2023 Election: Akpabio resigns as Niger Delta Affairs Minister

Fresh information has surfaced about how President Bola Tinubu endorsed the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for the senate presidency.

Close sources that spoke with Punch revealed that this agreement was settled a day before the All Progressives Congress’s presidential primary.

In the meeting leading up to the primary, which took place in Abuja from June 6 to 8, 2022, Tinubu reportedly asked Akpabio to step down in his favour.

“Tinubu said if the former governor would agree, it would send a positive signal to the audience and other aspirants since he (Akpabio) would be the first aspirant to be invited to the podium to speak,” said one source.

Responding to Akpabio’s concern about his future prospects, Tinubu assured him that he would be supported in becoming the President of the Senate.

The source added, “Asiwaju (Tinubu) assured him that he would be supported to emerge as the President of the Senate. As they were speaking, an influential woman (name withheld) also came in. That was how the deal was sealed.”

Outgoing Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who sought Akpabio’s support during the primary, was allegedly turned down by the latter, with Akpabio citing his commitment to Tinubu.

It’s rumoured that this incident has strained the relationship between Akpabio and Lawan, leading to accusations of misconduct against Akpabio during his time as Minister of Niger Delta.

The tension is heightened by Akpabio’s controversial revelation in July 2020 that some contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission were given to federal legislators, a statement he was reportedly asked not to disclose by the chairman of the probe panel