The ever unrepentant and blunt former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, and now Senator, Godswill Akpabio, is in his element again.
Speaking audaciously last Monday when he led a delegation of leaders and stakeholders in the state to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa, Senator Godswill Akpabio expressed optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari will record massive victory in Akwa Ibom State in the 2019 presidential election. Akpabio, alongside Senator Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), said the feelers he and his like-minds are getting from all nooks and crannies of the state are very indicative of a landslide victory in his state and by extension the entire nation come 2019 general elections. He was so emphatic that Akwa Ibom State would be the first state to fall for the All Progressives Congress in 2019. In another development, Senator Akpabio spoke extempore on the developments in his state when political stakeholders from Itu Local Government Area paid him a solidarity visit in Ukana.
Akpabio exploded, ‘You want me to be covered by an umbrella when my people are in the rain? Some people are attempting to mock me because of my entry into APC today. Some call it the movement of Baal because I walked in the rain, but there were women in the rain, there were children in the rain, there were politicians in the rain. They defied the rain and stayed in the rain and what were they doing, supporting me, supporting the in-coming government of Akwa Ibom state and supporting President Muhammadu Buhari. So you want me to be a leader that the umbrella will cover when my people are in the rain? I want to stay with you come rain, come sunshine. Leadership is all about feeling the pain of the people. You travel on the same road I travel, you enter the same pothole that I enter, and if I cannot as your leader fill that pothole it means that I don't care for your well-being. You use the same hospital that I use and if I cannot equip that hospital it means that I don't give a damn even about my own health. Some people don't have roads to their houses and yet they are Governors in some states of the federation. I don't want to name names but I know people that the road to their place is not up to 20km they refused to do it with the excuse that the votes they got from their hometown was not much. And therefore they deny themselves the road to even drive home after they have left office. So, let me be that leader that feels your pains when you are in pain. Let me be that leader that smiles with you when you are smiling, let me be that leader that rejoices with you when you are rejoicing. And let me be that leader that provides for you when you are in need. Above all, let me provide my shoulders for you to lean on whenever you have the need. I have nothing against the government of Akwa Ibom State. I have nothing against those who are paid to abuse me. I am in sympathy with them, because I believe strongly that a government that is looking for a second term must campaign on the basis of its performance not on the basis of denigration of his predecessor. Young boys that did NYSC in my office whom I made Personal Assistants will call Godswill Akpabio and President Muhammadu Buhari drowning men, a former head of state of Nigeria, a General in the Army and an elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Just because you are looking for a second term, a young man who says he's an aide to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State will call the president of your country a drowning person. Because we are in a democracy, there is freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom to insult, freedom to denigrate, freedom to besmirch, freedom to smear. I have only one answer to the insults and that answer is what you have provided today. This is the answer to their insults. We are the ones who make things to happen. Democracy means that power is given to the people. You didn't come as a Member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to join the APC. You came as a movement; it is what they call movement of the people. I suspected that this was what was going to happen in this state. On the day that I joined the APC, in the presence of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. 39 senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, many Ministers and many people from across 59 countries of the world who watches it live, I told them that I was not decamping, that I had moved, I had moved, I had moved. The reason I said so was because I knew it was going to be a movement. When we finished the celebration by the Christian youths in the Uyo Township Stadium, I could not get to my house because the youths of Uyo senatorial district lined up behind me and moved along with me. At a point I couldn't help I had to get down from the car, join them in the rain and we walked for over one kilometer. And we entered into one primary school to go and sing and dance together. And I asked them to tell me exactly what they want and they said, Sir, we want the elections to be held in October. And I said I don't know how I will tell the president to bring the elections forward. They said that they want to vote for APC. They said Sir, we want to the broom to sweep out unemployment, we want to use the broom to sweep out the potholes that have returned to the state, above all to sweep out lies, deceit, blackmail, abuses and insults.’