Akpabio to ex-senators: Pray for Jibrin and me — what we’re seeing is like war
Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, has asked a group of former senators to pray for him and Jibrin Barau, senator representing Kano north.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had nominated Akpabio and Barau for the positions of senate president and deputy in the incoming 10th national assembly.
But the party’s decision has stirred controversies as contenders for the positions have expressed displeasure about the choices.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday at a meeting with 76 former senators – including Ameh Ebute, an ex-senate president – Akpabio expressed dismay that first-term senators were seeking to be presiding officers.
The former minister said a senator-elect would have to be sworn in first before aspiring to be a presiding officer.
“When I see people who are coming into the national assembly and particularly the senate of the federal of Nigeria. Senators-elect for the first time. Who will swear them in? What you (former senators) have done is to give direction as elders,” he said.
“That having been in that hallowed chamber, it is important to give direction. That there will be a senate president first who will swear in the senators-elect before the senators-elect begins to aspire to the senate president.
“I want to appeal that you do not only support us with your endorsement but also support us with your prayers because what we are seeing out there is as if it is a war but I also describe it as a storm in a teacup because the senate has it’s own principle throughout the world.”
Earlier, Basheer Lado, convener of the group and a former senator representing Kano central, said other candidates seeking to be senate president should shelve their bids in the interest of “national interests”.
“We therefore respectfully, once again appeal to other aspirants to step down their ambition in the interest of national unity, peace, national stability of Nigeria and party cohesion,” he said.
“We believe strongly, senator Akpabio and senator Barau Jibril at the helm of affairs in the 10th assembly will further compliment the administration of distinguished senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and senator Kashim Shettima in delivering good governance and democratic dividends, to all Nigerians.”