle with the conclusion that Hitler’s postulation that colossal lies told without conscience and compunctions persuade people into believability whereas they are actually falsehood and fallacies.
It is all well known that Akpabio’s traducers have been waging despicable battles of devilish hue against the former governor and currently minister in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. The latest is the accusation that he is nursing a presidential ambition. Much as this is not true, the fallacies used in dressing their delusions need to be addressed, explicated and clarified.
The malicious report posted on several social media platforms made some spirited but spurious attempts to attribute some quotations to Senator Akpabio to give the report a semblance of credibility. For instance, it mischievously states that Senator Akpabio described his 2023 presidential ambition as a moving train that cannot stop but would crush anyone who tries to stop it.
It is apparent that those behind this fictional report are going for the jugular of the Minister without any pretence. To achieve their sadistic objectives, they must depict Senator Akpabio as an inordinately ambitious and arrogant character. Such characterization in their view, would not only put the former governor of Akwa Ibom State on collision course with many members of the political class, it would also mangle his image in the political space and provide consequential but unverifiable reasons for him to be hated.
No politician who has wisdom, and Senator Akpabio has it in abundance, can afford the brash and arrogant statement credited when he knows that politics is a give and take that must be pursued with utmost humility and persuasion. As an experienced politician, granted without conceding that he is nursing such ambition, would Akpabio who is not controlling the reins of government afford such licentious utterance? The incontrovertible fact is NO, since such reckless and arrogant statement would be counterproductive and capable of causing alienation.
The news report is strewn with a determined attempt to open many adversarial fronts for the minister. One of the fronts is the attempt by the author and his sponsors to instigate the reverred CALIPHATE against Senator Akpabio. . The virulent report states that Akpabio few days ago assured that himself and some other people at the presidency are working out modalities that would see to the division of the Caliphate before 2023. The purveyors of this mischief know that such comment would naturally infuriate the Caliphate, its followers and even the northerners to no end and pit them permanently against Senator Akpabio. The extended inane tale still contained in the report of how he had vanquished and reduced the powers of the Ibibios during his bid for second term as the equivalent of what is pending for the CALIPHATE is not only preposterous but a pointer to the desperation on the part of his enemies to crush him politically. The introduction of Ibibio into the equation opens some curious perspectives in this parochial report. One, it points to the fact that the report may be indigenous to the State, and two, the Ibibios who voted massively for Senator Akpabio in both first and second terms may be forced to perceive him as ungrateful and insensitive if they decide to rely on the fallacious report as basis for assessing him.
Satisfied that they have instigated the northern front and Ibibio brothers, the evil laden piece proceeds to create an imaginary war between Senator Akpabio and Ndigbo by bringing the travails of Orji Uzor Kalu, purporting some unsavoury comments and attributing them as views of the minister against the former Abia State governor. Again the purveyors of the mischief know that the Igbos would not take such uncharitable comments against their son kindly irrespective of the offense he is deemed to have committed. Therefore, any goodwill enjoyed by Senator Akpabio who is married to their daughter, would be squandered, since he as an in-law has decided to mock their son who is in tribulation.
Not done with that, the errant piece also birthed in the West to pit Akpabio against the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The report fabricated some uncharitable remarks against Bola Tinubu and purported that they were made by Akpabio against the National Leader. The tale proceeded to widen the tapestry of war for Senator Akpabio by bringing the National Chairman of APC, His Excellency, Comrade Adams Oshiomole into the melee. Not still satisfied, it does a detour to the Presidency with another fiction that Akpabio has vowed to even scores with those who have used the Presidency to torment Southerners when he becomes President.
It is discerning that this report has at least two unwholesome motives – the distraction and systematic destruction of Senator Akpabio, which of course would remain a futile project. The puerile piece is part of a well hatched and lavishly funded strategy to create adversaries that would keep him busy and distract him from investing the totality of his service acumen in the re-creation of a new Niger Delta, deserving of its position as the goose that lays the golden egg.
The rebuttal of the purported Presidential ambition by the Chief Press Secretary to the Honourable Minister was timely and forthright in its clarification. It stated without equivocation that the Honourable Minister does not have any such ambition. This should put to rest the purveying of the so called ambition which only exists in the minds of those who do not wish Senator Akpabio, Akwa Ibom State and the Niger Delta well.
It is sad to come to terms with the fact that human beings could fabricate such lies against fellow humans even when they know that such act may have collateral and untoward consequences on the victim. Political differences or the political mileage of another should not precipitate the kind of envy we are witnessing in our polity today, if our orientation is geared towards service to the people and humanity. Let us allow Senator Akpabio to move on with his work as minister without distraction. The country stands to gain from his work zeal but if he is less distracted.
Joe Iniodu is a public affairs analyst.