With President Bola Ahmed Tinubu reportedly withdrawing his support for him in the race for Senate President in the 10th National Assembly, there were strong indications on Wednesday that Senator Godswill Akpabio’s candidature may have hit a brick wall.
Remember how the All Progressives Congress, or APC, had endorsed Senator Godswill Akpabio and three other candidates for the top positions in the National Assembly?
Kanu from the South-East was nominated for deputy speaker, Tajudeen Abass from the North-West for speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senator Akpabio from the South-South for president of the Senate.
Due to the protests and condemnation that followed the party’s endorsements, this did not sit well with some party members, particularly those vying for the Senate and House of Representatives presiding positions.
It was learned on Wednesday that senators, mostly from the South West, have scheduled a meeting for tomorrow where they will decide whether to review their stance on the Senate’s choice of leadership.
The purpose of the meeting, according to a senator from one of the South West’s states, is to inform senators of the zone of the results of a key meeting of the leading tendency among the senators-elect scheduled for Thursday and to which they have purposefully invited some of their members.
President Bola Tinubu reportedly listened to the advice of his dependable political allies and subtly withdrew his support for Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State.
According to sources, the President was adamant about leading a government free of corruption and placed emphasis on strengthening all current anti-corruption policies and institutions in order to accomplish this.
Clearly stating in his inaugural address that his administration would “take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies,” Tinubu said that his administration would support a credit culture.
This quote from the source was followed by the statement that “most of us have come to the full realisation that President Bola Tinubu would not for anything support any senator with myriads of cases of corruption in the anti-graft agencies after declaring before the world that he would strengthen and make them more effective.”
“We have seen the follies of remaining in this camp, it will not work,” a senator from one of the S-West said.
“We have scheduled a meeting for this coming Thursday to plan our course of action.”
However, Senator Ali Ndume, APC, Borno South, the director general of the Akpabio/Barau Stability Group, responded to the development yesterday by saying: “It is not surprising that whenever a politically exposed person is running for office, some people would be sponsored to raise issues against him or her.
“Don’t forget that President Bola Tinubu was also repeatedly accused when he was campaigning to be president.”
“We are not actually bothered about what the sponsored groups are saying about Akpabio, the anti-graft agencies know what to do. Why are they teaching them what to do?
“They are alleging that some corrupt activities took place under his watch at the NDDC, but they did not say he misappropriated funds as governor or as minister.
“Akpabio was not the accounting officer of the NDDC, he only supervised the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
“They also accused him of not constituting the board of the NDDC, but that was also not his job. The president of the country is saddled with such responsibility.”