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Akpabio, Amaechi In Surprise Reconciliation

By Political Editor



The former governors of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, Rotimi Amaechi, and Godswill Akpabio respectively have resolved to bury their historic differences stretching from their rivalry when they were both in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The two who are now chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC reconciled themselves at a one-on-one meeting in the Asokoro, Abuja residence of a longtime associate of President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday.

Alhaji Nasiru Danu, who hosted the meeting served as director of logistics in the 2019 Muhammadu Buhari Campaign. Festus Keyamo who served as director of Communications in the same campaign was also present at the reconciliation meeting.

The differences between the two men climaxed in 2013 when Akpabio reportedly led the move to stop Amaechi from a second term as chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF. Akpabio who before the election had emerged as chairman of the PDP Governors Forum propped up Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State who was defeated by Amaechi despite the assurances by the Akpabio group that they had the votes to defeat Amaechi.

Amaechi polled 19 votes to the 16 votes scored by Jang who was backed by Akpabio and the full weight of the Goodluck Jonathan presidency.

Amaechi not long after was suspended and expelled from the PDP forcing him into the APC alongside some other serving governors and influential senators including Senators Bukola Saraki, Danjuma Goje and Abdullahi Adamu.

Even after Akpabio in 2018 crossed over to the APC, the marks of their acrimony were said to have been visible leading to them working at cross purposes during the recent General Election.

The Sunday meeting was at the instance of Akpabio.

According to a source, “the meeting lasted several hours where the leaders frankly and honestly talked about their various disagreements from their days as Governors in PDP and in the then Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

“They also discussed and analysed the performance of the party in the South-South region in the just-concluded election and identified areas where things went wrong and how to improve those areas in future.”

At the end, the two men reportedly agreed to close ranks and work in unison for the overall interest of the party and put behind them all previous perceived misgivings between them and to give a positive direction to the teeming supporters of the party across the country.”

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