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Buhari’s aides confirm Akpabio’s defection

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Nigerian Senate’s minority leader Senator Godswill Akpabio greets President Muhammadu Buhari in London on Sunday, August 8, 2018

An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed that Senator Godswill Akpabio will defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress on Wednesday.

Akpabio, the Nigerian Senate’s minority leader and a former governor of Akwa-Ibom in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta, has been a staunch critic of the APC-led government.

“I’m confirming that the APC family as earlier indicated will formally receive H.E, Godswill Akpabio on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8,2018 at an elaborate ceremony in Akwa-Ibom State,” Buhari’s adviser on National Assembly (Senate) matters and former senator Ita Enang said.

Akpabio’s defection will hand the APC, which only recently lost about 15 senators including Senate President Bukola Saraki to the leading opposition party the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a massive boost in the South-south as the country gears up for its next general elections in February.

It will also help the APC hold on to its majority in the Senate.

In preparation for his switch of the party, Akpabio met with Senator Bola Tinubu in Lagos and President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on a 10-day holiday in London.

This reported defection to APC comes days after he was welcoming former members of the APC who have left the ruling party for the PDP.

“Our most important task as leaders is to engage in meaningful discussion and share ideas that will build the bridge between the struggle of today and the future we will all be proud of,” Akpabio tweeted after meeting Buhari.

Nigeria’s information minister and a former spokesman for the APC Lai Mohammed told newsmen in Lagos that Akpabio’s planned defection to the party was a welcome development.

“Since they say politics is a game of number, of course, we welcome gladly the defection of the Minority leader like they say it is a one-one goalless draw,” he said.


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