Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, a former military governor of Akwa Ibom State has been very active in the politics of the state since his retirement from the military.
Since 2011 he has been the campaign manager of the successive PDP governorship campaigns and is presently managing Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second term campaign after his successful run in 2015 and also managing Godswill Akpabio’s 2011 campaign.
In this interview he expresses his views on the issues arising from the defection. Excerpts:
What is your reaction to the defection of Senator Akpabio from your party?
You see unusual things happening in politics and even more unusual things happening in the politics of the third world where ideology does not mean anything.
And people have different reasons for going into politics. If you went into politics because there is an ideology that you are following, defection will not be that easy.
When you see people changing back and forth it only speaks of their followership; definitely their followers hip will start dwindling because people will feel betrayed and say ah, didn’t he think about it?
So it is disappointing what he did because we thought that he should be more committed to the to the course of this region. If he was, he would never do what he did.
He mentioned that he went for national interest, do you agree?
With due respect I believe he doesn’t not understand what national interest means. He doesn’t. If he did he wouldn’t even make a statement like that. He should go to Abuja to pursue national interest. National interest is not something you go and bring from the shelf and say this is national interest.
So is he the first person that would go to the centre?. If you ask him now what is restructuring, he would not know, so also are the people that are carrying this country into ruins.
If you don’t understand that and you say you went for national interest, what national interest? It is lack of under understanding of what it is. I sympathise with him and with the people that think that way.
Did he consult with you before he made this decision?.
I have not come across one person that said he consulted him. I am not too relevant to him but even people that ought to be relevant to him. The only person that I have not asked but I thought is important enough is the wife. I don’t know if he did. I won’t be surprised if he did not even consult with his wife. All the people that I thought were relevant enough, I have asked and they said he did not and that is what is causing people to be angry.
Of what effect is his exit from the party?
Today the party and the state are calm and focused as would ever be. I see Udom coming out very, very strongly because there are a lot of people that are now with Udom out of anger. Those that had left because they were angry, were not angry with Udom, they were angry with him and now for him to leave, and they are joyfully coming back. So l see Udom winning his second term very clearly and by that time he will know that it is God that gave him the victory and not human being.
Some say that Udom is not performing?
Whoever is saying that it may be out of ignorance. If they say money is not available, Akwa Ibom State doesn’t mint money. There are states that cannot even pay salaries, but here he is commissioning projects all over the place, he is paying salaries as at when due.
We talk about industrialization- when Godswill Akpabio was here, one of the promises he made was that there would be an industry in each of the 31 Local governments. Do we have even one? And this somebody that within the short time he had been here he has rehabilitated the paint industry. He brought the syringe factory, the metering industry, the toothpick those are the new industries that have come in. You see some people don’t understand that this country can be sustained by just syringes.
The requirement for syringe in this country is about six billion and what this one is going to produce is barely four billion, not enough even to satisfy Nigeria.
So do you see federal might playing a role ahead of the election?
You see federal might is not an Akwa Ibom problem, it is a national problem. If they want dictatorship, fine we go back to it. Let them expand the jail houses, let them buy more bullets to kill people. We have opted for democracy, and Nigerians have opted for democracy and democracy we shall have. So federal might and all that is not the issue. We have gone a long way in this country and it is in the interest of this country. What we are saying now is bring back our democracy. We are not happy about what is going on, and we saying that democracy should return to Nigeria because people have paid the supreme sacrifice to have democracy in this country