Senate Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio, who is expected to be received into the All Progressives Congress (APC) tomorrow in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, yesterday visited Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to round off his consultation.
Akpabio arrived at Tinubu’s Abuja home at 4pm.
A source said: “Sen. Akpabio met with the National Leader of APC to brief him and for further consultations ahead of his defection. There is no going back on his defection.”
“He has had audience with President Muhammadu Buhari in London, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, and he deemed it necessary to consult with Asiwaju Tinubu.
“All these consultations are geared towards his seamless movement from PDP to APC.”
Another source, who is close to Akpabio, said: “It is a done deal; the Senate Minority Leader has joined the APC to prove a point that he is no pushover as a politician who truly served Akwa Ibom State.
“He is actually not looking at the ceremonial aspect of the defection; he is ready for the 2019 battle in his state. He gave the PDP enough opportunity to reconcile and ensure justice in Akwa Ibom chapter of the party but the leadership failed.
“Since Akpabio is now in APC, it is time for the two leading parties to face the electorate to determine their fate.”
But the PDP in Akwa Ibom State, in a last-minute effort to persuade Akpabio not to dump the party, is threatening to field a candidate against him – should he go ahead with his plan.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, said: “No condition is attached to Akpabio’s defection from PDP to APC. But we assured him of a level-playing field and a sense of belonging.
“The APC leadership is in the picture and all our leaders, including Asiwaju Tinubu, are fully in support of Sen. Akpabio’s move to our great party
“We will accord him all the privileges attached to a former governor. Everything is set to receive him on Wednesday.”
Akpabio’s imminent movement has thrown the PDP into a state of shock.
A member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) said: “We are all still in shock on why Akpabio had to dump a party which shot him into prominence.
“Some of our leaders did their best to prevent his defection, but no one could come up with any sustainable solution to the local crisis.”
Enang said: “The APC has harvested more people from the PDP and other political parties.”
He said excitedly that “the head of the PDP in the Senate is formally joining the APC family in a big ceremony on Wednesday the 8th if August in Akwa Ibom State”.
He added: “So, the head of the PDP who holds all the documents of the PDP, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio (CON) is coming over with a great team and other minorities will join the APC family and we are good and strong.”
But members of the PDP in Akpabio’s Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District (Ikot Ekpene) urged Akpabio to him to rethink his decision to defect, threatening not to follow him.
Besides, they vowed to reclaim the seat from him and support Governor Emmanuel Udom.
They took the descion at a meeting of the leadrs and stakeholders in the zone held in Abak on Sunday.
The commununique of a meeting states: “To contemplate moving to the APC is to put you as a prime collaborator, conspirator, and an accessory after the fact, think of the evil wrecked on Nigeria and Nigerians by the APC government.”
They said: “In the light of the many ills of the APC government, we are advising that you please have a rethink and jettison any contemplation of leaving the PDP which is your party to the APC or any othe party at this time when the party and indeed the senatorial district is in dire need of of your support to rescue igerianand save the future of our children”
But should he leave PDP for the APC, they vowed to support Udom “who from all availbale parametres has done well, given the very daubntong, hostile, harsh and directionaless economic envirionment engendred by the ineptitude of the APC-led government.’