All Progressives Congress members are rallying behind Senator Godswill Akpabio for the position of Senate President, with the Concerned APC Members Forum taking a leading role in the lobbying efforts.
Convener of the Forum, Okpokwu Ogenyi, briefing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, demanded APC leaders and elected lawmakers in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly to support the emergence of Akpabio from Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria, as Senate President and Senator Barau Jibrin of the APC from Kano State, North West Nigeria for Deputy Senate President.
Ogenyi declared: “We are aware that zoning is not done in a vacuum, so, we highly recommend Sen. Godswill Akpabio for the position of Senate President and Senator Barau Jibrin as Deputy Senate President respectively”.
Ogenyi said that their support was based on consideration of federal character in the zoning of the 10th senate leadership bearing in mind, competence and credibility with an understanding that the country is a circular state with multi-faith.
According to him, the development will go a long way in building the confidence of party members across the country in preparation for the future of the party.
“It is pertinent to note that, in the South, South-South contributed the second highest votes after South-West which houses the President-elect.
“The North-West gave the party the highest votes in the North with Kano state consistently giving APC the highest vote per state in every election since the formation of the party.
“More so, our submission is based on their legislative experience, prudent financial management, fair disposition towards national peace and unity, care for the less privileged, competence, reward for hard work, electoral value and diplomatic relations.
“In the National Assembly, Sen. Akpabio is the most ranking senator from the South-South under the platform of the APC while Sen. Barau Jibrin is the most ranking senator from the North West.
“We call on the President-elect, the Progressives Governor’s Forum (PGF) and the State chairmen of our party to implement a government of National competence by supporting the zoning of the Senate Presidency to the South-South and Deputy to the North West,” Ogenyi stated.
He noted that the constitution of the party and its manifesto which does not preach religion, ethnicity, and tribal dichotomy, emphasised competence while providing qualitative leadership for Nigerians.
“It is a fact that for the executive arm of government to perform maximally, it must work with the legislature professionally to ensure dividends of democracy to the teaming population of Nigerians.
“We understand that the business of legislature is highly professional because it deals with law-making and financial appropriation, its leadership must be able, ready, and willing to support Mr. President in the governance of the country.
“We believe that, the party’s role in the National Assembly Leadership is to ensure the emergence of a competent senator who has distinguished himself over the years, devoid of religious and tribal sentiment.
“We need a pan-Nigerian who has been tested and trusted, proven worthy of integrity, character and prudent management.
“The President-elect is from the South-West and the Vice President-elect is from the Nort-East, as such, the Senate President should be zoned to the South-South and the Deputy Senate President to the North West.
“The speaker of the House of Representatives and deputy should be accommodated by the other zones in view of competence and credibility of Honourable members,” Ogenyi said.
He further said that the President-elect needed highly competent National Assembly members with vast knowledge of legislative business to complement him in delivering dividends of democracy to Nigerians.