The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, who is defecting from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is back in Nigeria after visiting President Muhammadu Buhari in London.
On Monday, Mr. Akpabio met influential party chieftain, Bola Tinubu, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Mr. Tinubu’s spokesperson, Tunde Rahman, later sent photographs of the meeting to PREMIUM TIMES.
Details of the discussions between the two men were not disclosed.
Mr Akpabio, who represents Akwa Ibom North West District in the Senate, is a former governor of Akwa Ibom.
Although disliked by some people because of his ruthless brand of politics, Mr Akpabio is widely respected as one of the most influential politicians in Akwa Ibom and Nigeria’s South-South region.
He handpicked Udom Emmanuel, a former executive director in Zenith Bank, appointed him secretary to the state government, groomed, and later installed him as governor of Akwa Ibom in 2015, despite opposition within his party, the PDP.
He is also responsible for the election and appointment of several people in the state into public offices at state and national levels.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, who confirmed Mr Akpabio’s defection to the APC told PREMIUM TIMES, Saturday, “I believe his coming to the APC will change the fortunes of the APC in Akwa Ibom in particular, and the South-South in general.”
Mr Akpabio’s defection is surprising, coming at a time several APC leaders, including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, have defected to the PDP.
It is believed that the senator’s political differences with Governor Udom Emmanuel may be responsible for his defection.
Governor Emmanuel, meanwhile, on Saturday night convened an emergency PDP leaders meeting in Uyo.
The defection of Senator Akpabio was top on the agenda of the meeting.
See pictures below: