Godswill Akpabio addressed a multitude of supporters who witnessed his presidential declaration and urged them not to be afraid of his opponents, noting that the task ahead might look difficult but is achievable.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs officially joined the presidential race on Wednesday, under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in what he termed an “uncommon declaration”.
The 59-year-old former Akwa Ibom governor, who will be contending for the APC ticket with the likes of APC leader Bola Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, told a mammoth crowd at the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium, Ikot Ekpene local government, that they should not be afraid of the Goliaths.
“I want to appeal to Nigerians, do not be afraid of the Goliaths,” Akpabio said, referring to biblical Goliath who despite being a giant and powerful was defeated by young David. “The mountains may seem very high but they are not insurmountable.”
“God has given man the wisdom to climb the largest and the tallest mountain,” he added.
Godswill Akpabio declares to run for president. Wednesday 4 May 2022 at the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium, Ikot Ekpene LGA
Akpabio said the future of making “Nigeria greater” is in Akwa Ibom hence he’s the right man to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari, whose tenure expires next year.
He further stated that Akwa Ibom and Buhari’s home state of Katsina were created on the same day therefore it would be in order if the former military ruler handed power over to him.
Akpabio, who has served at different levels of government including as a commissioner and senator, said he would be leading Nigeria on the heels of his track record which he mentioned a few as thousands applauded him.
Despite being born into a large family, with his late grandfather reportedly marrying 39 wives and 26 concubines, Akpabio said he was not born with a silver spoon but “with a shovel in my hands”.
He described himself as a unifier and detribalised leader, adding that he would run a government that makes room for women.
He said he would not develop only Nigeria but its neighbouring countries, arguing that a father who only trains his child and abandons his neighbour’s children may suffer in the future when an untrained child becomes an armed robber.
Though he said he wasn’t out to criticise anybody, the minister however warned Nigerians not to vote for any former governor who expelled non-indigenes from his state.
Meanwhile, before the commencement of the event, a banner resembling that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was spotted at the stadium, sparking lots of reactions from social media users. The banner read thus: “People Democratic Party.”