Akwa Ibom State would be the first State the All Progressive Congress (APC), will snatch away from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the 2019 general election, Senator Godswill Akpabio has predicted.
Mr Akpabio made the prediction on Monday when he led a delegation from the State to visit President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
In the delegation were former Petroleum Minister, Don Etiebet; APC governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom in 2015, Umana Umana; former deputy governor of the state, Nsima Nkere; Otoekong Jackson, Sunny Udoh, Eseme Oyibo, national assembly members, among others.
The State has been under the control of the PDP since the return to democratic rule in 1999.
Akpabio who began his political carrier on the platform of the PDP governed the state for 8 years. Before he held sway as governor, he was once a commissioner under the now opposition party.
Until his defection to the APC in August, the lawmaker who represents Akwa Ibom North-West at the Senate went to the upper legislative chamber still on the platform of the PDP.
Akpabio handpicked Udom Emmanuel, a banker, and played a vital role in his emergence as the incumbent governor of the state. Not long after the latter took over the affairs of the state they fell apart with the duo going their separate ways.
“I can predict that the first state in Nigeria to fall to the APC in 2019 presidential election is Akwa Ibom State. No one can controvert this,” the lawmaker was quoted by two national dailies as saying.
“l still speak with authority because I have my people’s backing to pronounce what I have just pronounced. Victory is for APC and victory is for Mr President, come 2019 in Akwa Ibom State,” Mr Akpabio was quoted by various news portal including Vanguard and ThisDay.
The former governor also said his heart was with the now President, Muhammadu Buhari, during the 2015 election and not with his party’s candidate, former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
He however said he was compelled to vote for him because Mr Jonathan is from the Niger Delta and he did not want to engage in anti-party activities as a PDP governor and also the chairman of PDP governors’ forum at the time.
Akpabio said now that he finally belongs to where his soul and spirit were in 2015, he could freely express his interest at the 2019 polls without fear or favour.
“In 2015, we had a son of the Niger Delta, former President Goodluck Jonathan, contesting the election and I was also a chieftain of the PDP. I was also the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum. So, in spite of the fact that I believed strongly that the current president needed to be supported, there was no way I could play anti-party activity in 2015. So, I voted for PDP,” he was quoted as saying.
Taking a swipe at his former party, Mr Akpabio alleged that throughout the PDP’S 16 years in office at the federal level, there was not a one kilometre road project by the federal government in the state.
He described the current PDP in the state as a mere empty party whose body and soul had moved to the APC, disclosing that no fewer than 266,000 persons had also dumped the PDP for APC since his defection.