Akpabio’s leadership style facing resistance in the Senate – Former Akwa-Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, the Senate’s president and the first Southerner to hold the position in sixteen years, is up against stiff resistance from both inside and outside the ruling party.
Akpabio is facing resistance to his leadership style in the upper house, which many Nigerians now refer to as the “retirement home” of former governors.
APC members make up a large portion of the lawmakers who have publicly opposed him.
The coordinator of Akpabio’s campaign, Sen. Ali Ndume, is engaged in a protracted legal dispute with him, while Elisha Abbo led the opposition to Akpabio until his removal from the House.
Ndume has already made two public challenges to Akpabio. He was declared out of order by Akpabio last week, and he walked out of the Chamber. However, he subsequently stated that he had stormed out of the Chamber to worship at the mosque instead.
However, because of his track record of losing nearly all of his fights with Senate Presidents, Ndume is not viewed by many as a formidable opponent.
He backed Bukola Saraki in 2015, but after he challenged the outgoing governor of Kwara State, he was abruptly ousted as Senate Leader.
Furthermore, Abbo was fired by the Court of Appeal and removed from the Senate.
However, Akpabio is still in danger. Recall that Akpabio did not win the House by a landslide victory like Abbas Tajudeen won. In spite of the president’s and the party’s endorsement, Abdulaziz Yari received 46 votes, whereas Akpabio received 63.
Senate insiders told Swagenews that several senators view Yari as a strong contender against Akpabio, who is currently encountering the same obstacles that previous Southern senate presidents did.
Adolphus Wabara, Ken Nnamani, Evans Enwerem, Chuba Okadigbo, and Anyim Pius Anyim were the five Southerners who held the seat from 1999 to 2007. For various reasons, three of the seat’s occupants were evicted. Nonetheless, the Northerners who held the position have enjoyed a largely steady tenure.
For eight years in a row, Senator David Mark presided over the Senate. Bukola Saraki held office for four years in spite of the executive branch’s objections. He finished his term, and Ahmad Lawan’s was trouble-free as well.
Many people think that the Senate’s composition has something to do with the challenges faced by Southerners. There are 51 senators from the South and 58 from the North. Furthermore, the vast majority of Southern senators belong to opposing parties.
A senior legislative aide told Daily POST,“Akpabio just needs to be circumspect in managing the Senators, many of whom are also former Governors themselves,” but he asked to remain anonymous.
Swagenews has learned that President Tinubu’s appointment distribution has not truly benefited Senator Akpabio, as several Northern senators have expressed dissatisfaction with the “yorubanization” of the administration. To their dismay, Akpabio has contributed to the confirmation of every appointment.
Since they desire improved funding for the National Assembly and the 2024 budget is anticipated to be presented soon, many senators are reluctant to oppose Senate President Tinubu for fear of upsetting him.
Recall that at the start of this Assembly, President Tinubu gave the legislators a N70 billion budget and that all members of the National Assembly will now receive SUVs for the first time rather than the Toyota Camries they had previously received.
“No one is ready to offend the president. Did you see a recent report where members of the Labour Party shunned Abure (Labour Party National Chairman, Julius Abure) by insisting that they won’t reject the SUVs,” the aide said.
As of right now, Opeyemi Bamidele, Solomon Olamilekan, Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin, and the President’s men are all positioned to support Akpabio despite the fact that Akpabio’s leadership style facing resistance in the Senate.