As battles for the region that should produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor intensified, Indigenes of Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, have put forward the name of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, as the best presidential candidate to represent Southern region and vie for the seat through All Progressives Congress (APC).
The people said that Akpabio, a former governor of the state, contributed to developments of the Niger Delta region and Nigeria indicated his qualification for the coveted slot of president in 2023.
At a meeting on Wednesday in Calabar to discuss 2023 politics, governance, and its broader impact on democratic institutions and norms, the leaders stated that Akpabio’s pivotal role in the development of health, education, job creation, housing, agriculture, security, road construction, and other areas of development.
The leaders said: “We welcome the current moves to consider the former Akwa-Ibom State governor. Chief Godswill Akpabio is a compassionate human being who cares about the well-being of Nigerians. He knows the issues. He is extremely qualified, the best qualified among the presidential aspirants. He has the character to do the job’’
‘The South-South leaders know the meaning of purposeful leadership that feels their pains, understands their yearnings, and pursues the aspirations of this country. Chief Godswill Akpabio is a key to the solution of the Niger Delta problem’’
The leaders, meanwhile, described Akpabio as an iconic figure, a dogged advocate for the interests of Nigerians, a hope for Nigerian politics, and a magnet attracting a number of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members to the ruling APC in the country.
Particularly, the leaders hailed the former Akwa-Ibom State governor for doing what is best for the people, reframing the way growth in the Niger Delta region is understood, strengthening fiscal discipline, and transparency in the management of public resources.
Spokesman of the South-South Front (SSF), John Harry, told journalists after the meeting that the leaders commended Akpabio for expanding existing social development programmes, spending on much-needed infrastructure, offering the clearest policy, and enhancing peace and development in the Niger Delta region.
He added that the leaders hailed the Akwa-Ibom State governor for doing what is best for the people, reframing the way growth in the Niger Delta region is understood, strengthening fiscal discipline, and transparency in the management of public resources.
According to him, we believe that Akpabio has done his best to complete the NDDC Audit. The Audit Report is an important step forward.
Harry noted that the leaders urged ex-militants not to allow opposition politicians in the country to use them to persecute political opponents.