10th NASS: 37 APC senators-elect reject Akpabio, Barau as Tinubu's choice for Senate President, deputy - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Saturday, May 6, 2023

10th NASS: 37 APC senators-elect reject Akpabio, Barau as Tinubu's choice for Senate President, deputy


...opt for Kalu, Yari ticket 

About 37 Senator-elect from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have allegedly rejected the advanced choice of Senators Godswill Akpabio and Jubrin Barau for Senate President and deputy senate president respectively.

The choice of the duo, it was learnt was communicated to the Senators-elect by the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at an expanded meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC on Friday night in Abuja.

The meeting also had the leadership of the National Assembly.

Akpabio who was the immediate past minister of Niger Delta Affairs hails from Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district while Barau represents Kano North zone.

It also learnt that the president-elect also told the gathering that his choice for speakership of the House of Representatives was Hon. Tajudeen Abbas who represents Zaria Federal constituency of Kaduna State.

A source which was privy to the meeting and preferred not to be mentioned said, the senators said no to the choice of Akpabio, citing national unity and cohesion.

In the alternative, the senators pointed to the direction of the Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu and the former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari for Senate President and deputy senate president respectively.

While Kalu represents Abia North senatorial district, Yari was recently voted to represent Zamfara West senatorial zone.

The source added that APC senators who visibly showed their disapproval of preferred choices demanded the neutrality of the president-elect in the elections of the presiding and the principal officers of the 10th national assembly.

Akpabio's choice, it was learnt, came after he had failed to convince Tinubu that he had about 60 Senators-elect backing his bid, a development which had earlier made the camp of the president-elect to ask for the list of his backers.

Recall that that APC has 59 senators while opposition parties put together have 50 senators-elects, making it a total of 109 after the February 25 general elections.

The detail are the PDP 36; LP 8; NNPP 2; YPP 1; APGA 1 and SDP 2.
"About 37 APC senators-elect have rejected the choice of Akpabio as the Senate President. He was introduced alongside senator Barau as the deputy senate president. 

"But the senators cited national unity and said they would rather vote for Orji Kalu and Yari as the Senate President and the deputy.

"They also appealed to the president-elect who also chose Tajudeen Abbas for speaker not to interfere in the elections of the presiding officers. This is the situation now", the source said.

On the choice of Abbas, the gathering expressed concern that Abbas may not be accepted by the generality of the House, saying it would be difficult to market him.

The source said that they people were rooting for the chairman, House committee on Appropriations, Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara from Borno State.

Abbas is said to have the support of the outgoing speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila although he had since denied it , saying he was waiting for the party's zoning formula before throwing his weight behind the growing list of contestants for speakership of the incoming assembly.

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