…Insists south East already produced five senate presidents
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
A political organization operating under the aegis of the Presidential Support Committee (PSC) has thrown its support behind Senator Godswill Akpabio in the race for the leadership of the 10th Senate, claiming that his contributions to the just-concluded general elections make him the most qualified candidate to hold the office of Senate President.
The Chairman of Chairmen Forum of the Presidential Support Committee, Elijah Ettah, while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, argued that Senators from the South East have occupied the Senate leadership position on five different occasions.
Recall that former Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu had also declared interest to run for the Senate leadership, a development that prompted a visit to the presidency recently.
Also, Governor of Ebonyi state and Senator-elect, Dave Umahi is also reported to have shown interest in joining the race.
According to Ettah, Akpabio’s antecedents in Akwa Ibom state, there’s no doubt that he will set the pace of legislative direction in the country through uncommon legislation as never been witnessed in the history of Nigeria.
He further argued that five sons from South East have already occupied the Senate presidency beginning from the fourth republic.
He listed some of them to include Sen Evan Enwerem, 1999, PDP, Sen Chuba Okadigbo, 1999-2000, PDP, Sen Anyim Pius Anyim, 2000-2003. PDP, Sen Adolphus Wabara, 2003-2005, PDP and Sen Ken Nnamani, 2005-2007.
While the South South geopolitical zone has only produced Senate President in 1979-1983 through late Senator Joseph Wayas.
According to him, the 10th Senate ought to be presided over by someone like Akpabio who has the needed legislative experience, one with proven track record of delivery on responsibilities.
“Therefore, it’s important that Sen Godswill Akpabio from South South geopolitical zone, should occupy the seat of the Senate President representing the south South geopolitical zone.
“It’s rather surprising that some people from the south east are clamouring for the Senate presidency as if it’s their birth right because the south east has occupied the Senate presidency seat for five times within the fourth republic from 1999 to date.
“Conclusively, the best man for the job of the Senate President is Sen Dr Godswill Akpabio, representing good people of Akwa Ibom, North West senatorial district, South South, he’s a unifier, has the requisite legislative and executive experience to compliment that of the President elect, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his vice Sen Kashim Shettima.
“Akpabio’s developmental antecedents is critical to the development and leadership of the Senate in this critical time,”the Group stated.
Meanwhile, a member of the group Muttaka Ahmed Ibrahim took a swipe on Orji Kalu, saying his impact during the recent general election was merely passive, compared to that of Akpabio.
Other members of the group who spoke on the issue, said Akpabio’s leadership style was unique and can be easily assessed as seen when he was at the helms of affairs in Akwa Ibom state for eight years.
Other members of the PSC included Alhaji Bawa Avah, Niger State, Chief Solomon Akpoti, Delta, Princess Allagoa Rivers, Arc Umar Ladan, Nasarawa, Com Joseph Izunya, Edo, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu, FCT, Ahmed Alkali, Katsina among others.