A Nigerian senator has vowed to support whoever his state governor ‘brings up’ as his successor, even if the person is impaired.
“Even if you bring a cripple, we will support you to have a good governor for Akwa Ibom State come 2023,” the senator, Chris Ekpenyong, said to the Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel, on Wednesday.
Mr Emmanuel was in Obot Akara Local Government Area, where the senator hails from, to inaugurate some projects, including roads constructed by his administration, to mark the 34th anniversary of the state.
Mr Ekpenyong, who is representing Akwa Ibom North West District, assured Mr Emmanuel of political support from “the people.”
The senator accused the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, of “ignoring” Obot Akara when he (Akpabio) was the governor of Akwa Ibom.
“Before you, there was a governor who is an indigene of this senatorial district,” Mr Ekpenyong said to the governor.
“I cried to him for eight years, eight good years. I even begged him to forgive me if I had wronged him. He could not do this road.
“Because this local government (area) is an erosion-prone area, that bridge collapsed and children did not see where to pass to school.”
Mr Ekpenyong was the deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State under Mr Akpabio but later resigned from office under controversial circumstances.
Apparently with the support from Governor Emmanuel, he surprisingly defeated Mr Akpabio in the 2019 senate election, and stopped the former minority leader from returning to the Senate.
There is an intense politicking in Akwa Ibom over who succeeds Governor Emmanuel in 2023.