With the entry of former Senate Minority Leader and ex Governor of Akwa Ibom State Obong Godswill Akpabio into All Progressive Congress-APC and the election of former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of All Progressive Congress-APC, there is confusion now among followers and party loyalists about who among the serving Minister of Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Obong Godswill Akpabio, Adams Oshiomhole and the only APC Governor in South-East Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha should be properly addressed as the “Lion of Niger Delta” a political name tag that has been ascribed to Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in 2013 prior to the 2015 general election.
The serving Minister of Transportation as Director General Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organization solidified this political name tag “The Lion of Niger Delta” as he fought a Niger Delta son, President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Peoples Democratic Party-PDP until he lost election on the 28th of March, 2015 and conceded defeat in a telephone conversation to President Muhammadu Buhari exactly at 5pm on the Presidential Election Result Collation center FCT Abuja.
Since that time with Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s political office as Minister for Transportation, he assumed the position of leader of All Progressive Congress-APC in South-South, irrespective of the fact that Edo State is the only State out of the Six States in the South-South geo-political zone that won governorship election with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as executive Governor.
The Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, comes from South-East geo-political zone but his state shares some kind of political developmental affiliations including Niger Delta Development Commission-NDDC. Again, Imo State is the only state in the South East geo-political zone that won the Governorship election under the platform of All Progressive Congress-APC. Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s political sagacity and bravado and his oratorical speech elocution coupled with his position as a sitting Governor of Ndi-Igbo coming into the APC family and as the Chairman of APC Governor’s Forum, make him more visible political to claim the political name tag of “The Lion of Niger Delta Politics” currently being enjoyed by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
Wednesday, 8th of August, 2018 marked a new beginning in the life of the former Senator Minority Leader and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State Obong Godswill Akpabio as he formally declared for All Progressive Congress-APC in his home town Uyo through defection from PDP to APC.
He resigned from being the Senate Deputy Minority Leader on the 4th August, 2018 while getting his papers properly documented at his Essien Udim home town in Akwa Ibom State. His political influence and political control in the South-South is like earth quake with every high magnitude. As a sitting governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2007 to 2015, Obong Godswill Akpabio had one of the highest monetary allocations from the Federation Account sharing unit in the country. And he controlled 31-Local Government Areas with oil and gas accruement of 13 percent in both being a littoral oil producing state in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
With the on-going debate of who is the “Lion of Niger Delta Politics” raging on, the foursome of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, ex-Governor of Edo State and current National Chairman of APC Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha and Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and former Senate Minority Leader, Obong Godswill Akpabio are all jostling for Political Leadership of APC in South-South and South-East geo-political zones of the Federation.
After the excitement of Obong Godswill Akpabio’s defection to APC must have died down, the next battle will be who among them should control APC in the South-South geo-political zone no-minding the political hierarchy in All Progressive Congress-APC as the zone has a National Party Chairman, a Director General of Presidential Campaign Organization and Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha’s per chant of dominating political space when it comes to national politics remains one of the highlights of the expectations to come in the days ahead of February 2019 Presidential elections.