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August 8 has come and gone but the welcoming ceremony held in honor Godswill Akpabio at the Township Stadium in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State will continue to ring in the minds of mammoth eye witnesses who were present at the venue. Quoting from an eye witness expression, one person has defected but it will remain the mother of all defection.
Prof. Osinbajo spoke yesterday at the Township Stadium in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, while receiving Senator Godswill Akpabio, who defected from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Acting President, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; declared that treasury looters would no longer be allowed to return to power.
Among stakeholders present are Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole; Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan, who led over 35 senators to the event, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki; the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Managing Director Nsima Ekere, a governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom state; and Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Senator Ita Enang, among other leaders of APC.
Many members of the National Assembly, Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, State Working Committee (SWC) of PDP, former commissioners in the state and many elders of PDP across the three senatorial districts of Akwa Ibom State joined Akpabio in the APC.
Oshiomhole also announced the former governor of Akwa Ibom State (Akpabio) as the new leader of APC in the state.
Although member of the, PDP stakeholders in Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial District kicked has kick against the defection. Addressing PDP supporters yesterday in Ikot Ekpene, the PDP’s political leader of the senatorial district, Senator Emmanuel Ibok-essien, claimed that Akpabio did not consult them before taking the decision to dump the PDP for APC.
Ibok-essien, who was the Deputy Director-General of Akpabio’s 2015 senatorial campaign organization, stated that people of the area would not support Akpabio’s re-election into the Senate in 2019, calling on the people of the senatorial district and the state to support the re-election of Governor Udom Emmanuel and other PDP candidates in next year’s elections.
Prof. Osinbajo also lauded the people of Akwa Ibom State for the massive support, pleading with them to be ambassadors of the change, as they returned to their various homes and communities, thereby setting the foundation for the growth of democracy.
The Acting President also thanked Akpabio for his exemplary leadership, the uncommon transformation of Akwa Ibom State and his decision to turn around the fortunes of the Niger Delta region, adding that the entire Southsouth zone will be taken over by the APC.
To Oshiomhole, the sea heads at the stadium, the energy of the youth, their sheer determination, as evidenced by the fact that they had been waiting since morning, it was certain that they would have the change they desire. He described Akpabio as an “uncommon transformer”, for pulling the mammoth crowd.
Oshiomhole said: “Today (yesterday) is historic in the life of our party (APC). For too long, when I was governor of Edo State, even now my successor, Godwin Obaseki, we have always said that in the whole of the Southsouth, it is only in Edo State that APC has a governor. We are determined to find other states in the Southsouth to join forces with Edo State to sustain the changes that Nigeria badly requires.
“There are people who are giving the impression that Akwa Ibom State belongs to them, but today, with what my eyes have seen (mammoth crowd), in February next year, the great people of Akwa Ibom State will effect a change, under the leadership of a man of honour, Akpabio, who did what other people failed to do, by saying enough of the umbrella that has been badly shattered by terrible political weather, after misruling Nigeria for 16 years.
“What other people are afraid to do, Akpabio did it after deep reflection and he listened to the yearnings of his people, by sacrificing the title of Minority Leader of the Senate to join the APC. Akpabio did what Senator Bukola Saraki is unable to do and he has shown that the people of the Southsouth zone can be different, where it matters. We can stand up and be counted.
“I know that with your (Akpabio’s membership of our great party (APC), we will benefit from your uncommon transformational qualities that you demonstrated while you were the governor of this great state. You (Akpabio) are an uncommon defector. There are ordinary defectors, who want to move, but they want to steal the crown. We have an uncommon rally in Ikot Ekpene.
“Akwa Ibom people are united that in 2019, under the leadership and guidance of Akpabio, this state will join the states of progressive governance.
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