The All Progressives Congress (APC) Non-Serving Senators Group from Second to Fourth Republics, on Thursday, called on Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, ex-Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari and other aspirants for the position of Senate President in the 10th National Assembly to respect party’s decision on the matter as its supremacy,leadership report.

The ex-Senators spoke at an enlarged meeting attended by critical stakeholders, which included Chief Olusegun Osoba, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, Ambassador Godknows Igali and Archbishop John Praise, among others.

Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC had zoned the Senate President position to the South-South and specifically endorsed Senator Godswill Akpabio as its candidate with Senator Barau Jibrin as deputy.

But Yari, Kalu, Osita Izunaso and others have objected to the action of the APC leadership and vowed to contest against Akpabio/Jibrin ticket on inauguration day of the 10th National Assembly slated for June 13, 2023.

Speaking at the enlarged meeting of the APC Non-Serving Senators Group and Stakeholders in Abuja, the Convener, Senator Basheer Lado, called on the aspirants in opposition to the party’s choices not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

He called on them to withdraw their bids in the interest of peace, party cohesion and the smooth takeoff of Tinubu administration.

APC stakeholders like Chief Osoba, Yakasai, among others, who spoke at the event, called on the group to reach out to Senators-elect opposing the position of the party to respect the APC constitution and support Akpabio and Jibrin.

Osoba in his comment, urged the APC Non-Serving Senators to lobby other aspirants to ensure that the zoning of the positions stands.

Osoba said: “I want to appeal to you on two issues. Let us all organise a serious lobby system by convening a meeting of all aspirants for the position of Senate President in 10th Senate to make them see reason why they should toe the line of the party.

“The party has decided on zoning and has zoned the positions. We cannot afford to start this government on another crisis. The fuel subsidy removal crisis is already there.

“Let us go back to our states and lobby our senators-elect to support the choices of the party. With this I believe we shall achieve our goal without any hitch.”

Former Senate President, Ameh Ebute, called on all APC Senators-elect to respect the supremacy of the party as enshrined in its constitution.

After reading a section of the APC’s Constitution which provides that the party is supreme, Ebute said: “The party is supreme. No member should oppose the constitution of the party and position of its leadership. We should abide by the constitution of the party and the zoning of National Assembly leadership positions by the party.”

On his part, elder statesman Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, said he had no doubts that Akpabio was qualified to hold the position of Senate President because of his pedigree.

Yakasai said: “The time of paucity of qualified Nigerians is over many years ago. This is the reason for my difficulties in the task giving a talk in a gathering like this.

“What made my task somewhat easier is the fact that we know the personality we are all talking about.

“The person is no other than one of the few among the multitudes of people we know who is privileged to occupy three important positions many of our compatriots will wish to occupy any time such an opportunity presents itself to them.

“The personality is no other than a one-time governor of his state, a one time minister and presently a senator-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, my popular, competent and amiable Senator Godswill Apkabio.

“Senator Akpabio is now presenting himself for consideration and support to be elected the President of the Senate.”

In his comments, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said the South-South was grateful to the APC for zoning the position of Senate President to the zone for the purpose of equity, fairness and justice.

“Let us move to lobby our colleagues to support the choice of the party for Senate President to enable our new government to hit the ground running,” Igali said.

In his address, Senator Lado said the enlarged meeting became imperative for the group to reaffirm its support for the party’s position that the President of the Senate and his deputy should come from the southern and northern parts of the country respectively as a measure of balancing and stabilising our polity.

Lado said: “We are equally convinced that there is a need now more than ever to support the party and strengthen its decision in this regard.

“We are convinced that a strong party capable of whipping its members into line stand a better chance to oversight its members in the executive and legislative branches of government and ensuring thereby that the party manifesto and governance philosophy are religiously observed and executed.

“We were all witnesses to the dislocation that occurred when the legislators rebelled against the party and the president to install their own officers against the position of the party during the first four years of the immediate-past administration and the last four years of the administration before it.

“Such a scenario immediately breeds an in-house opposition where the party works against itself. It does not bear stating that a lot of time and resources are usually lost in an effort to convince fellow party members to push forward with the programmes of the party.”

Lado further said: “It is not an accident that democracies that are running well, including those on our continent, are democracies where party supremacy is respected and supported.

“Parties are organic structures that outlive periodic leaders who come and go with election seasons. They should therefore not be seen as a mere platform for winning elections and kicking down the ladder thereafter.

“Loyalty to the party in countries like South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia and many others.

“APC members of the 10th National Assembly will be traveling a familiar route in Africa by putting the party first. A few African parliamentary leaders such as Rt. Hon. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the leader of the National Assembly of South Africa, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, the leader of the Parliament of Ghana, Rt. Hon. Augustine Iyamurenye, the leader of the Parliament of Rwanda, and Rt. Hon. Amason Kingi Jeffa, the leader of Kenya, are all put in positions by the ruling parties of those nations.

“As key players in our party and nation, we are also aware that, in addition to the need for political harmony, regional balancing, and respect for religious plurality, Senators Godswill Akpabio and Barau Jibrin are not only ranking senators but also possess the necessary leadership skills.

“With Senators Akpabio and Barau Jibrin in charge of the 10th Senate, there is no doubt that the National Assembly would provide the necessary synergy to His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to ensure that all Nigerians benefit from good governance and democratic dividends.

“We, therefore, call on all you stakeholders to support this patriotic move. In the interest of Nigeria’s national stability, peace, and party cohesion,we equally request once again that other aspirants withdraw their candidacies.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here