Senate Presidency: Senators-elect Replies Tinubu, Says ‘Akpabio Won’t Fly’

Some Lawmakers-elect have reacted to the news making the rounds that the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has endorsed the candidature of the former Minister of Niger Delta Commission, Sen. Godswill Akpabio and Sen. Jibrin Barau as the Senate President and Deputy Senate President of the 10th National Assembly, respectively.

This move has, however, makes party members conclude that Tinubu had reportedly jettisoned the move to zone the 10th Senate Presidency to the South-South.


Reacting to the development, the Senators-elect who have started handing up to kick against Tinubu’s choice has called on the President-elect not to meddle in the politics of the National Assembly.

It was also learned that even the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party is divided on the matter, as some want Akpabio, and others want Jibrin Barau from Kano, while some want the position ceded to the South East.

One of the senators from the north who spoke with Daily Trust said it would be advisable if Tinubu doesn’t meddle with the politics of the NASS.

The senator claims that Akpabio is not capable of running the affairs of the parliament, and more so the north deserves the position because of its contribution to the victory of Tinubu during the February presidential election.

He said, “Akpabio will not fly, for two reasons. One, he contributed nearly nothing to the victory of Tinubu, aside from stepping down for him during the primary election. Two, he disparaged the parliament during the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) probe.”


Another senator-elect said the choice of the president-elect was the best for the country but some of his colleagues were already teaming up against it.


He attributed Akpabio’s attitude during the probe of the NDDC when he was the minister of the Niger Delta to the reason why his colleagues are against him.


He disclosed that some of the senators were also against Akpabio because he reneged on the promises he made to them ahead of becoming the minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

He submitted that “ I won’t work against Asiwaju. I have been told of the choice and I am 100 per cent in support of this. However, our colleagues are already mobilising against Akpabio. They said he exposed the parliament to ridicule when he was a minister.


“When the Senate turned down some of Akpabio’s requests for spending, he simply went away and found his way.”

Another source who met Tinubu on Wednesday said the senators were being mobilised by an aggrieved presiding officer in the parliament.


He also noted that “They are being pushed by a presiding officer, but this will not work because the choice of Asiwaju is in the best interest of the country. We will work against anything that will hinder the Tinubu presidency from performing.”


Another source said Tinubu’s preference for Akpabio was to carry the Christians in Nigeria along, and not necessarily because of his contribution to the success of the party.


The source said “It has been said again and again that the North contributed over 63% of the votes that drove Tinubu to victory, however, it is not a matter of the winner carrying everything. It is about equity.

“Tinubu wants to start on a sound footing. Sadly, by the time he did not carry all six geopolitical zones along, there would be a distraction and he might not succeed.


“Of course, if elections were to hold today, certainly, Senator Barau Jibrin will defeat other contenders hands down because he has the support of senators elected on the platform of all the parties represented in the Senate.”