Senate President Godswill Akpabio has said he chose Victor Antai for President Bola Tinubu’s appointment as Executive Director, Projects on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission on trust that he (Antai) is someone who doesn’t eat alone.
Akpabio disclosed this at Eket during the weekend’s tour of Akwa Ibom state senatorial districts in a bid to bridge divisions in the state’s All Progressives Congress and to assert supremacy over Akwa Ibom politics ahead of 2027.
The former Akwa Ibom governor also bragged before the NDDC Project Director that his failed bid to be Deputy Governor under APC in the 2023 governorship election in the state would have produced a different result if he (Antai) had not alienated him (Akpabio) from his campaigns at the time.
The Senate President told the EDP, NDDC, “The entire Eket Senatorial District should feel the impact of why you are there. You have enough resources in NDDC to carry the people along. I am not a fool. I brought you out because I know that you are a man that does not want to eat alone.”
On Antai’s failed electoral bid in 2023, Akpabio said, “The last time he was deputy governorship candidate of the APC. And let me ask you (gathering), did you see me here? He never told me about anything on campaign in the whole of Eket Senatorial District. So I didn’t know whether they were serious.
“Outside governorship you also had senatorial campaign. You should have also said one day, invite Godswill Akpabio. But you refused. You people felt let’s abandon him to the other side. Look at what the other side did. They gave President Bola Tinubu 120,000 votes.
“They joined committees of Uyo Senatorial District and Eket Senatorial District and you ended up with only 40,000. Why do you think you had only 40,000, because many of them here were not even sure Akpabio was with you.
“But I want to assure you that in 2027, we will be more serious. I tried to tell them, give me your campaigns itinerary. Is there anyway I will enter Eket and the entire people will not vote for APC?
“So, if they give another opportunity in the future then you would have learnt your lessons. Bring me in. By the time we dance from one village to the other, there no party that will have up to half of the votes you will get. I am not boasting. People have different gifts.”
Pledging his loyalty, Antai told the Senate President, “Because you are here today in my Senatorial District, because you have given me the opportunity to be of service to my people, each of the 12 local government areas, I will take a youth and make him one of my Personal Assistants. I will do a minimum of N100,000 each and I will pay from my purse every month until I leave NDDC.
“Because of Mummy (Akpabio’s Wife), who has stood by me. When it was tough and rough, she was there. She said Victor, don’t worry. I will take a female youth each from the 12 Local Governments Areas. And I will do a minimum of a N100,000 naira every month until I leave NDDC.”