The aspiration of the annointed candidate for the office of the Senate President in the 10th National Assembly, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has suffered a setback as the major opposition caucus in the Senate has rejected his choice.
The much-awaited zoning arrangement for the leadership of the 10th Assembly was made public at the end of an eight-man caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in President-elect, Bola Tinubu’s Abuja residence on Friday morning.
Akpabio, who joined the ruling APC in the build-up to the 2019 general election, is the preferred candidate of the President-elect and the leadership of the ruling party. While Senator Jibril Barau from Kano State has been picked as Deputy Senate President.
For the incoming House of Representatives, the APC Caucus led by Tinubu opted for Hon. Tajudeen Abbas from Kaduna State and Hon. Benjamin Kalu from Abia State as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.
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Our correspondent gathered that Senator Barau and Hon. Abbas are from the same North-West zone, a development that may put spanner in the works of the APC Caucus.
Also, Akpabio is not in the good books of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the National Assembly both the outgoing 9th Assembly and the incoming 10th Assembly, hence all entreaties from the former Akwa Ibom State Governor have fell on the PDP lawmakers-elect’s deaf ears.
He is said to enjoy the support of only three of the 36 PDP Senators-elect. The three Akpabio’s supporters are Senators-elect from Rivers State because of Governor Nyesom Wike’s alliance with APC at the centre.
“He is offering us money but we don’t want his money because he is not principled. He will eventually sell out the Senate if allowed to emerge the Senate President.
“Remember what he did in 2018/2019. The PDP honoured him as a first-timer in the Senate by giving him an exalted position of Minority Leader. Without any just cause, save for his pocket and selfish interest, he abandoned the PDP midstream and joined APC. He was rewarded with a ministerial position. We can’t trust such person as a Senate President, he is unstable,” a PDP Senator-elect from South-South, who did not want to be named, said.
Also, it was learnt that another thing against the APC choice, is the way he embarrassed and threw the federal lawmakers under the bus during a Senate hearing on Niger Delta Affairs Ministry under him in 2021.
“His behaviour that day shows someone who hate the legislators’ guts and he is ready to shut the door of reconciliation.
“Another reason why most legislagors are afraid of supporting Akpabio is his connection to the travails of two South-South Senators, Senator Bassey (Akpan) of Akwa Ibom and Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of Delta,” the lawmaker added.