The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the North has urged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to support a former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to emerge as the Senate President for the 10th National Assembly.
The Chairman of the coalition, Mallam Danjuma Muhammad and Secretary Hon. Adeyeye Olugbenga, made the call Thursday in Abuja at a press conference where they also called for zoning of the senate presidency to the south-south.
Muhammad, at the media conference said that after deliberation by the coalition members, they resolved to endorse and support the emergence of Senator Akpabio, who was also the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, due to his being the most competence and integrity.
The coalition said its decision was motivated by the patriot desire Akpabio had demonstrated towards the Northern region as a bridge builder through synergies of social relationship and peaceful coexistence.
“It is on this premise that we, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in the North, after a lengthy session of an intensely debated permutations and deliberations decided to endorse and support the emergence of Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio, former Executive Governor of Akwa-Ibom State and immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs as the next Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Our decision to endorse and support Senator Godswill Akpabio for the coveted office of the Senate President, was motivated by the patriotic desire with so much love he has demonstrated towards our region as a bridge builder through synergies of social relationship and peaceful coexistences, also his zeal to ensure a smooth and amicable working relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government due to his wealth of experience in administrative and legislative management.
“The National Assembly being the engine room of democratic governance requires a man of positive action and uncommon leadership ability, like Senator Godswill Akpabio as its Chairman.
“From his antecedents and accomplishments, Senator Godswill Akpabio possesses the requisite quality of leadership and innate ability to lead the next National Assembly to successful deliberations, without crises or fracas to surmount the monumental challenges confronting the nation,” he said.
Muhammad noted that since the beginning of the 4th Republic on 29th May, 1999 till date, the office of the Senate President has never been occupied by a Nigerian of Southern minority extraction.
He said, “However, despite our views and sentiments we are bold to say that merit, competence, and integrity should not be sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity in considering who becomes the next Senate President of the 10th Assembly and we see Senator Akpabio is the right man for the job.”
“To this end, our various organizations have unanimously decided to formally appeal to individual members and Senators-Elect, on the need to support Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio as the next Senate President and Chairman of the joint Assembly.
“We appeal to the able leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to consolidate the party’s new political gains in the South-South geopolitical zone, as evident in the just concluded presidential election, by ensuring that Senator Godswill Akpabio emerges as the next Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Muhammad said.