Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor, has endorsed Godswill Akpabio, former Akwa Ibom State governor, and the immediate past minister of Niger Delta affairs, for the position of senate president.
The outgoing governor declared his support for Akpabio during a visit by the aspirant and a group of senators-elect supporting him, on Tuesday.
The stability group comprising senators-elect was led by Ali Ndume, representing Borno south.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had nominated Akpabio and Barau Jibrin to be senate president and deputy respectively, but the decision has been opposed by other aspirants, notably Orji Uzor Kalu and Abdulaziz Yari.
A statement by the Akpabio campaign media office quoted Wike as saying he would support the former minister because he was there for him when he wanted to be Rivers governor.
“This is the time for me to support him because he supported me when I wanted to be the governor of Rivers State,” Wike was quoted as saying.
“If truly we want this country to move forward from where we are today, I see nothing wrong in the ruling party picking who it thinks can work with the President-elect as the senate president of the 10th assembly.
“On this Akpabio and Barau project, we are together to make sure they win.
“Akpabio supported me during my governorship ambition. He stood by me all through and ensured that I won. I don’t pay back good with evil.
“This is pay back time for him. I will stand by him until he emerges as the next senate president. Our team would soon meet to take a position on your aspiration.”
Wike urged Akpabio not to be worried noting that the opposition to his ambition is a normal occurrence in politics.
“Don’t be worried or disturbed by the contending forces against your aspiration, it is normal in politics. Power is not given on a platter of gold, you fight for it,” Wike said.
“I am impressed that despite your endorsement by your party and the President-elect, you are still consulting your colleagues. That is the way it should be.
“Let us be fair to this country. If we continue this way, Nigeria will not succeed. Don’t waiver, stay firm and you will win at the end of the day.”
Responding, Akpabio thanked Wike for his support and congratulated him on his tenure as governor.
“You have done well for your people and Nigerians. History would be kind to you as you exit office in the next few days,” Akpabio said.
“You believe in justice, equity and fairness and that is what Nigerians know you for.”