Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Sunday in Lagos sought for the support of the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his ambition to clinch the post of Senate President in the coming 10th National Assembly.
Akpabio, who is a former governor of Akwa-Ibo State, alongside some other senators, both incumbents and newly elected from various political parties, including the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) representing the Support Group, visited Governor Sanwo-Olu at his State House, Marina, to seek his support.
The Senate presidency aspirant, Akpabio told Sanwo-Olu that 69 senators had signed to support his ambition, projecting that the number would soon rise to 86.
According to him, his visit alongside his loyalists was to thank the governor for his support for the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, adding that the 10th National Assembly was made up of “men of integrity who will not allow Nigeria to be bought.”
He commended the governor for his giant stride in Lagos, promising a cordial relationship with the state executive if he becomes the president of the Upper Chamber “to ensure Lagos and Nigeria works.”
“We would work with the next administration to ensure Lagos and Nigeria works. We would address youths’ restiveness. The senators have track records of performance,” he said.
Governor Sanwo Olu, in his response, said the 10th Assembly should be about purposeful leadership and should collaborate with the executive, even as he commended the senators for choosing Akpabio as their candidate for the exalted office of Senate president.
“I have no doubt you have chosen well. The 10th Assembly should surpass the successes of the 9th Assembly. When you succeed, the executive also will succeed. A lot will be expected of you because Nigerians will be looking out for you. You have found the real partner in Lagos State,” he said.
Also speaking, the Director-General of the Support Group, Senator Ali Ndume, said the idea of having a consensus candidate for the Senate President post was for the stability of Nigeria.
The lawmaker said the President-elect, Tinubu convinced him and other aspirants to the position such as former governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi (now Senator-elect), to step down for Akpabio in the interest of the stability of the House.
According to him, Tinubu also advised them to secure the support of the majority of members of the red chamber, adding that within three days of Akpabio indicating interest in the seat, 61 senators appended their signatures supporting him.
He appealed to Governor Sanwo-Olu to support Akpabio’s ambition, saying that some other governors had already been lobbied into the project.
“We have lobbied some governors and we are here to seek your support too. I want to appeal for your support because we know once we have Lagos support, we already have the support of the whole South-West,” he said.
The Deputy Senate President aspirant, Senator Barau Jibrin, said no government can succeed without a strong National Assembly, urging Governor Sanwo- Olu to support them.
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