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Senate Presidency: Why Akpabio may suffer rejection from PDP Senators-elect

May 6, 2023

There are indications that major opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s Senators-elect may reject the candidacy of former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio as the next Senate President in the 10th Assembly.

The development is coming following the decision of an eight-man caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in President-elect, Bola Tinubu’s Abuja residence on Friday morning, which endorsed Akpabio.

Akpabio, who joined the ruling APC in the build-up to the 2019 general election, is the preferred candidate of the President-elect and the leadership of the ruling party. While Senator Jibril Barau from Kano State has been picked as Deputy Senate President.

For the incoming House of Representatives, the APC Caucus led by Tinubu opted for Hon. Tajudeen Abbas from Kaduna State and Hon. Benjamin Kalu from Abia State as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.

It was, however, gathered that Senator Barau and Hon. Abbas are from the same North-west zone, a development that may put spanner in the works of the APC caucus.

A competent source revealed that Akpabio is not in the good books of the PDP caucus in the National Assembly both the outgoing 9th Assembly and the incoming 10th Assembly, hence all entreaties from the former Governor have fell on the PDP lawmakers-elect’s deaf ears.

He is said to enjoy the support of only three of the 36 PDP Senators-elect. The three Akpabio’s supporters are Senators-elect from Rivers state because of Governor Nyesom Wike’s alliance with APC at the centre.

Another source, a PDP Senator-elect from South-south, who pleaded anonymity said: “He is offering us money but we don’t want his money because he is not principled. He will eventually sell out the Senate if allowed to emerge the Senate President.

“Remember what he did in 2018/2019. The PDP honoured him as a first-timer in the Senate by giving him an exalted position of Minority Leader. Without any just cause, save for his pocket and selfish interest, he abandoned the PDP midstream and joined APC. He was rewarded with a ministerial position. We can’t trust such person as a Senate President, he is unstable.” (Blueprint)

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