Akpabio’s Condescending Demeanor

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“It looks like Akpabio has no humility in his dictionary. Although he was democratically elected, his actions are dictatorial. A colleague of his at the Senate reminded him the other day that he was elected like them, a primus inter pares (first among equals), to underscore Akpabio’s dictatorial streak”.

                                                              BY ZAINAB SULEIMAN OKINO

                                                                   

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio courts controversies the way flies are drawn to sweet things. He behaves like an imperial leader who rubs his good luck in the faces of the poor in a very condescending way. Some people call it gaffes. I beg to disagree because he is sometimes conscious and intentional about what he does and says, accompanied by those mischievous smiles. The inimitable Chinua Achebe’s example of humility comes to mind: “Those whose palm kernels were cracked for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble.”

It looks like Akpabio has no humility in his dictionary. Although he was democratically elected, his actions are dictatorial. A colleague of his at the Senate reminded him the other day that he was elected like them, a primus inter pares (first among equals), to underscore Akpabio’s dictatorial streak.

Apart from his famous gaffe about money being sent to senators to enjoy recess before a live television audience, his recent statement that nobody will recognize Nigeria by the time Tinubu completes his remaining seven years is sycophancy taken too far. Despite the irony in that statement —because truly Tinubu has already impacted Nigeria negatively in one year of his administration – there are other implications, such as talking of the remaining seven years in a supposed four-year tenure out of which one has been spent. It shows a dishonest mindset and the possibility of what could happen during the next election.

Akpabio’s unverified statement that state governors collected ₦30 billion each from Tinubu for provision of palliatives to their people was eventually recanted. Consider this statement: “There is hunger today because of the policies and actions that they took, and we recognize that, and every political party should recognize that there is hunger, and we are battling to ensure that Nigerians sleep with their eyes closed.” I honestly don’t know the sense in this statement. Akpabio has been part of governments since 2007. I wonder why he was pointing accusing fingers at others/previous administrations that he also belonged to.

It seems anything about Tinubu raises Akpabio’s dander. In the face of anger and hunger in the land, Akpabio, without hesitation or appropriation, has said his Senate will approve President Tinubu’s request to buy another plane whether Nigerians like it or not. How can a leader be so insensitive?

We all know the President was instrumental in his becoming Senate President. But he should be told that he is just one among 109 senators representing 200 million people; he is not at the Senate, nor is he Senate President on his own account. He is there at the instance of the people of this country, even as we know he was chosen for a purpose, to do the bidding of his paymasters. Therefore, caution should be his watchword because power is transient.

…Zainab Suleiman Okino, who is chairperson, Blueprint Editorial Board, is a syndicated columnist. She can be reached via: zainabokino@gmail.com

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