Senate Presidency: Akpabio’s Aspirations Runs Into Murky Waters As South-West Senators Mull Fresh Option

Panic has gripped senators in the camp of a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio as information filtered out that the President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is withdrawing his support for him in the contest for the Senate President of the 10th National Assembly.

Consequently, the senators mostly from the South West have called for a Friday meeting to review their position and chart a new course on the leadership of the Senate.

A Senator from one of the states in the South West disclosed to our correspondent on condition of anonymity that the meeting was scheduled for Friday as they wanted to know the outcome of a crucial meeting of the leading tendency among the senators-elect scheduled for Thursday which they have strategically asked some of their members to attend.

Recall that the All Progressives Congress, APC had in an ambiguous press statement two weeks ago announced the endorsement of Senator Godswill Akpabio and three others for the topmost positions in the National Assembly. Senator Akpabio from South-South was endorsed for Senate President, Senator Jubrin Barau from the North-west for Deputy Senate President, Honourable Tajudeen Abass, North-west for Speaker, House of Representatives and Hon. Kanu, South-East for Deputy Speaker.

Protests, condemnations and strong criticisms across the country followed the announcement.

While many queried the reasonability of the party allotting two of the six presiding offices in the National Assembly to a zone and leaving the North Central without any position many others criticized the zoning of deputy speaker to the South-East instead of the presidency of the Senate generally believed to be due to the zone.

In addition, Nigerians were outraged by the micro zoning of the position of Senate President to Senator Godswill Akpabio who is at present being investigated by anti-graft agencies for a series of cases bothering on sleaze.

However, inundated with the implications of supporting a senator known all over the world to be facing criminal cases of corruption, President Bola Tinubu was said to have heeded the advice of his trusted political allies by tacitly withdrawing his support for the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

The President, the sources said was resolute in running a corruption-free government with emphasis on strengthening all the existing policies and institutions concerned with corruption towards achieving this goal

In his inaugural speech, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared pointedly that his government would take” proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies.”

“With this statement, “ the Senator said ”most of us have come to the full realization of the fact that President Bola Tinubu would not for anything support any senator with myriads of cases of corruption in the anti-graft agencies after declaring before the world that he would strengthen and make them more effective.

“We have seen the follies in remaining in this camp. It will not work. We have fixed a meeting for Thursday where we are going to chart our next line of action.” A Senator from one of the states in the South West confided in our correspondent.

The camp which was mainly sustained by the ambiguous endorsement of the National Working Committee NWC of the party, a claim that the National Chairman of the party, Senator Adamu Abdullahi has debunked severally as he maintained that the party needed “further and better” consultations on the matter.

Not only that, the National Chairman has not been mincing words in his response to all the senators and House of Representatives Members-elect who had gone to him to seek clarifications on the matter according to two senators who had sought such clarifications, the Chairman told them point blank that “we have not taken a final decision on the zoning formula”.

Early last week, Senator Adamu Abdullahi openly told Honorable Tajudeen Abass one of the beneficiaries of the controversial zoning formula to stop parading himself as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, advising him to prepare himself for the contest for the position which would be finally decided on the floor of the house.

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