The candidate for the 10th National Assembly under the ruling All Progressives Congress, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has expressed worry about the impending challenges over the growing tussle for the seat.
Akpabio stated this on Tuesday evening in his speech during a meeting with the APC Non-Serving Senators Group in Abuja.
He, therefore, called for prayers for him saying there is a war out there for him while promising that the 10th Senate would work with the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, to pay off the nation’s debts.
Akpabio further thanked the ex-lawmakers for their endorsement and promised to justify the confidence they reposed in him upon election as Senate President.
He said, “I am excited that God is keeping all of you alive. This is a family and I am very proud to belong to this family.
“I want to also appeal that you not only endorse us but support us with your prayers because what I am seeing out there is that it is a war. But I see it as a storm in a teacup.”
“For me, the priorities are very clear: an all-inclusive Senate that will work for Nigeria and that we will all be proud of.
“We must support the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu to pay our debts,” Akpabio said.
On his part, the Governor of Cross Rivers state, Professor Ben Ayade, said he was at the meeting to confirm the support of the South-South for Akpabio and the APC candidate for the position of Deputy Senate President, Senator Barau Jibrin.
The Cross River state governor added, “Nigeria is the leader of Africa and the world is watching. What is going to happen in the Senate would be taken as a reflection of African politics. Our people can’t afford to watch a macabre dance. We must have a seamless transition.
“The independence of the legislature is guaranteed in the constitution but it is derived from the executive.
“Leadership takes time to mature, let us support the nominee of Mr. President. I always support somebody with capacity and I know that Akpabio has the capacity. Let us move away from the emotional calculation of what my zone is going to have.”
In his contribution, Senator Barnabas Gemade called for support for Akpabio and Jibrin.
He noted that since the North Central has Senator Abdullahi Adamu as National Chairman of the APC, South West has President-elect, Tinubu, NorthEast has Senator Kashim Shettima as Vice President-elect, and the position of Senate President and Deputy Senate President have been zoned to the South-South and Northwest respectively by the party, any zone left out would be taken of by the time the APC consummates it zoning of presiding offices in the House of Representatives.
On his part, the Minister of Special Duties, Senator George Akume called on the APC to unite and support Akpabio and Jibrin towards a seamless take-off of the incoming administrations of President-elect Tinubu.
The high point of the meeting was when Akpabio ensure that Gemade and Akume shook hands and embraced as a symbol of resolving any crisis between them.
The convener of the group, Senator Basheer Lado, in his welcome address, said the APC Non-Serving Senators Group has risen to 76 members that are committed to the cause of ensuring the emergence of Akpabio and Jibrin as presiding officers of the 10th Senate.
Lado said, “As we are all aware, the APC NWC has endorsed the candidature and aspiration of Senator Godswill Akpabio as Senate President and Senator Barau Jibril as Deputy Senate President.
“As politicians and beneficiaries of Nigeria’s Democracy, we believe that the continued consolidation of Nigeria’s political maturity can only be sustained through Peace, Stability, Unity, and Progress of the constituents that make up the entire country.
“Our support for the candidature of Senator Godswill Akpabio from the South as Senate President and Senator Barau Jibrin from the North as Deputy Senate President indeed is to strike the needed political balance, ethnicity and religious diversity of Nigeria as one indivisible nation.
“As critical stakeholders, we assure the leadership of the APC, The President-Elect, The Vice President-Elect, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and Senator Barau Jibril of our unflinching commitment and support towards the actualization of this objective.
“We therefore respectfully, once again appeal to other aspirants to step down their ambition in the interest of National Unity, Peace, National Stability of Nigeria, and Party cohesion.
“We believe strongly, Senator Akpabio and Senator Barau Jibril at the helm of affairs in the 10th assembly will further compliment the administration of Distinguished Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima in delivering good governance and democratic dividends, to all Nigerians.”