Senator-elect Godswill Akpabio, (APC Akwa Ibom) a top contender for the Senate presidency of the 10th National Assembly, has assured lawmakers of stability in the upper chamber if elected.
Akpabio, gave the assurance in Abuja on Tuesday, when he led 42 other senators and senators-elect , under the aegis of the Integrity Group, to meet with Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, the APC National Chairman, and members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the APC had on May 8, zoned the Senate Presidency of the 10th National Assembly to the South -South in favour of Akpabio.
The party also zoned the Deputy Senate President to the North – West in favour of Barau Jibrin (APC Kano) and the Speakership of the House of Representatives to the North -West in favour of Abass Tajudeen (APC Kaduna) and Deputy Speakership to the South- East in favour of Ben Kalu (APC Abia).
Akpabio said the visit was to show solidarity and appreciation for the endorsement after wide consultations with stakeholders across the country, adding that now that the elections were over, it was time to begin governance.
“We are grateful that the party’s leadership gave this opportunity to Sen. Godswill Akpabio, the uncommon senator and his brother, Sen. Barau Jibrin, we will definitely bring growth to this country,” he said.
He noted it was fair to zone the senate presidency to the South South, as the region last produced a Senate President in 1979, about 44 years ago.
Akpabio added that since Sen. Bola Tinubu, the President-elect was from the South and the Vice President-elect, Sen. Kashim Shettima was from the North, it was only right that the Senate President came from the South.
He assured that the 10th Senate would be totally different from others, adding that the integrity group would visit chairmen of other political parties that made up the in-coming Senate for their imput and advice.
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Akpabio, while noting that the integrity team was poised to bring change, said the APC leadership should appeal to other party members to support its zoning decision.
“When I was young, I was told about the three Gs one should fear. One is God, then the Gun and the Government.
“Both the Bible and the Quran charges us to respect leadership because that is the only way to progress. We urge you to talk to them because that is the only way to progress.
“We have interacted with the governors of Lagos, Katsina and even Rivers, to tell them about our plans and policies.
“We intend to bring stability, as well as to make you proud by putting an end to poverty, insecurity and unemployment, through legislations of supervision and strict oversight,” he said.
Adamu in his response, said the party was still consulting on issues concerning the leadership of the in-coming assembly to carry everyone along.
He said the consultations had been fruitful, adding that the final decision however, would be on the floor of Senate.
“Whatever we do, whatsoever signature we collect, the final decision will be on the floor of the Senate and also the house,” the APC Chairman said.
On the ongoing agitations, especially from those opposed to the party’s zoning decision, Adamu said that people were bound to hold other opinions, adding that the party had no right to stop them.
“All these efforts and agitations are very healthy and important.
“I am happy that we are heeding the advice and directives we gave to make consultations, and it is good that it is going on and I am happy that it has been very fruitful.
“We will wait till June 3, on the floor of the house. I want us to have a rancour-free election on the floor, because even if everybody says it is Akpabio, the rules of the game say there must be election.
“Those who are in the Senate are aware of the rules. I do hope and pray that we will carry the day and be victorious,” he said.
In an apparent reference to what transpired build up to election of principal officers of the 8th Senate, Adamu warned Akpabio to ensure he did not turn up late on the day of the election.
“But let me warn, don’t be late, because once bitten twice shy,” he said.
NAN reports that some of the senators on Akpabio’s entourage were; Olamilekan Adeola, Ibrahim Geidam, Opeyemi Bamidele, Ali Ndume, Gbenga Daniel, and Salihu Mustapha, among others.