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More lawmakers, CSOs unite against Akpabio



  • Push for his resignation

From Fred Itua, Abuja

The crisis rocking the camp of the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, maybe far from over, as more lawmakers and a coalition of civil society are seeking his immediate resignation.

Akpabio is being accused of creating a pseudo impeachment plot to picth senators against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The lawmakers and Civil Society Organisations are angered by the damage being done to them by what they called “imaginary impeachment plot targetted at pitching senators against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

The lawmakers expressed worries that instead of creating a synergy between the executive arm of government and the legislature for meaningful national development, Akpabio had created an imaginary war between the two arms of government.

At least,16 former governors across political parties in the Northern and Southern parts of the country have become very bitter about what they call “ingenious and unpatriotic survival plot by Akpabio and a few senators.”

On Tuesday, a pro-democracy group and National Assembly Watch Group, Coalition for Parliamentary Democracy (CPD), asked Akpabio to step down from his position, having admitted that he has fallen out of favour with his colleagues in the upper legislative chamber.

A message circulated among Northern senators last Saturday by Senator Elisha Ishaku Agbo, had hinted that loyalists of Akpabio, sponsored the news report about the rumoured planned impeachment of the Senate president to set Northern lawmakers against President Tinubu.

It reads: “I woke up today to see over 10 mainstream Nigerian newspapers, all carrying news of a plan to impeach Senator Akpabio by senators from Nothern Nigeria. The Whistler Newspaper went ahead to mention Senator Yari, Senator Tambuwal, and Senator Onawo, among others, as the senators behind the move.

“As a Nothern Senator and a official of the Nothern Senators forum, I make it bold to say that this news is deliberately planted and syndicated by the ” camp” of Senator Akpabio just to set President Bola Tinubu against the North.”

He called on Akpabio to call his camp to order adding that “the seed of discord and deep ethno – religious division they are sowing will not augur well for the country. Why the North? Why in Saudi Arabia?.”

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“If Akpabio and his camp wanted a united Senate just like Ahmed Lawal, they could have known exactly what to do during Senate Standing Committees allocation and supplementary budget resources allocation.”

The lawmaker claimed that “the camp of the Senate President continued to treat the senate as a conquered territory where the winner goes home with the spoils of war. A classical example of a winner takes all.”

“How do you explain a situation where out of Category A Committees only two went to his perceived rivals? How will you explain a senate where 83.1% of those made Chairmen of Category A Committees are also Vice Chairmen of Category A? How do you explain a third time Senator denied the Chairmanship of a Committee? How do you explain leadership of the Senate are all Vice Chairmen of Category A Committees?”

CPD, which was reacting to claims from Akpabio’s office that “one South-South Governor” was behind the impeachment threat to remove him from office, counseled Senator Akpabio to stop pointing accusing fingers and rather come clean on why his colleagues wants him ousted as Senate President.

CPD in a statement by the national coordinator, Dr. Menike Johnson, on Tuesday accused Akpabio of seeking to heat up the polity by pointing accusing fingers whereas his colleagues had clearly adduced that his “failure to fit into the duties of a Presiding Officer and providing a transparent and credible leadership as reason for their decision to move against him.”

Insisting that the nation needs a very stable and united National Assembly at this critical time, CDP said Nigerians cannot afford to take a Senate that is plagued by an unstable leadership which does not command the loyalty of the lawmakers

CPD describes as “disappointing” that instead of answering his colleagues, the embattled Senate President “is resorting to a face-saving measure of accusing a state governor; a very dangerous and unstatesmanlike venture that is capable of triggering crisis in the polity.

“As Parliamentary watchers we believe that Senator Akpabio should face the issues raised by his colleagues including allegations of lack of transparency, violation of elementary rudiments, conventions and processes of presiding over the Senate, diminishing the integrity of the Senate on financial matters and claims of preferentialism in the management of the Senate.

“The attempt to overheat the polity by blaming external individuals is therefore a self-indicting measure that does not provide the much-expected answers to very critical issue of leadership failure raised by senators against the embattled Senate President.

“Having admitted that he has lost favour with his colleagues; and having no answers to the very serious issues raised by the Senators which borders on leadership failure, we counsel Senator Akpabio to save the nation further trouble by stepping down as Senate President.

“Our nation is in a very critical moment and Nigerians cannot afford a Senate that is plagued by an unstable leadership which does not command the loyalty of the lawmakers.”

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