Senate Presidency: Akpabio faces tougher times as Senators-elect reportedly withdraw support

There are indications that some Senators-elect who were hitherto expressing support for Senator Godswill Akpabio for the Senate Presidency are reportedly making a retreat.

The development is connected with his relationship with the National Assembly as Minister of the Niger Delta.

This is even as the former Akwa Ibom Governor’s Campaign Organisation is now making frantic pleas to senators-elect on his behalf.

Deputy Director-General of Akpabio/Barau Campaign Organisation, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) was quoted to have told the media on Monday that the campaign is appealing to Senators-elect to support Akpabio’s bid.

Some of the senators-elect hinted that they are having a rethink on Akpabio’s Senate Presidency over accusations that he was disrespectful to the legislature when he, as the Minister of Niger Delta, openly accused National Assembly members of hugely benefiting from large contracts in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, without proof.

A senator-elect, who pleaded anonymity confirmed the withdrawal of support for Akpabio, querying how he could preside over the National Assembly he despised.

“I have withdrawn support for Senator Akpabio. It’s not only me. Many of us have withdrawn our support, and it will show on the floor.

”I used to have very high regard for Senator Akpabio as a person, but I can’t support him to be the Senate President.

“How can he (Akpabio) come and preside over an institution which he once described as a cesspit of corruption after benefitting from the same institution” the Senator-elect queried.

Senators-elect will, at the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly on June 13, 2023, elect a new Senate President to pilot the affairs of the Senate for the next four years.

Senator Akpabio is contesting with former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Abdul’ Aziz Yari, who is said to enjoy large followership among senators-elect across party lines.