Kneeling, bowing or prostrating for the wife of Akwa Ibom State governor, Mrs. Unoma Akpabio, is a common feature in Akwa Ibom State. Those who do not tow this line are often considered to be anti-Akpabio’s administration.A member in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, representing Mbo State Constituency, Mrs. Alice Ekpenyong, knelt before the governor’s wife at the Independent National Electoral Commission office, where they were being presented with the certificates of return in 2011.
Similarly, many of the commissioners in the state cannot stand before Mrs. Akpabio to talk; they must either face a different direction or stoop low before her. Recently, the Commissioner of Works, Mr. Don Etim, was spotted kneeling to talk to her during one of the Peoples Democratic Party campaign rallies in the state.
Etim is the Dean, College of Commissioners in the state. He is one of the longest serving commissioners in Akpabio’s administration. Also a Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr. Glory Edet, was recently seen fanning her during the presentation of the 2015 Appropriation Bill to the House of Assembly.
A strong PDP member, Mr. Silvernus Okon, stated that the governor’s wife had no regards for anybody. He added that even if Etim had wanted to kneel before her, she should have cautioned the man against doing so.
“It is unbelievable that Don Etim, who is old enough to be her father, could descend so low to kneel before her. “This tells you the type of people that we have in the state. Even if Etim had wanted to kneel for her, we expected her to have stopped him and cautioned him against doing so in future,” he said. All attempts to get Etim to react to why he knelt before the governor’s wife failed as calls to his mobile telephone set indicated that it had been switched off.