By Bassey Anthony
Inspite of existing factional blocs within the state chapter of the party, the Niger Delta Affairs minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio will decide the fate of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in 2023.
The Director-General of Godswill Akpabio Senatorial Campaign organization, Dr. Chris Akpan told the Nation on Sunday that all contending forces within the party would have to align with Akpabio for the party to unseat the People Democratic Party in the state.
In fact Akpan boasted that for any leader of the party or aspirant in the state to go far in 2023, such a person needs Akpabio, adding that the immediate past governor is the key.
Our correspondent reports that there three major factions within the party in the state.
The factions are led by a former minister of state of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator John Akpanudoedehe, the party’s governorship candidate in the last election, Obong Nsima Ekere and the managing director of Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority, Obong Umana respectively.
But Akpan boasted that despite grievances nursed by leaders of the factions against Akpabio, they cannot do without the support and endorsement of the immediate past governor of the state for the party to succeed in 2023.
On whether Akpabio can earn the trust and support of the three factional leaders of party, Akpan said, “Well it depends on what they want and if they really want to go far but I want to say that anybody who wants to achieve anything in this state politically and takes Godswill Akpabio out of the equation is wasting his time.
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“As far as Ikot Ekpene senatorial district with the highest number of votes in the state is concerned and as far as APC is concerned Godswill Akpabio is the key. Remove him and you are going nowhere.
“Disagreements are bound to arise in politics. Godswill Akpabio has openly apologized to all those he had wronged and so it is up to leaders of the party and those who want to contest in 2023 to reciprocate.
“As for residual animosities, of course you know that Godswill Akpabio has absolutely no capacity to hate and if he disagrees with you the moment he turns away that is history. He will embrace and hug you no matter how much you have wronged him.
“But if they think they should hold on to the grudges and try to marginalize Akpabio, then they would be making a grave mistake “, he said.
He said Akpabio’s decision not to contest the Ikot Ekpene senatorial district rerun ordered by the Appeal Court was not just in the best interest of the but also that of the Niger Delta region.
“Being a minister to my mind is an advantage. His exposure and experience in governance in which he acquitted himself creditable as governor of Akwa Ibom is an advantage to the Niger Delta region”, Akpan said.