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He will soon become a ‘saint’: Nigerians react to Akpabio’s rumoured defection to APC

IF all the reports on social media, including those from presidential sources, are anything to go by, Godswill Akpabio, former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, and current Minority Leader of the Senate, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Reports say he will be formally received into the ruling party on Wednesday, August 8, at a grand ceremony in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will lead the entourage of dignitaries that are expected to grace the event, according to APC sources on Twitter.

Although the rumour has been making the rounds, it was again shared on Twitter by one handle going by the username ‘APC Newspaper’, and confirmed by Ita Enang,  Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Legislative Matters (Senate), via the same Twitter on Saturday night.

“I’m confirming that the APC family as earlier indicated will formally receive his excellency Godswill Akpabio on Wednesday, August 8,2018 at an elaborate ceremony in Akwa-Ibom State,” the tweet read.

Though Ita Enang’s Twitter handle is not yet verified (a verified Titter handle has a blue tick as proof of its authenticity), the post was retweeted by Kayode Ogundamisi, a popular social media influencer and Buhari supporter.

This development has generated serious conversation among Twitter users as it comes as a huge surprise to many. Some said the PDP strong man is being blackmailed and threatened with corruption prosecution if he refused to decamp, while others were convinced that once in the APC, Akpabio’s “sins” will be “washed away” and he will become “a saint”.

Akpabio had been indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but no formal charges have been brought against him.

Here are some of the reactions:

Akpabio is one of the political heavyweights in the PDP. That is why so many Nigerians could not understand why he is changing camp. Reports, however, have it that he has fallen out of favour with his successor, Emmanuel Udom.

Udom served as Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State government when Akpabio was governor, and it is believed he won the election largely to Akpabio’s support.

Like Buhari said when several lawmakers defected to the PDP, “all politics are local”.

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