…as endorsed faction consults APC NWC
By Tom Okpe
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has warned Godswill Akpabio, endorsed candidate for the party’s President of the 10th Senate and his supporters not to be late on the day of inauguration.
Adamu’s warning is to guard against the 2015 scenario when Ahmad Lawan, the then preferred candidate of the party for Senate President and his supporters came late to the chambers, giving room for the emergence of Bukola Saraki against the ruling party, APC’s wish.
He gave the warning in Abuja on Monday, when Akpabio led Barau Jibrin who is endorsed for deputy president and other Senator’s paid a consultative visit to the APC National Working Committee, (NWC) at the party’s national secretariat, Buhari House.
The Chairman said following protests over the endorsement of candidates for the presiding officers of 10th National Assembly, the NWC has opened more consultations to have common grounds ahead of the proclamation coming up early June.
“Whatever we do, whatsoever signature we collect, the final decision will be on the floor of the Senate and also the House.
“All these efforts are very good and important but we are in a democracy and people are bound to have opinions and we have no right to stop them,” Adamu said.
He reiterated that the party leadership has heeded the advice to make further consultations which were ongoing and have so far been very fruitful.
“I want us to have a rancour free election on the floor, because, even if everybody says it is Akpabio or any other, the rules of the game say there must be election. Those who are in the Senate are aware of the rules.
“On the day of the proclamation by the president, the clerk makes the proclamation. So I do hope and pray that we will carry the day and be victorious. Let me warn, don’t be late. I hope I am communicating. Don’t be late. Once bitten twice shy,” Adamu said.
Earlier, Akpabio who has been anointed for the number three position said they were at the APC National Secretariat to show solidarity and appreciation for the endorsement after wide consultation with stakeholders in Nigeria, adding that the elections were over and governance was about to begin.
While defending his choice for the next Senate President, the former Akwa-Ibom governor said:
“The South/South part of the country, last had a senate president in 1979 about 44 years ago when Joseph Wayas from NPN was Senate President in the Secound Republic.
“Our brothers from the South/East with very capable people have held the position since 1999 for about eight years and also producing the Deputy Senate president for twelve years till the current dispensation.
“The North Central produced David Mark for 12 years, and Bukola Saraki and Mantu, Deputy Senate President.
“Since the President is from the south and the vice from the north, it is right that the Senate President is coming from the south. Of course, the South/West is out, left with the South/South hoping that their brothers from the east will support them.
“The wise men from the NWC graciously zoned the position to the South/South and a party man who served six years in the executive for eight years as governor, served as the Minority Leader of the Senate and Minister to lead the 10th senate.”
He also said the 10th Senate will be totally different from all others as it will be senate of different political parties including the APC, PDP, YPP, Labour Party, NNPP and others.
“We also intend to visit chairmen of other political parties who ‘make up the 10th Senate, believing that we will gain from their imputs and advice.
“Just to mention that we have Senator Hangar quietly seated there of the NNPP from Kano as an example who mentioned his name without adding his party. This is because when we walk into the Senate, we will be addressed as Senators’ of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We have former governor of Yobe, Senator Gaidam and Senator Gbenga Daniel all joining hands with us and Bola Ahmed Tinubu to move Nigeria forward.
“We are grateful to the leadership of the party that gave this opportunity to Senator Godswill Akpabio, the uncommon senator and his brother Senator Barau; we will definitely, bring growth to this country.
“And we are poised to bring change, remember, we still have serving governors, Dave Umahi and Governor Bello; we are seventy in all and growing,” Akpabio said.
He appealed to the NWC to talk to some members of APC who have still not supported the party’s decision to do so for the interest of APC and the country.
“When I was young, I was told about three Gs to fear. God, the gun and government. Both the Bible and the Q’ran asked us to respect leadership because that is the only way to progress. We urge you to talk to them because that is the only way to have progress.
“We have interacted with the governor of Lagos, Kastina and even Rivers State governor to tell them about our plans and policies.
“We intend to bring stability and make you proud to put an end to poverty, insecurity and unemployment through legislations that will change things through supervision and strict oversight,” Akpabio added.
On his part, Jibrin the anointed Deputy President of the 10th Senate said the incoming administration of Bola Tinubu that will be sworn in, two weeks will bring unprecedented development to the country as the National Assembly under them would provide needed collaboration.
“We are here to appreciate the endorsement you have given us. We assure you that we shall abide by the manifestoes and programmes of the party.
“We want to assure you that we shall continue to be loyal and stand for everything this party stands for, knowing that it is for the good of Nigerians.
“We shall by every means, draw attention of our colleagues who are yet to identify with this endorsement,” Barau stated.