Senate Presidency: Akpabio, APC Senators-elect Meet Tinubu In Rivers
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Goodwill Akpabio, has led senators-elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to Rivers State to meet with the president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
Tinubu has been in Rivers State commissioning some projects executed by the state governor, Nyesom Wike.
Akpabio who’s widely seen as the next president of the Senate was seen introducing his colleagues to Tinubu in a meeting attended by Shuaib Salisu from Ogun State and Solomon Olamilekan from Lagos State, among others.
A source told THE WHISTLER that Akpabio has also found favour with Wike who conveyed his support of Akpabio’s candidacy to his guest, Tinubu.
Details have not been revealed about the actual focus nor has any statement been issued.
However, the meeting is taking place just when Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, declared that Akpabio would be the next Senate President.
Akpabio, who has also found support in the camp of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, is believed to be well positioned to emerge as the sole candidate for the post of the Senate President of the 10th Assembly.
The Assembly would be inaugurated first week of June, a week after a new president must have been inaugurated.
The former Minister of Niger Delta had stepped down for Tinubu during the party’s presidential election primary in June 2022.
Unlike former presidential aspirants under the APC, Akpabio has remained supportive of Tinubu and joined his campaign leading to APC’s victory in the 2023 election.
Although the party is yet to zone the principal positions for the Assembly, its National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, has said the party was waiting for the president-elect to arrive at whether to toe the line of consensus or zoning.
But at a meeting in Calabar, Cross River, Ganduje declared Akpabio would be the next president of the Senate.
Ganduje, who’s one of the closest political allies of Tinubu from the North, is held in high regard by the president-elect.
The meeting which was also attended by Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, with the host Governor Ben Ayade, enabled Ganduje to say it’s a done deal for Akpabio to emerge as Senate President.
“The senate president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will come from the south-south and it is no other person than the former governor of Akwa Ibom,” he said.
“The uncommon governor, the uncommon minister who is going to be the uncommon president of the senate. So we have resolved that.
“I am giving you assurance, we are waiting for the D-Day that he will be the senate president of Nigeria.”
No member of the meeting explained if Ganduje was on the campaign trip for Akpabio but the host Govenor said, “I want to thank you so much for zoning the senate president to the south-south and to our brother from a neighbouring state who is also part of Cross River state,” the governor said.
“We want to thank you for this great opportunity because our dream of a Bakassi seaport is becoming very real.”
Others who have publicly declared their interest in the position are are Jibrin Barau (Kano), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Governor Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia), Osita Izunaso (Imo) and Sani Musa (Niger).