PRESS RELEASE: 10TH SENATE: THE GROWING NEED TO RALLY ROUND AKPABIO, ESCHEW MYOPIC INTEREST, EMBRACE NATIONAL CONSENSUS, NATIONAL COMPETENCE FOR A VIRILE NATION
*Speech delivered by the CONVENER, PETER IKPEN ILEFA
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We are here today on the need to let the world particularly the political class to know our concern and interest for the race to the 10th Senate Presidency.
Elections have come and gone and the need to spread political offices across the geographical zones in the country becomes imperative to build an all inclusive administration where every segment of the Nigerian State will have a stake by embracing the principles of equity, national solidarity, fairplay and justice.
It is on record that the political arrangements in our recent past have not sufficiently favour the South-South geopolitical zone particularly as it concerns the Senate Presidency and to this end we request the support of all other segments of the Nigerian nation to support the endorsement of Senator Godswill Obot Akabio, by the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In the South-South region, we have the presence of the APC more than every other place in Southern Nigeria apart from South West and the 2023 general elections points to this fact. The results from the South-South region formed integral part of the victory the All Progressives Congress, APC is enjoying today and we however appreciate the endorsement of the Uncommon Senator for the 10th Senate Presidency.
In Delta State for instance, the APC produced two Senators ditto Edo State, Cross River and one from Akwa Ibom State this is in addition to a large number of members of House of Representatives under the fold of the party.
In view of the above analysis, we request that all sons and daughters first and foremost of the Niger Delta region queues behind our illustrious son without necessarily playing the pull him down politics which is detrimental to collective progress and development.
“It is noteworthy that while other zones have had their fair share of political offices particularly as it concerns the Senate presidency, the South-South region apart from the late Senator Joseph Wayas, who held forth in the second Republic, our region has not gotten to that exalted office again”.
It is on record that the South East had had the opportunity of producing 8 Senate President most of whom were during the regime of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and has sufficiently gone round the five south eastern states . We have stopped to be onlookers in the politics of Nigeria and without sounding immodest, the Senate presidency for all intents and purposes have been graciously zoned to our region and ultimately pinned down to our Uncommon Senator who is an agent of change and accelerated development in the Niger Delta region.
It is of note too that the South East clamour for the Presidency of Nigeria and the 2023 presidential election afforded them the opportunity to make a good showing at the polls of which they are still in the clamour for that and not the Senate presidency. We should be able to separate individual aspiration from national consensus. The consensus of Ndigbo is Nigeria’s presidency and the South-South gave them all the support for it but at this point, we clamour for the Senate Presidedency, we call for their support in this regard with Senator Akpabio as our ‘numero uno.’
Good a thing, in his response to the clamour for government of national unity, the President-Elect had stated that, his preference is for a government of national competence and this we agree with. A government that will place value on merit and not mediocrity, a government that won’t sacrifice capacity and competence for mundane issue of ethnicity… is what we crave in our new Nigeria.
In view of the foregoing, we express our gratitude and appreciation to PANDEF for throwing its weight solidly behind the enthronement of a South-Southern Senate presidency which by the grace of God is underway to fruition and we call on those we describe as regional dissidents to eschew their political rigmarole and join the queue to building a formidable South-South region through the enthronement of Senator Akpabio Senate presidency.
We call on those making clandestine moves to drop the gab of envy, jealousy, evil concupiscience and join the ship of national unity with Senator Akapbio as the number 3 man in the spirit of brotherhood, friendliness and national cohesion…
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we are informing you that as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian state, we deserve the number 3 position in the country having half-heartedly gotten the Nigeria’s presidency for just once and this time, the Senate President is coming to us and we need the support of all Nigerians in the APC’s determined efforts to see an Akpabio Senate presidency.
THE DRAMA OF TREACHERY
We have found it very necessary to beam our searchlight on those our own who have chosen to “point to their father’s house with left hands an action not worthy of a brother.
They have formed a league of former and newly elected senators from the South South who have elected to go against their region.
