Home Nigeria In Alliance With Jibrin, Godswill Akpabio Gets Momentum, Over 65 Senators Sign,...

In Alliance With Jibrin, Godswill Akpabio Gets Momentum, Over 65 Senators Sign, Support

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Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio

Thisdaylive.com

Former Akwa Ibom State governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, might have gained considerable edge in his bid to become the 10th senate president, following his alliance with another aspirant, Senator Barau Jibrin, as his prospective deputy, if he emerged senate president.To give weight and meaning to this bid, over 65 senators were said to have aligned with the Akpabio/Jibrin alliance and had allegedly declared their support for them, after signing off their commitment as proof they were in on the project.

But a former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is said to be waiting in the wings, even though a first time senator, however relies on the constitution of the country, which describes all senators as equal and can aspire to any office.

At the same time, another former governor, but of Abia State, Orji Kalu, has refused to stand down from the race, riding on the political morality that, for balancing and fairness, the office of the senate president should be conceded to the South East, a decision that would comfortably place him in a vantage position in the race.

However, as the jostling for the office of the 10th senate president gathers momentum, Akpabio has begun to leverage relationship and advantage as a former governor and senator to gain edge over other contenders to the office of the senate president.The former Minority Leader of the senate, even as a first timer, is said to have in his camp at the time of filing this report, about 65 senators, who were said to have signed off their commitment, after declaring support for his ambition.

The senators, comprising new and old members, were believed to have lined up behind Akpabio, because of the need to balance the north/south dichotomy as well as faith at the top echelon in the power equation, since the incoming president, Bola Tinubu, and his deputy, Kashim Shettima, are Muslims.

Although the election of the leadership of the 10th senate promises to be testy as other power centres, interests groups and caucuses have risen up to the challenge that the ambition of their candidates had thrown up, there are other factors that stakeholders believe would inform the choice of the eventual winner.Yet, with Barau, the senator representing Kano north in alliance with Akpabio, for the office of the Deputy Senate President, the conclusion that the tide might have begun to tilt in their favour, is arguably not unfounded and fast changing the game.

This, nonetheless, Oshiomhole has refused to give up on his aspiration, even though he has been quiet and discreet about it, hoping that things would soon get to a head and the current cards would be reshuffled to his advantage.Oshiomhole, who is disadvantaged because he is not a ranking senator, is said to be relying on the provisions of the constitution, which allows all senators to run as a function of their fundamental human rights, and regardless of the extant rules.

But the fate of the former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is dependent to a very large extent, on how the entire gamut of the aspirations of other qualified and aspiring senators, play out before June, when the leadership election would hold.In the same vein, Kalu, who is seen by many of his colleagues and party members as having some credibility crisis hanging on his neck, thought he was not only qualified, but has the capacity and means to lead the senate.

In addition, Kalu held the view that zoning the seat to the South East would give the Igbo some sense of belonging as it would be seen as a conscious effort to address the alleged recurring marginalisation of the Igbo in the political arrangement of the country.Nevertheless, while other contenders are still pulling strings to establish themselves in the currently fluid situation, there are clear indications to suggest that Akpabio might have taken a shocking lead in the battle for senate presidency.

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