By Deji Elumoye and Udora Orizu
The Southern Senators Forum (SSF) of the ninth Senate yesterday elected new leaders to run its affairs, with a resolution to always support an indivisible country despite the challenges facing Nigeria.
Briefing journalists after unveiling the new leadership in a closed-door meeting that lasted about one hour, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, said the forum agreed to be united behind the leadership of the ninth Senate under the leadership of the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan.
He said they also agreed to work with their northern counterparts for the unity and development of Nigeria
According to Omo-Agege, ‘’We are united-both the northern and southern senators forum. We are united behind the leadership of the ninth Assembly headed by Dr. Ahmed Lawan. By June 11, we would have been in the ninth Senate for two years. And we felt it’s proper that we inaugurate the leadership of this platform to provide leadership for senators from the southern part of the country.
“We all resolved that notwithstanding the challenges facing this country, we support a united Nigeria. I’m a presiding officer; it’s my leadership obligation to midwife the leadership for this platform.”
The new leadership, according to Omo-Agege, has Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) as the chairman; Senator Stella Oduah (PDP, Anambra) as the vice chairman; Senator Matthew Uroghide (PDP, Edo) as the secretary-general; Senator Adeola Olamilekan (APC, Lagos) as treasurer; Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu) as the publicity secretary, and Senator Degi Eremienyo (APC, Bayelsa) as the financial secretary.
In his speech, the new forum Chairman, Senator Bamidele, pledged to hold the position in trust, and ensure Nigeria’s unity.
He said: “We appreciate the honor bestowed on us by our colleagues. It’s a position we are holding on trust. It requires us to be at our best to be able to manage our unity in diversity. We also look forward to working to further strengthen the leadership of the Senate itself, while also providing a voice for the people we represent as well as also doing all we can to ensure that the unity of Nigeria that we are all looking forward to is strengthened.”