We sympathize with those in this league standing against our regional interest by undermining the collective aspirations of our region to produce the president of the 10th Senate – it is shameful.
These enemies of a united South-South has exuded a condemnable act of irresponsible ignorance in their call against the common interest of the region, they have goofed badly. While these enemies are routing for an individual outside Senator Akpabio who is their regional brother, leading themselves into infamy we gladly call on them to retrace their steps, more particularly Senators-elect from Akwa Ibom State because the party and the people have spoken and loudly too – Akpabio is the consensus candidate and heaven will not fall. Our Senators-elect from South-South who are working against the interest of the zone should come off this shameful act and decline been used as clock in the wheel of change. This is a collective project that deserves their full backing, hence posterity beckons on all those seen to be enemies of our region to do the needful and throw their weight behind Senator Akpabio, a God chosen son of the region.
Nobody can sabotage our regional interest especially those whom our people had conscientiously served their interests and we shall leave no stone unturned to ensure that these enemies of South-South and their co-confederates are shamed with the victory of the uncommon Senatorat the appointed time.
The SSSG is widening its mobilization of Senators and leaders across the country to ensure that Senator Akpabio becomes the Senate President of the 10th Senate and no conspiracy/gang up can stop it because, the party is supreme.
With keen interest we have watched them drivel and drool on national television calling for the Senate presidency to go elsewhere but we wonder what is there to appease. Who is aggrieved and over what? Who offended who? The Nigerian state has offended no region let alone using a national office to gamble because a group of anti democratic elements want it so as to satisfy their shenanigans, we say NO to this – Senator Akpabio is the square peg in a square hole.
A PEEP INTO AKPABIO’S SENATE PRESIDENCY
Ladies and gentlemen of the ever vibrant Nigerian Press, we sincerely give kudos to the APC who have decided to Elect a Senate President in the person of Senator Akpabio in its drive to birth a new nation.
A look into the giant strides of the then Governor Akpabio in Akwa-Ibom State where he initiated massive developmental projects, built human capacity, thrusted up men and women being a talent hunter, turned Uyo to a mega city within 8 years shows what such a man will do in the Senate when he leads it.
Akpabio is a team player who will build a formidable Senate mainly for the growth and development of the nation and not to antagonise other arms of government. He will build harmonious relationship in the red Chambers of our national assembly. An Akpbio’s President of the Senate won’t see the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces as his enemy or look at him disdainfully from distance like a fox due to inordinate ambition of becoming the President through the back door. Akpabio will bring his administrative expertise to bear in robust deliberations on national issues.
An Akpbio’s Senate presidency would be active and not passive, it will be productive and not retrogressive and Nigerians will be better for it.
Sen. Godswill Akpabio’s Senate presidency will build national unity and cohesion treating all issues in its merit and ensure that our national growth is not stunted.
With Asiwaju as the President, Shettima as Vice President and Akpabio as President of the Senate, Nigerians will witness massive national rebirth, growth and development in all facets of our economy.
As an astute politician with superlative public relations, Akpabio zeal to build bridges across the country is not in doubt.
Therefore, we give kudos to those Northern Governors who have seen reason beyond ethnicity to build a new Nigeria by readily supporting the emergence of southern President and Senate President, we call on our senators-elect from the north to kill every form of antagonism and join hands with the south-south region to produce a Christian Senate President to compliment our muslim President and his Vice .
To our President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we say thank you for counting Senator Godswill Akpabio worthy to be entrusted with the respected office of the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. We have implicit confidence in the capacity of the trio of the President, Vice President and the Senate President for the realisation of a better, stronger, equitable and more reliable nation that is sure of being among the first twenty economies of the world at the fullness of time.
Ours is a rainbow coalition of groups in the Niger Delta region and beyond routing for a more equitable and workable Nigeria. We thank our grand patron who is the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Cross River State, Chief. Hon. Martin Orim and our amiable Patron, Engineer Ben Ogede who have been the strength behind this group. May God be with you all.
Thanks and God bless.