The new Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom, on Friday visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his hilltop private residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun state Capital.
The governor’s visit came a few hours after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, made a similar visited and left with his entourage.
The governor, who arrived Mr. Obasanjo’s home late Friday evening was accompanied by Godswill Akpabio, his predecessor and godfather, and a former Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Sunday Mbang.
On arrival, the visitors went into a closed-door meeting with Mr. Obasanjo for about two hours.
Shortly after the meeting, the governor spoke with journalists, explaining that he, alongside his entourage, came to consult with Mr. Obasanjo.
Mr. Udom, while describing Mr. Obasanjo as the father of the nation, said there was need to consult him for the betterment of the country, and to appreciate him for the support he gave him when he declared his interest to contest for governor.
“As a former President he is a father to all,” Mr. Udom said. “You don’t assume office (he is like you going into hunting and you catch a big animal, you must come to show your father). It is just an act of courtesy and respect to come and show the father of the nation, that see, I consulted you before going into the election, and now that I won, I have to come to say see my efforts yielded positive fruits. As is appropriate to thank God, it is also to thank man who you see everyday”.
Mr. Akpabio said he was delighted seeing Mr. Obasanjo in good health despite his very busy schedule.
“I am very delighted,” he said. “So, this is my home, I am sure that you know that I am not new here; the only difference is that it is an uncommon visit since I came with an uncommon visitor in the person of the new governor of Akwa Ibom state.
Asked if the “uncommon visitor” was accepted by Mr. Obasanjo, Mr. Akpabio said “Yes, he did and gave him his blessing. He prayed for him that just like I succeeded, he will succeed more than me.
“And that is the prayer of every father; I will like to see him do better than me. And so, mine is to give him my support so that he can provide better services for our people. We did our best in the circumstances that we found ourselves and I believe strongly that since he is a child who believes in God, that God will lead him right because when God is with you, nobody can be against you.”
Reacting to the controversy over the relocation of Akwa Ibom State Election Tribunal to Abuja, Mr. Akpabio said he believes in the judiciary of the country.
“It is normal, since after election we are going to have winners and losers. The judiciary is very much alive to its responsibility and still the hope of the common man. I strongly believe in God that justice would be done,” he said.
He however boasted that if election is conducted five times in Akwa Ibom, the PDP would still win.
“The party is like a religion in the state and nobody can take this away from us,” Mr. Akpabio said.
Saying he has no regret in the way he governed Akwa Ibom for eight years, Mr. Akpabio said as a Senator, he would support any move to reduce the cost of governance “in order to save money for the President to carry out developmental projects, since the economy is bad now”.