Despite repeated denials and public statements from the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East, Obong Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA) that he will support the Udom Emmanuel administration for eight years, the state Chief Executive and Members of his ‘kitchen cabinet’ must have perfected plans to place the former Finance Commissioner under strict watch.
This is to check the moves and what many have since come to describe as body language of the Ibiono Ibom born Senator. Sources confided in our reporter that as it stands, the onslaught against OBA’s return to the senate may be tough and in a situation the ex finance commissioner fails to return to the red chambers of the National Assembly, that it will only be reasonable for him to seek the only available space at the Hilltop Mansion.
A development our political desk revealed has since been made known to the Akwa Ibom Hilltop Mansion and hence why the senator should be monitored at all times. Bassey Albert himself sources revealed to our reporters is not helping matters especially as his posturing is seriously adding more bites to the information of his readiness to wrestle power from Udom in 2019.
For instance, during the re-run campaign rally in Uruan LGA, OBA arrived the council premises late when the former governor and senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio and the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel were already seated.
OBA arrived the venue with his own crowd of supporters who wore uniforms and chanted solidarity songs for him. The Uyo Senator arrived like a leader among leaders.
This development those close to the Akwa Ibom Governor observed is an abuse of protocols and an affront on the leader of the state. The Hilltop Mansion is also worried that the Ibiono Ibom born Senator has a huge financial war chest that if he decides to explore will definitely work for him. Apart from Albert’s financial muscles, It is clear that Obong Bassey Albert is the most dreaded man politically in the eyes of Udom’s men.
They argue that OBA is a man with a thick level of connection and that his 2015 ambition to govern Akwa Ibom State had took him to the powers that be in Nigeria. They contend that if OBA makes up his mind to run the 2019 Guber election, coupled with the unpopularity that Udom’s administration have created for itself that the Ibiono man may topple the government.
A strong PDP faithful from Uyo Senatorial district who is close to Paul Ekpo, the State Party Chairman, is said to have averred that the political dynamics in the country is changing everyday and that in order for the PDP to maintain its grip on power, it should put forward a very strong and popular candidate in 2019. Our source said, irrespective of the senatorial district that the ruling party in the state would need a man that is on ground to wrestle power from the opposition APC. The party man said “editor, there are some changing dynamics in our politics today and with an APC government at the centre; our party the PDP would need a man with a great mind, a man that enjoys mass appeal. This man irrespective of the senatorial district may be considered be the party’s ticket in 2019. We cannot go for an unpopular person so that the APC who is already enjoying power in the centre will not sweep us out.
This is perhaps the fear of Udom’s promoters who are of the position that OBA may be the next and only available option.
Again, investigations reveal that the political intimacy between Obong Paul Ekpo, Sir Emem Akpabio, Bassey Albert have been brought to the understanding of the government of the day.
A development that is said to be the source of major concerns to the promoters of Udom Emmanuel 2019 bid. With all these factors brought to bear, the government is said to be advised by members of his kitchen cabinet to the place the Uyo senator on security check so that this moves are pre-determined.
A picture of the 2019 ambition of Senator Albert was also painted during last weekend circus meeting of the State PDP. Our reporter understands that as OBA stepped into the meeting shortly before its commencement, he was heralded and a lot of the stakeholders wanted to shake hands with him.
Already, some political groups are already mobilizing support for Bassey Albert; some professional groups are being hatched with intent to metamorphose with political groups that will support OBA in the event he agrees to join the 2019 government race.
A close confidant of the Governor said, the strategic department of the governor is aware of the moves around OBA but that it will not allow the State Chief Executive to be distracted as the finance Commissioner is under check. Our source who hail form ONNA said “we are in the know on the moves of OBA, but don’t worry, he is being placed under checks.”
But a source who served as a commissioner with OBA during the Godswill Akpabio years said, whether the Udom Emmanuel Government places OBA on security watch or not, it does not and will not stop the will of God in the life of the Uyo Senatorial District Senator. The former commissioner described OBA as a smart politician who knows when to strike and when to retreat. Our source further observed that of all the politicians that put themselves up for the 2015 Guber election, only OBA is still in touch with his supporters irrespective of whether some of them have moved to the opposition party and described the action as a smart political move.
Another supporter of OBA, a former council chairman was more vocal. In an interaction in Eket our source said, “there is no need for the government of the day to place OBA under watch”, adding that if Godswill Akpabio despite wielding so much power only used former president Goodluck Johnathan to beg the former finance Commissioner to step down from the 2015 Akwa Ibom Governorship , who is Udom to think he can stop OBA if the latter seeks to govern Akwa Ibom State by 2019, the former chairman released a shocking statement that OBA may decide to run in 2019 or deputize an Oro man to fulfill Akpabio’s promises to the Oron people that Udom will run four years and the Oro nation will complete the other four years of 2019 to 2023.
More shocking was the disclosure by a political associate to OBA that the more the government of the day looks at Senator Bassey Albert in the prism of 2019, the less they see of the Ibiono “Elephant” whom our source said is a man on ground (MOG) and a go-getter.
When contacted on phone, the Uyo Senator Obong Bassey Albert denied being on the know that he is being placed on security watch by the Akwa Ibom State Government. In a sms sent last night to our reporter, he said, “I am not aware.” (Culled from The Ink).