BY LAJA THOMAS
The Chancellor of Akpabio Centre for Leadership Development, ACLD, Pastor Bassey James is one of the most vocal enthusiasts of the developmental strides of the Godswill Akpabio administration. Bassey spoke to newsmen in Lagos recently on issues concerning his admiration of Akpabio. Excerpts:
What is the correlation between your calling as a pastor and your involvement in politics?
You can’t divorce the two. It is very difficult to divorce politics from religion. You need power to do more for your people. You need religion do more for your people.
Are you sure that your activities as a politician is not contradicting you Christian doctrine?
It is not at all. When the righteous rule, the people rejoice. Come 2015, only the righteous will rule in Nigeria. Our governor has laid a foundation for change and we believe that the man who will rule after Governor Akpabio will be a man that loves God. It is not about I being a pastor but the issue is about doing the will of God. We are working very hard to ensure that ministers of the gospel go into politics. In the past, it was said that politics is a dirty game and Christians shied away from participating in politics.
Are you warming up to take up any political post in the next political dispensation?
I am not contesting. When we have the opportunity of having Governor Akpabio, we must stand by him and promote his ideology. He came with the message of love and prosperity and this we intend to take across the globe. We are inviting foreign investors to come and invest in our state, we are building hotel along Airport road, and we are also building Akwa Ibom International market.
We are moving Alaba, Nnewi and other big markets to Akwa Ibom State in the next one year. We want people to come and enjoy what our governor is doing because something good is happening in the state. He yielded himself to God and allowed God to use him to bring smiles to the faces of our people. There was a recent attack in which members of the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta claimed responsibility. Akwa Ibom, is also an oil producing state, what do you think could be done to forestall such occurrence in the state?
The militants boldly said there is no militant in Akwa Ibom State so we don’t have issues with that. We will continue to appeal to our brothers to embrace peace so that we can have a peaceful society. We will support the re-engineering of a better and peaceful Nigeria. Our people don’t need to go back to the creeks rather they should continue to support the government.
You are a pastor who has continually praised Governor Akpabio. Have you ever had cause to criticize some of his ideologies and policies?
I will never speak ill or bad of my governor because he gave us more than we asked for. Other governors built roads and put toll gates but he didn’t do that. He is a face of modern governance in Nigeria. I will continue to praise him, work with him and promote his ideologies.