Senate President Godswill Akpabio has clarified that the N200 million he contributed to support Chief Nyesom Wike’s successful gubernatorial campaign in 2015 was sourced from his personal savings and not from the treasury of Akwa Ibom State government.
During a thanksgiving event in Port Harcourt, where Wike expressed gratitude to God for overcoming significant challenges during his eight years as the governor of Rivers State, he acknowledged that Akpabio, who was the governor of Akwa Ibom at the time, provided support in the amount mentioned.
Wike further mentioned that Akpabio faced criticism for involving himself in the politics of Rivers State, but he believed that Wike was the candidate with the highest chances of winning the election.
“He did not just come out. He gave me N200 million for that election. That is why I said one good turn deserves another. And I also supported him. Thank God he succeeded (as Senate President),” Wike said.
In his reaction Akpabio said, “That money came from my savings in the telecoms industry where I was a managing director. The money was not from the Government of Akwa Ibom state. I should make that clarification. I paid tax on that money. If you check you will know.”
Akpabio further mentioned that Wike may have either forgotten or been unaware that his mentor and predecessor, Dr. Peter Odili, was the first to provide him with such significant financial support when he was running for governor in 2007.
He recalled a conversation with Dr. Odili, stating, “I was in Akwa Ibom when you called me and expressed concern about me running for governor without coming to see you. You asked me to come immediately, and that day I came and met someone whom I won’t mention now as we are no longer political allies.”
He continued, “You then placed something in the trunk of my car, and I was amazed at your kindness. It made me wonder how someone could be so generous because you believe in the unity of Nigeria. You are a president Nigeria never had.”
Anticipating Akpabio’s response, Wike, in his revelation, assured the former governor of Akwa Ibom not to worry, stating, “Just relax, EFCC will not come after you. They cannot come after you.”