PDP Versus YPP: Fight Gets Messier In A'Ibom
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PDP Versus YPP: Fight Gets Messier In A’Ibom

6 mins read

The dirty fight between PDP and YPP in Akwa Ibom State is getting messier and messier by the day, and just yesterday, the wife of the governor, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel, has plunged into the fray. But for how long will this fight last and who would win?

Initially, the exchange of insults between PDP and YPP was limited to the governor’s aides on one side and supporters of Obong Bassey Albert (OBA) on the other side. But on Wednesday, 18th January, a full-page advertorial appeared on page 22 of Thisday newspaper. The advertorial was a letter, written by a group known as “Professionals for Integrity and Good Governance’’, and addressed to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation. It was signed by Umana Andi from Akwa Ibom State who is the Publicity Secretary; E. S. Orieye, Secretary, from Edo State and Eric Toanyie, the Convener, from Rivers State.

Essentially, the letter criticised the release of OBA from prison and asked the Minister of Justice to compel the EFCC to appeal against the bail. The letter drips with anger and bitterness against OBA and quoted several legal authorities to argue that OBA should not have been released. I can tell that it was written by a lawyer, and from my enquiries at Thisday and my deep knowledge of the media and political propaganda, I can tell that the real sponsors of this advertorial are closely associated with the PDP government in Akwa Ibom State.

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Undaunted, the OBA camp has been forging ahead with their campaigns, but without their candidate, Senator Bassey Albert. In his place, his wife has been leading the campaigns. I had thought that it would be a little awkward for a party to go on a campaign without the governorship candidate. How would they explain that to their supporters? To address that problem, YPP resorted to showing the candidate’s face on a TV screen at their rallies. Who, the hell, thought of that? In other words, OBA is now campaigning remotely. Funny!

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But Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel is not finding that funny and she won’t let it slide. On Friday afternoon, while at the PDP rally in Nsit Ibom, the governor’s wife launched a series of tirades, innuendoes and ‘’yabbis’’ against YPP and their tactics. She jabbed OBA for being in hiding and showing his face only on a screen.

Speaking in Ibibio (surprisingly not in Annang, as you might have expected), she poked fun at YPP and made jokes of the apparent disappearance of OBA. Where is their governorship candidate? Why is he hiding? Will you vote for a candidate you can only see on screen? Is his wife the governorship candidate now? The crowd roared in laughter as the First Lady threw punches after punches. Umo Eno and Uncle Mo were enchanted by the First Lady’s audacity. But the irony is that Gov. Udom Emmanuel was not at the rally. The Deputy Governor had earlier announced that the First Lady was representing the governor.

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My Take

1. As I had said in my earlier analyses, the breakup of PDP into YPP poses a significant existential threat to the umbrella party. The possibility of PDP being defeated on March 11 is giving its leaders sleepless nights, and it is the reason the governor’s wife is jumping into the fray.

2. If OBA feels challenged by the taunts of the governor’s wife and comes out to campaign, he would get into trouble once again. I am sure he is well advised by his lawyers.

3. The taunts and insults doled out by PDP to OBA and the contents of the letter written to the Attorney General of the Federation which I referenced above are clear indications that OBA’s fate is in jeopardy if PDP wins the governorship election. PDP does not want to see OBA out of prison till 2029! But if Udoedehe is elected governor, OBA stands a better chance of regaining his freedom earlier. I call on all Akwa Ibom people to read p22 of Thisday of last Wednesday (January 18).

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4. A lot of PDP’s supporters will vote for YPP and NNPP. However, they will not defect to YPP because they want to grab their own share of the ‘’election money’’ PDP will share a few days to the election.

5. Splitting PDP’s vote between PDP and YPP (my guess is that it would be almost on a 50:50 ratio) is opening up a wide opportunity for the third party, NNPP to snatch a victory and cause an upset.

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Etim Etim
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