Senate President: More S/South groups drum support for Akpabio

Isaac Job, Uyo

A coalition of groups, comprising all the states in the South-South region, has drummed up support for former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to emerge as president of the 10th senate to be inaugurated in June this year.

Addressing a press conference in Uyo on Monday under the aegis of Coalition of South-South Community for United Nigeria, Justice, and Equity, the chairman of the group, Hon Eseme Eyibo, said Akpabio is more qualified to be the senate president.

The coalition also appealed to the All Progressives Congress (APC) President-Elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, and the Senators-Elect to zone the Senate President to the South-South region for equity, justice, and fairness.

Eyibo, a former member of the House of Representatives and immediate past chairman of Cross River Basin Authority, said that Akpabio has the capacity and pedigree to occupy the office of the senate president.

He, however, urged the APC President-Elect, Vice President-Elect, and Senators-Elect to ensure that the Senate President emerges from the South-South.

His words: “Since 1999 we have had a model that where the President goes is where the Senate President and Speaker goes. The South-South that produces the oil has not been part of the priority list of the government.

“We are united by this demand, appeal, and request to the APC, President-Elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, the Vice President- Elect and Senators-Elect that the position of Senate President should be zoned to the South-South.

“It is a request to the APC, the President-Elect, Asiwaju Tinubu, and all well-meaning Nigerians that the office of the senate president should be zoned to the south-south.

“The reasons are very clear. Since 1999, the position of the senate president has always been occupied by one region.

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“So, if we follow the model of what has been going on in this country each time the senate presidency comes to southern Nigeria, it is usually micro-zoned to the South East.

“South East has had uninterrupted Senate President five times. His Excellency Adolphos Wagbara from Abia State, Evans Enwerem from Imo State, Chuba Okadigbo from Anambra State, Pius Anyim from Ebonyi State, and Ken Nnamani from Enugu State.

“The position has been distributed to five South Eastern states, so, now the Senate President coming to the South cannot go to the South West because the president of the federal republic of Nigeria is from the southwest, the natural place, if we mean zoning it should go to is the South-South.

“What an average Nigeria is looking for now, is strong institutions not strong individuals, sustainable development goals and we need somebody who has the pedigree and capacity to actualize that for a united Nigeria, that person is here in the South-South.

“We are presenting, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, for this position, without a doubt we seek the support of all,” Eyiboh appealed.

Eyibo, who was flanked at the media briefing by representatives from Cross River, Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers, Delta, and Akwa Ibom states, said that Akpabio being a former governor of Akwa Ibom, former Senate Minority Leader and one time Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, has the ability to galvanise the executive and the legislature for the betterment of Nigeria.

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