Senate Presidency: Today Is The D-Day For Contenders, Kalu, Akpabio, Yari, Abbass


Today the men would be separated from the boys as the national assembly leaders would be elected.
Those in the contest are Orji Kalu, Godwill Akpabio, Abdullaziz Yari, and Osita Izunaso, all for the position of the Senate presidency.
In the House of Representatives are Tajudeen Abbass, Wase, and a few others that have insisted that the party would not dictate to them and should not dictate to them how the affairs of the national assembly should be run.
Contrary to the zoning arrangements of the All Progressives Congress, a formidable team comprising Yari as the arrowhead, Senators Orji Uzor Kalu, Osita Izunaso and Sani Musa had intensified the push for supremacy against the camp of the APC anointed candidature of Godswill Akpabio who had been endorsed for the position of Senate President and Barau Jibrin as Deputy Senate President.
All the interested parties are fining tuning their strategies to make sure that they win the ticket. They have organized press conferences and campaign both in the newspapers and broadcast media just to convince the voters of what they would do if voted into the various positions.
Akpabio meets South East senators-elect
Senators of South East zone yesterday endorsed Akpabio and Jibrin as their choice candidates.
Governor Hope Uzodimma made this known in Abuja after a meeting he held with the 15 senators-elect of the South East geo-political zone.
“All the 15 of them attended the meeting. We resolved to toe the line of the preferred candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Senate to support Akpabio and Barau.
“As it has to do with the Senate president and the Deputy Senate president, the APC, with most senators-elect has preferred and recommended Sen. Akpabio and Sen. Jibrin.
“We have already agreed that we will vote according to the recommendation of our great party.
“We don’t want to go into any controversy of going into unnecessary blind opposition.
“We want to work under a constructive partnership across party lines in the Southeast region and that is actually my position.
“It is a good development for the region and for the unity of the nation,’’ Uzodinma told newsmen.
The Imo governor who is also the chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum (governors of APC-controlled states) noted that democracy is about engagements, discussions and dialogues.
“People are entitled to have aspirations. Because we are practicing partisan democracy, it is always assumed that loyalty to the party will always prevail.
“Whether you are Labour Party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or APC, South East is south East and leadership is leadership.
“We think we will be more organised in the interest and unity of the country to work with the ruling party so our people will also have the opportunity to get dividends of democracy,’’ Uzodinma stressed.
•Northern elders warn against imposition
Northern Elders Forum (NEF) warned against imposition on the senate leadership, advising that the 109 senators-elect be allowed to choose their leaders without external interferences.
The elders also cautioned that individual faith, either Islam or Christianity, should not be a deciding factor as to who leads the senate.
This was even as NEF lambasted Vice President Kashim Shettima over the statement credited to him that “under the current dispensation, the worst incompetent Southern Christian is better than the most puritanical Northern Muslim for the Presidency of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
NEF Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who addressed the media, yesterday, described the Vice President’s statement as “unfortunate” saying such utterances would have been avoided.
“The statement of Vice President Shettima in the context of the commitment of the administration to determine the legislature’s leadership makes references to Muslim and Christian faiths in the most unbecoming and irresponsible manner imaginable
Principles of fairness, justice, equity must prevail – Makinde
Governor of Oyo State and Vice Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Seyi Makinde, has advocated principles of fairness, justice and equity in the selection of the leadership of the National Assembly today.
He made this position known in his address at the post inauguration special thanksgiving service, organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and Fathers of Faith, yesterday, at Oritamefa Baptist Church, Total Garden, Ibadan, the state capital.
He said: “We already have a President that is of Islamic faith, and we have a Vice President that is of Islamic faith. Number three is going to be the Senate President, and what we are saying across party lines; I am saying it publicly, all the governors in Nigeria came together and we said we will support the choice of the Senate President, who is a Christian from the South South region of Nigeria.
“We are not playing religious politics, but what is fair is fair. We stood for Southern presidency, we will stand for justice. We stood for fairness and we are going to stand for equity as well. So, I will be at the National Assembly tomorrow (today), even though I wasn’t elected as a Senator and I have never been elected as one.
“I will be there with my other colleagues We will go and ensure that the principle of fairness, justice and equity prevails in the selection of the president of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Makinde commended the people of the state for the confidence reposed in him by re-electing him for a second term. He also thanked he Christian community for organising the programme. He also announced that the Oyo State House of Assembly would be proclaimed on Wednesday.
In his sermon, Oyo State CAN chairman, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju, said the gathering was to appreciate God and worship him on account of the Governor’s electoral victory.
“Seyi Makinde is a political apostle and a covenant child of God who brought accountability and probity to the governance of Oyo State,” he said




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