Saturday, April 20, 2024

How Godswill Akpabio became the uncommon clown prince of Nigerian politics

His penchant for tasteless humour reached new depths of insensitivity at Herbert Wigwe’s funeral.

• March 13, 2024
Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio (Credit: TheCable)

In the grand circus of Nigerian politics, one figure stands out among the sea of performers, adorned not in colourful garb but in a cloak of arrogance and insensitivity. That figure is none other than Senator Godswill Akpabio, whose recent antics at the Wigwe Family Funeral in Port Harcourt have left a sour taste in the mouths of many.

Picture this: amidst a solemn gathering to mourn the passing of loved ones, Akpabio takes the stage not to offer condolences or words of comfort but to bemoan the fact that he didn’t receive as much applause as his political rival, Peter Obi. When confronted with a call for sober reflection by Governor Fubara at the funeral, Akpabio didn’t miss a beat in his quest for the spotlight. His condemnation of the call speaks volumes about his own character – or lack thereof. 

His penchant for tasteless humour reached new depths of insensitivity at the funeral, where he callously joked about offering condolences to the widow while knowing that her lifeless body lay in one of the caskets before him. It’s a display of heartlessness that defies comprehension and underscores the depths of Akpabio’s moral bankruptcy. To make light of such a solemn occasion, to trivialise the pain and suffering of a grieving family, is not just tone-deaf – it’s downright despicable. It reveals a fundamental lack of empathy and humanity, a coldness of heart that has no place in civilised society, let alone the halls of government.

But wait, there’s more! Akpabio’s penchant for putting his foot in his mouth extends far beyond the funeral parlour. In the hallowed halls of the Senate Chambers, he treats his colleagues with the same disdain one might reserve for errant servants. His condescending attitude knows no bounds, as he lectures and talks down on them as if they were mere pawns in his political game.

And let’s not forget his flair for the dramatic – or should I say, the downright absurd. Who could forget his infamous flip-flop on the issue of state government funding? One minute, he’s boldly proclaiming that each state governor received a hefty sum of N30 billion to combat inflation, only to turn around a few days later with his tail between his legs, begging for forgiveness and retracting his statement. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned politicians blush with embarrassment.

In the aftermath of horrific attacks that claimed the lives of over 50 innocent citizens, Akpabio’s response was not one of leadership or compassion but of cowardice and callousness. With a flick of his wrist, he pointed accusatory fingers at the state government, absolving the federal government of any responsibility and washing his hands clean of the blood that stains the streets of Benue State.

In fact, if insensitivity were an Olympic sport, Senator Godswill Akpabio would undoubtedly be the reigning champion, with a trophy cabinet overflowing with callous remarks and tone-deaf actions. His legendary lack of empathy knows no bounds, leaving a trail of hurt and indignation in his wake.

Whether it’s cracking tasteless jokes at a funeral or shamelessly deflecting blame in the face of tragedy, Akpabio’s insensitivity knows no bounds. He is the maestro of misplaced priorities, the virtuoso of vulgarity, turning moments of solemnity into opportunities for self-promotion and political grandstanding.

But let us not forget that behind every legendary feat lies a trail of victims, real people whose pain and suffering are trivialised by Akpabio’s callous words and actions. To them, his insensitivity is not just a punchline in the ongoing comedy of Nigerian politics but a painful reminder of the profound lack of humanity that plagues our society.

In the annals of Nigerian history, Akpabio’s name will be forever etched as a cautionary tale, a reminder of the dangers of unchecked ambition and moral bankruptcy. His legacy will not be one of greatness or achievement but of insensitivity so legendary that it serves as a warning to future generations.

So let us not mince words or sugarcoat the truth: Senator Godswill Akpabio’s level of insensitivity is indeed legendary – a dubious distinction that he has earned through a lifetime of self-serving behaviour and disregard for the feelings of others. May we learn from his example, lest we, too, be condemned to the ranks of the heartless and the indifferent.

Indeed, amidst the chaos and cacophony of Akpabio’s reckless verbiage, the souls of the Wigwe family will find solace and peace. Their memories will remain etched in the hearts of those who knew and loved them. For in the realm beyond, where words hold no sway and actions speak volumes, the purity of the soul transcends the shallow rhetoric of politicians. The Wigwe family’s legacy will endure, untainted by the fleeting noise of earthly affairs, because it is a legacy of love and light, untouched by the darkness of political folly.

The author is an adviser to Nigerian opposition leader Atiku Abubakar

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