Former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, Senator Godswil Akpabio, yesterday disclosed that his heart and soul was with President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 presidential election and not with his party’s candidate, former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Akpabio who last month defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC), stated this to State House correspondent after a meeting elders and leaders of Akwa Ibom State had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa.
He revealed that although his mind and soul were not with Jonathan at the time, he was compelled to vote for him because Jonathan is from 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.
However, the former Senate Minority Leader said now that he is where his soul and spirit were in 2015, he could freely express his interest at the 2019 polls without fear or favour.
He also took a swipe at his former party, accusing it of failing to construct a single kilometre road in Akwa Ibom State in its 16 years of ruling Nigeria.
Akpabio boasted that Akwa Ibom State would be the first state to be won by the APC in the South-south at the forthcoming 2019 general election, adding that Buhari will win the state by landslide.
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.
The lawmaker asserted that no single indigene of South-south will vote against Buhari in 2019 neither will there be any defection from APC that can affect the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections.
His words, “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.
“But today, I am at liberty to exercise my franchise and that means I am with my body and soul – that is, with my supporters and my family – and as a leader, we are going out there enmasse in our thousands to cast our votes for the president in 2019 and I am saying this with emphasis.
“In 2019, Akwa Ibom State will be the first to be pronounced APC state both in the governorship and the presidential elections.
“I believe strongly that the fact speaks for itself. For the calibre of personages you saw today, the strength of the delegation and the character of the delegation, the capacities and the personalities that you have witnessed is very clear that President Muhammadu Buhari will win Akwa Ibom State come 2019 general elections with landslide.
“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. 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.”
“You need to know that I was governor of Akwa Ibom State for eight years and in the eight years of being a governor I cannot remember when there was one kilometre of road that was done by the federal government in my state, that is the first thing.”
Akpabio who disclosed that he begged Buhari to be part of his recent trip to Beijing, China, said it was there in China that the plan to hold yesterday’s meeting with Buhari was hatched.
In the delegation were former Petroleum Minister, Chief 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