Nigerian Political News Media
2023: Millions watch as Akpabio shuts down Akwa Ibom to declare for President
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By Nasir Dambatta, in Uyo

After months of calls from groups, organizations, students, market women and downtrodden that he should contest for the office of the President Federal Republic of Nigeria and having consulted wide with stakeholders across the length and breath of the country, Minister Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Wednesday formally accepted the call in a speech captioned; TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE OUR STORY.

Standing before a mammoth crowd which cut across party divides, inside the main bowl of Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium, Akwa Ibom State, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State said, “my dear Compatriots, determined to pay the debt of gratitude I owe our nation for the opportunities to serve in high offices of public trust; determined to let our nation drink from the deep well of experience acquired in these offices, I, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, with great humility, hereby submit myself for your kind consideration as your next president.

Crowd at the event

The declaration speech reads:

“A Statement of intent to contest for the Presidency of Nigeria by Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON.
My dear Compatriots, determined to pay the debt of gratitude I owe our nation for the opportunities to serve in high offices of public trust; determined to let our nation drink from the deep well of experience acquired in these offices, I, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, with great humility, hereby, submit myself for
your kind consideration as your next President.

“I pay tribute to President Muhammadu Buhari for the patriotic work he has done as our President. He has given hope and
direction to governance, and fought corruption with uncompromising zeal. He has touched lives and empowered people, he has made great advances in agriculture, human capital development, and indeed, in all sectors of our economy.

Attendees in droves

“He has uplifted the integrity of the Nigerian nation. A lot can be said about all his amazing successes and achievements, but suffice it to say that I have come to perfect his marvelous
works. Although, Absolute perfection belongs not to man nor to Angels, but to God alone. The labours of our dear President Buhari and our past leaders
shall never be in vain. In line with this expectation in our National Anthem, I have come to build based on their
developmental strides; to serve our country with heart and
might — serve her as a nation bound in freedom, peace and
unity, where the dividends of democracy shall be guaranteed.

Akpabio at the event

” I have come with these key items on my agenda: to secure lives and properties; to make unity the touchstone of our
nationhood; and to invigorate our economy, prosper our citizenry and promote democracy.

“In 2007, I was elected the Governor of a pedestrian state, languishing on the margins of our national life. A couple of
years later, a European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, visited the State and described what he saw, in amazement, as “transformation extraordinaire.”

Making the historic declaration

“He inadvertently, became the originator of the swansong “Uncommon Transformation” which other amazed visitors and residents of the state still echo till now. In Eight years of Uncommon Transformation, we gave the State one of the best road networks in the country (the roads built by us 14 years ago are still pot-hole free).

“We gave the State free and compulsory education for all children up to
Senior Secondary School; we gave the state free medical treatment for pregnant women and for babies up to the age of five; we delivered to the State world class facilities like the
International Airport, Tropicana Entertainment Centre, E-Library, Ibom Specialty Hospital (rated as one of the best in Africa), Africa’s first ever underground pipe-jacking drainage
system, Ibom Power Plant, Akwa Ibom State University, the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium and many other
projects too numerous to mention.

“We did so much that then serving Presidents and past country leaders wondered where we got money from to do all that we did. The trick was in our
vision, strategic planning, commitment and honest

” Together we can do more than this for Nigeria. At the Nile Valley in Egypt, people of different colours,
languages, religion and ethnicity co habited peacefully and
gave the world its first modern civilisation. We are a reflection
of that alluvial Nile Valley and together we can reinvigorate peace, unity and development and become the envy of the world.

“This is why I am seeking to be your President. I have done it before as Governor; my office pursued national unity with great zeal. I sent both Christians and Muslims on pilgrimages. The office reflected Federal Character because of my abiding faith in Nigeria and its diversity. Not only did we win uncountable awards & honours, and
commendations from institutions like the United States Congress, the Nigeria Defence Academy, foreign countries,
prestigious institutions of higher learning, prominent religious and ethnic organizations; even Wikkileaks, referenced myself as a leader to watch due to my infrastructural revolution and
efforts in industrial development.

“We took that pedestrian State
out of the margins of our national life, and made it a cynosure of global interest. It attracted global icons such as the President of the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of Ivory Coast; the
Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis; one-time USA presidential aspirant, the Rev Jesse Jackson; diplomats; global sports icons like Don King and Evander Holyfield; and a host of others. I am
offering my humble self for service to our dear Nation, because I believe that together we can make Nigeria the cynosure of global interest and an African economic lion. There is nothing
the Asian tigers have, in terms of human and material resources, that we do not have.

“As a Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, we have completed projects abandoned for decades and thought to be beyond
salvage. We have had key projects commissioned by Mr President. This uncommon feat was achieved through the support of Mr President. We have effectively repositioned NDDC to meet its core mandate. As a first time Senator, after my work as Governor, my distinguished colleagues found me
worthy and elected me as their Minority Leader. This was in recognition of the great equity and value I brought to the
Senate. I pay respect to that Hallowed Chamber for that honour. I praise God for His grace.

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