The Minister of Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, says his sudden introduction to President Bola Tinubu by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, as the ministerial nominee from Akwa Ibom appeared like a joke to him.
Ekpo said this at the Thanksgiving Mass held in his honour at Our Lady of Mercy Chaplaincy in the Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State on Saturday.
The minister said: “When I was formally introduced to President Tinubu by my leader and President of the Senate for this ministerial appointment, it looked like a joke to me.
“Subsequently, my name was announced as a nominee and when I appeared before the Senate, I was told to take a bow. Today, I am a Minister of the Federal Republic.”
He stated that he was in church to express his gratitude to God for using President Tinubu and Akpabio to make his appointment possible.
Ekpo added: “I am here today with my family to return thanks to God Almighty for making today possible. I also thank our dear President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, for finding me worthy of this appointment.
Ekpo pledged his readiness to do his best for Akwa Ibom State, the people of the state, and Nigeria as a whole, to ensure that Nigeria reaps its enormous gas resources for the country’s development.
Also speaking at the event, the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno, called on the people of the state to unite behind any indigene of the state in any position of authority for the benefit of the state.
Eno further reiterated his readiness and that of his government to put the state and its people first without any political or religious considerations.
On his part, Akpabio promised to continue to work for the peace and development of Akwa Ibom State, saying: “As an elder statesman, my major concern now is to work for the peace and unity of the state and by extension Nigeria.
“I am not interested in any kind of war. I am more interested in bringing development to the state. If there should be any competition amongst us, let it be in the overall interest of our people, like competing for development and life-changing projects for our people.”