The chances of All Progressives Congress, APC, winning the governorship in Akwa Ibom State in the forthcoming general poll is brighter with the defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio to the party, Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, has said.
This came as Senator Ita Enang, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, yesterday, told Nigerians not to listen to allegations from some quarters that Akpabio, who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling APC was no liability but an asset to the party.
Enang made the remark during a chat with newsmen in Calabar, Cross River State, shortly after Prelate and Moderator of General Assembly of Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, PCN, Rev. Nzie Nsi Eke, declared open the 23rd General Assembly to mark its 172 years of existence in Nigeria.
The presidential aide while soliciting support from all Nigerians to enable President Buhari quell insurgency, corruption and every other social ill that had slowed down the country’s economy, said Akpabio who left PDP was a great asset to the APC.
He said: “Akpabio was what we could call the certificate of registration of the PDP. We discovered that he had a nationalist posture, considering his pedigree, we had no option other than to approach him. The APC worked so hard to bring him to its fold.
“What we observed was that Akpabio already had a lot of democratic/nationalist credentials in him and was one Nigerian willing to work for the survival of the country and not for his parochial interest. We had to bring him to our party and so light met light. I charge other political parties to cry less.”
Meanwhile, Mohammed, who spoke on TVC Nigeria programme, ‘’This Morning,” monitored in Uyo, described as a big blow to the PDP, the defection of Senator Akpabio to the party, noting that the bandwagon effect would spread across the South-South geo-political zone.
He said: “Akpabio is a seasoned politician and he knows which party will best represent his people. He knows what is best for his people. He has ruled the state for eight-years and anybody who goes to Akwa Ibom will see his imprints in the state.”
Oro nation demands guber slot from APC
Meanwhile, the people of Oro nation, the third largest ethnic group in the state have demanded that APC zones the governorship slot to the area to appease them over the wrongs committed by Akpabio when he single-handedly foisted Governor Udom Emmanuel, an Ibibio from Eket senatorial sistrict, on the state.
Speaking under the aegis of Oro Mandate Group, they said: “Oro nation will never compromise on the 2019 governorship seat as this remains the only way to preserve, promote and protect the peace, unity and progress of Akwa Ibom State as proposed by our founding fathers.
“The interest of Oro must be a major priority come 2019 and we demand that the governorship position be zoned to Oro by the APC and nothing less. We are tired of being constantly used and dumped by other ethnic groups while we remain slaves in the politics of the state.”