As the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly draws closer, the consensus candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the seat of the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio has continued to face opposition from within the party.
Since last month when the APC National Working Committee (NWC) named him and Barau Jibrin as the party’s consensus candidates for the seat of the Senate President and Deputy respectively, they have faced various opposition from within the party.
Naia News understands that this time around, Akpabio’s camp has experienced another setback days before the inauguration of the 10th NASS because even senators-elect that were hitherto supporting him have continued to withdraw their support.
A senator-elect who confirmed the withdrawal of support for Akpabio, wondered how the former Akwa Ibom State governor can lead the National Assembly that he despised when he was the Minister of Niger Delta.
The senator-elect told Daily Sun that “I have withdrawn support for Senator Akpabio. It’s not only me. Many of us have withdrawn our support and it will show on the floor.
“I used to have very high regard for Senator Akpabio as a person but I can’t support him to be the Senate President.
“How can he (Akpabio) come and preside over an institution which he once described as a cesspit of corruption after benefitting from the same institution,” the Senator-elect queried.”
Similarly, the Senator-elect from Kano State, Sumaila Kawu, has warned President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to interfere in the election of presiding officers of the two chambers of the 10th National Assembly.
According to him “The constitution is explicit about how the President and Deputy President of the Senate shall be elected. For instance, Chapter 2 of the 9th Standing Orders of the Senate 2022 (as amended) stipulates the procedures for the selection of Presiding Officers of the Senate.
“Similarly, Section 50(1)a of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) states that, “there shall be a President and Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
“Also, section 50(1)b stipulates that, “A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
“It is therefore clear that the election of these Presiding Officers is purely an internal affair that concerns only members of the National Assembly and therefore, they should be allowed to decide who among them would occupy the positions in order to avoid repetition of the past mistakes – we may all recall the incidences of the 7th and 8th National Assembly.”