As the race for the President of the 10th Senate hots up, a socio-political group, the Coalition of South-South Community for United Nigeria, Justice and Equity, has threw it’s weight behind the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, insisting that he is highly qualified to be the President of the Senate in the 10th National Assembly.
The coalition also appealed to the All Progressives Congress, APC, the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the senators-elect to zone the Senate President to the South-South for equity, justice and fairness.
Addressing a press conference on the issue on Monday, April 17, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, the Chairman of the Coalition, Rt. Hon Eseme Eyiboh, said that Akpabio has the capacity and pedigree to occupy the office of the Senate President.
He therefore called on the APC, the President-elect, the Vice President-elect and senators-elect to ensure that the Senate President emerge from the South-South.
Eyiboh said, “Since 1999, we have had a model, that where the President goes is where the Senate President and Speaker go. The South-South that produces the oil has not been part of the priority list of the government.
“We are united by this demand, appeal and request to the APC, the President-elect, Asiwaju Tinubu, the Vice President-elect and senators-elect that the position of Senate President should be zoned to the South-South.
“It is a request to the APC, the President-elect, Asiwaju Tinubu and all the well-meaning Nigerians that the office of the Senate President should be zoned to the South-South.
“The reasons are very clear; since 1999, the position of the Senate President has always been occupied by one region.
“So, if we follow the model of what has been going on in this country, each time the Senate President comes to Southern Nigeria, it is usually micro-zoned to the South East.
“The South-East has had uninterrupted Senate President five times. His Excellency, Adolphos Wabara from Abia State; Evans Enwerem from Imo State; Chuba Okadigbo from Anambra State; Pius Anyim from Ebonyi State and Ken Nnamani from Enugu State.
“The position has been distributed to the five South-Eastern states, so, now the Senate President coming to the South cannot go to the South-West, because the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is from the South-West, the natural place, if we mean zoning, it should go to the South-South.
“What an average Nigerian is looking for now is strong institutions, and not strong individuals; sustainable development goals and we need somebody who has the pedigree and capacity to actualise that for a united Nigeria; and that person is here in the South-South.
“We are presenting, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for this position; without a doubt we seek the support of all. We need to give a match to someone with the capacity to match with what the executive is doing.”
The former spokesperson of the House of Representatives said that Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom; a former Senate Minority Leader and one-time Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has the ability to galvanise the executive and the legislature for the betterment of the country.
CompassNG reports that members of the coalition, who supported Rt. hon Eyiboh at the press conference include: Mr Gabriel Edi, Cross River State and Mr Kassim Afegbua, Edo State.
Others are: Mr Seaiyefa Egbirin, Bayelsa State; Mr Tamuno Green, Rivers State; Mrs Rosemary Reyeneju; Delta State; Dr Martins Udoinyang, Dr Emaeyak Ukpong and Mr Ubokutom Nyah, Akwa Ibom State.