By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen Godswill Akpabio, has said he wants his experience of uncommon transformation to bear on Nigeria.
Akpabio, who is the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, stated this in Ibadan on Friday, while seeking the support of All Progressives Congress (APC) delegates from Oyo State, ahead of the party’s presidential primary scheduled for June 6 and 7.
The former Senate Minority Leader said he is running for president because he has the capacity and capability, based on his track record of performance, to take Nigeria from her present level to the next level.
“I came as part of the consultations to let the good people of Nigeria know that I am vying for president under the All Progressives Congress. I’m here to seek the support of delegates from Oyo State to become the flagbearer of the party at next week’s convention.
“I have the experience and I want to make sure I bring the experience of uncommon transformation to bear on Nigeria.
“And I will also ensure that there is continuity in most of the laudable achievements of President Muhammdu Buhari.
“The roads I constructed 14 years ago as governor, they are still standing till today and there is no porthole on them. I believe in quality infrastructure.
“You can’t do good things for your people if you don’t love them, I happen to love Nigeria. As governor, I opened the Government House to all Nigerians, gave free education to all Nigerians, paid for pilgrimage for all Nigerians irrespective of state of origin and language, and I made sure that the same way I educated my children in Akwa Ibom was the same way I did for other children. I gave them free and qualitative education, scholarships and even send some of them abroad because if you educate your children and you don’t educate your neighbour’s children, you are preparing armed robbers to attack your graduate children,” he said.
The former governor said he is coming to Nigeria with a hand of love and track record of performance that is unparallel, adding that he has seen it all as an executive at the state and federal level and as a legislator.
“Everything I did in my state was world class standard and most importantly, I took my people to God. We broke the Guinness Book of world record by assembling the largest choir to sing to the glory of God. I’m totally a detrabalised Nigerian and I don’t believe in religious bigotry. So you need an experienced hand that loves human beings and Nigeria, and somebody who has an agenda of Nigeria in his heart and practice,” Akpabio said.
Responding, the APC governorship candidate, Sen Teslim Folarin, said Oyo State is the political headquarters of South West, adding that the state has the highest number of delegates from the region.
“I see that you are a serious candidate and that’s why I said you should come and show them respect and love and I am sure they quite appreciate it.
“If you want to be president and you don’t come to Ibadan, we don’t consider you a serious aspirant.
“Out of all the delegates that is from outside the South West, you are the one for me,” Folarin said.
He added that the delegates will see Akpabio at the convention in Abuja.
Akpabio was accompanied by former FCT Minister, Aliyu Modibbo and received by Oyo APC chairman, Mr Isaac Omodewu.