Fear Grip Godswill Akpabio Camp, Over Alleged Withdrawn Senate Presidency Endorsement From Tinubu
Apprehension has reportedly gripped lawmakers in the camp of Godswill Akpabio, following indications that President Bola Tinubu might have withdrawn endorsement for the Senate Presidency bid of the former Akwa Ibom State governor.
The lawmakers mostly from the South West, consequently, called for a meeting, where they plan to review their position and chart a new course on the leadership of the 10th Senate. Guardian quoting a senator from one of the states in the South West said that the meeting is slated for tomorrow. Recall that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had, in a statement, two weeks ago, announced the endorsement of Akpabio and three others for the topmost positions in the National Assembly.
Akpabio, who is from the South-South, was endorsed for Senate President; Jibrin Barau from the North-West was okayed for Deputy Senate President; Tajudeen Abass, also from the North-West, was slated for Speaker, House of Representatives, while Benjamin Kalu from the South-East was picked for Deputy Speaker. The announcement was greeted by protests and condemnation across the country. Many queried the rationale behind the party allotting two of the six presiding offices to a zone and leaving the North Central without any position. Others criticized the zoning of Deputy Speaker to the South-East, arguing the region should have been given the presidency instead. Some Nigerians also pointed out that Akpabio is currently being investigated by anti-graft agencies over alleged cases of sleaze.
Inundated with the implications of supporting a senator facing criminal investigations, Tinubu was said to have heeded the advice of trusted political allies by tacitly withdrawing support for Akpabio. The President, the senator said, is resolute in running a corruption-free government, with emphasis on strengthening existing policies and institutions tasked with fighting corruption.
In his inaugural speech, Tinubu declared that his government would take “proactive steps, such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption, while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of various anti-corruption agencies.”
The senator added: “With this statement, most of us have come to full realisation of the fact that President Bola Tinubu would not, for anything, support any senator with myriads of cases of corruption in anti-graft agencies, after declaring before the world that he would strengthen and make them more effective. We have seen the folly of remaining in this camp. It will not work.”