Senator Godswill Akpabio whose alleged defection from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will be finalized this week, has visited President Buhari in London.
The defection of Mr Akpabio, a former Governor who represents Akwa Ibom North West District in the Senate, had been confirmed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla. He said;
“I believe his coming to the APC will change the fortunes of the APC in Akwa Ibom in particular, and the South-South in general.”
Bashir Ahmad, personal assistant to the president on online media, broke the news of the senator’s visit to the president Sunday morning. Mr Ahmad posted on his official Twitter handle, photos of Mr Akpabio shaking hands and also posing with Mr Buhari.
PMB with Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Akpabio today in London, the UK. pic.twitter.com/auzgcPyIrY
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) August 5, 2018
Premium Times gathered that though disliked by some people because of his ruthless brand of politics, Mr Akpabio is widely respected as one of the most influential politicians in Akwa Ibom and Nigeria’s South-South region.
He handpicked Udom Emmanuel, a former executive director in Zenith Bank, appointed him Secretary to the State Government (SSG), groomed, and later installed him as governor of Akwa Ibom in 2015, despite opposition within his party, the PDP. He is also responsible for the election and the appointment of several people in the state into public offices.
However sources within the PDP, who appeared not to be disturbed by the development, dismissed Akpabio as one big mole it had to deal with over time, noting that he has divulged virtually all the party’s plans and strategies to the opposition in an alleged attempt to secure protection from prosecution.
THISDAY gathered last night that the speculation about Akpabio’s imminent exit from the PDP was beyond rumour, as he was said to have met with practically everyone that matters in the party.
Although sources hinted that the former governor of Akwa Ibom State had tried to leave the PDP with some senators from the state, everyone he approached was said to have rebuffed his advice, because according to them, the APC stood no chance in the state, let alone the region.