Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, at the weekend, said re-electing President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term of office was the only recipe for Nigeria’s peace and unity. Akpabio, who spoke at an interdenominational church service in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom, Friday, stated that “As a PDP [Peoples Democratic Party] chieftain, I have found the solution to the peace we are seeking in Nigeria. That solution is the election of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for a second term in office.”
Not done, Akpabio told the congregrants that doing only so would absolve anyone of religious or ethnic prejudices as a Nigerian.
“When you do that, you would show that you are not a religious bigot. When you do that, you would show that you are not an ethnic jingoist and that you believe in the unity of this country,” he stated.
Akpabio’s sermon beamed live on the national network service of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, has sparked discontent from some Nigerians who viewed it as insensitive to the country’s pluralism, current tensions and, incendiary. The comments were also believed to negate the very admonitions of President Jonathan to politicians to eschew making inciting statements that tend to “promote sectionalism, disunity, intolerance, hate, falsehood or the malicious abuse of political opponents” in their campaigns during the forthcoming elections.
While suggesting Nigeria’s unity was conditioned on Jonathan’s re-election, Akpabio expressed belief that the 2015 elections would unity Nigerians of different religions and of various cultures, against opinions that it already forebodes ominious consequences for the nation’s continued existence.
“Because God did not make a mistake in creating over 280 tribes and putting all of them together as one, the next election will be about love, not religion. It will help
unite the plurality of Nigeria and not allow religion to tear us apart,” Akpabio said rather optimistically.
“I want to plead with all Nigerians to join hands together to allow the continuity of this administration. I want to urge the media to focus on those good things so that Nigerians will see the need to allow continuity of the current administration to complete the good works already started by the president,” the governor added.
Akpabio fumed that the media had continually focused on the negativities of the administration while ignoring it’s achievements in varied sectors. He blamed this to opposition ownership of most of the media companies.