Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has charged members of the Ambassador For Voice Of Change Initiative (AVCI), to keep to their agenda of preaching peace as agent of change to Nigerians and not to rush into endorsing any politician for the Office of the President in 2023.
He gave the charge when he received in courtesy, members of the group made up of Nollywood actors, musicians and comedians in his office in Abuja.
Akpabio, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Jackson Udom, said: “I want to thank you for this laudable assignment of preaching peace and change in attitude to Nigerians. We need peace for development.
“I am happy to be part of this peaceful move. But let me caution here that you should not be in a hurry to adopt any political aspirant, as doing so, could derail this laudable agenda of the group.”
The former Senate Minority Leader said: “Don’t be ashamed of what you are doing. Even your colleagues will criticize and be enemies of what you are doing.
“Do not expect everybody to praise you when you are doing something good. The joy you will have at the end of this peace initiative, will shock you because we all, as a nation deserve peace.”
Speaking further, the former two-term governor of Akwa Ibom State said the drive for a peaceful Nigeria has to come with change of attitude and the way people relate and communicate.
“As entertainers, you keep the country united through your activities on stage and that is why I am always on the forefront to make sure that you are well appreciated,” the minister said.
Akpabio called on the group to give their support to the president saying, “President Muhammadu Buhari, is a president that is doing so much for Nigerians.
“He is working to put in place a lasting change for the future of this country. The rail lines, the good roads, and all other infrastructure he is putting in place are not to be used by him but by our children and those yet unborn.”
In his speech, the leader of the group, Mr. Godswill Ben Kureh, commended the effort of the minister for maintaining peace in the Niger Delta Region.
He said: “Your achievement as a governor, senator and now a minister are enough to endear people to you and that is why we are here to tap from that wealth of experience and vision that saw you excel in those offices and the one you currently occupy.
“You have done so well for the people of the Niger Delta Region and that is why we are here to solicit for your support in this task we are embarking on.
“Nigeria cannot move forward without peace at this point in our history. We all need Godswill to be done in Nigeria and that is why we have come for your support in this task.”