Akpabio To Arewa Group on 2023: Relax, God Is In Control, At Appropriate Time, I Will Speak

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  • Akpabio (middle) *

Minister, Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Thursday reacted to several calls from concerned groups, organizations and individuals that he throw his hat into the presidential ring, saying,” let me move on the basis of my records. Everybody is consulting and people are coming and asking me, when are you taking the giant step? I am telling them, just relax God is in control and at the right time, God will direct.”

Akpabio stated this while receiving in audience the leadership of the Arewa Concerned Citizens For Development and members of the Presidential Support Committee(PSC), who came to formally call on him to run for the office of the president in 2023.

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The group, according to its National Vice Chairman, Hon Huseni Ladan, said, “apart coming to call on our leader in the Presidential Support Committee (PSC), to run for the presidency, we are also here to present him this award for his outstanding contributions to the development country and peace in the NIger Delta Region.”

A statement signed by Akpabio’s Chief Press Secretary, Jackson Udom, quoted the former governor of Akwa Ibom State as saying ” When God finally directs, I am not in doubt, I have you as my foot- soldiers. You are not just anybody. When people like you speak, God listens. He will continue to honour you all as you have honoured me today. I receive this award with gladness and I dedicate it to President Muhamadu Buhari, who gave me the opportunity to serve Nigerians in a difficult time like this.”

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Commenting on calls for his declaration of interest in the presidential contest, the former Senate Minority Leader said,” I will say that the time is ripe and your move is also apt. I am also consulting. I know we are in dire need of steps to put the country together.  

“I am a bit shocked. I wasn’t expecting this honour. It only shows that yes, indeed, our efforts at building bridges across Nigeria and across different religious and ethnic divides then, is working. We will continue to work together. 

“As a governor of Akwa Ibom State, I was lucky to have Muslim brothers from the North as my CSO, ADC and Orderly. We worked together, we didn’t even recognize who was a Muslim or not. As a christian governor, I sponsored several Muslims to the Holy Land, among numerous interventions across the country.

” I tell people, don’t talk about the unity of this country with your mouth, put it into practice like I did. Don’t talk about development with your mouth, put it into practice.”

Speaking further, Akpabio noted that what the president needed most at this time was prayers from Nigerians to enable him achieve more for the people, stressing that no matter the antics and machinations of enemies, the current leadership of the country will berth the ship of governance at a very enviable place.

” We have to work together, to nip a lot of things in the bud. There are so many enemies around. They are conspiring  to see how they can bring the present government down. I am very convinced that God will not allow them. What we are facing today is what I call challenges. Every country does face challenges. With God’s grace, we will survive as a nation.

” We are facing banditry, organised and sponsored insurgencies taking different forms,  Train attack and economic sabotage in the Niger Delta Region, (where I understand there is a lot of oil theft and we have not been able to take advantage of the current oil price) are all challenges. All hands must be on deck with the cooperation of all Nigerians to bring it under control.

” Above all, God has already signalled that there is an end in sight and that is why the Ramadan and Lent coincided and at the end of this Ramadan fast, I expect the resurgence of progressive actions in Nigeria,”he declared.

Akpabio thanked the president for his resilience in the face of all these, saying,” I must thank Mr President for his resilience. The Holy Books enjoin us to pray for our leaders. We will continue to pray for him. He should not be deterred by what he is seeing today, because the enemies you see today, you will not see them tomorrow.”

Earlier in his opening remarks, Hon Huseni Ladan, who is also the North West Coordinator of the PSC lauded the Minister for his sterling national qualities which has continued to endear him to Nigerians, home and abroad and that being the major reason why Nigerians are calling and waiting for him to declare for the presidency.

According to him,”  we are all proud of your leadership, because it was under you as the National coordinator of the PSC that this government was voted back to office in 2019. This is a structure we have maintained all over the country till this moment. We are waiting for the right direction and we will stand and support you because we have confidence and trust in you.”

Speaking further, Ladan stressed that,” because of our belief in you and your achievements in public office, we are here today, under the auspices of the Royal Fathers’ from the North, to present to you this award for Excellence in Service and to formally call on you to throw your hat into the presidential race. As a Minister you have brought so much peace into the Niger Delta Region and we are proud of you and that is why we have come to endorse you for the office of the president in 2023.”

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