Mike Inyangudo writes that former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, possesses the qualities required to stabilise the 10th National Assembly as Senate President.
There are agitations from all quarters in the South-South states calling on the senators-elect across the country on various political platforms to consider the constitution of a vibrant National Assembly, specifically the office of the Senate President, this time as its topmost priority.
The office of Senate Presidency which has been micro-zoned to the South-South geo-political zone by the ruling party, needs someone with impeccable credentials and souring pedigree in legislative matters with interplay of political ascendancy to pilot the affairs of the National Assembly this time.
Of the 15 Senate Presidents we have had in the country since the First Republicin the 1960s, only one came from the South-South zone of the country, in person of Senator Joseph Wayas of blessed memory. Akwa Ibom senator, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, should this time be considered in view of his state humongous contributions to the economic well-being of the nation.
Akpabio’s state of Akwa Ibom has been a major player in the sustenance of the nation’s economy since 2007 when militancy in the Niger Delta were at its peak, causing then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to make Akwa Ibom State Governor’s Lodge his second home. Akpabio’s state has been a leading producer of crude oil that services the economy of the country. Akpabio was able to rake in more than 160,000 votes for his party in Akwa Ibom state where PDP is regarded as a religion, compared to the vote of other senate presidency aspirants in their various states.
With his antecedents as a two-term governor and a Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Akpabio will certainly position the people as the crucial center of legislation in a way that the National Assembly and the Presidency will subsist in a complimentary relationship and not as a rubber-stamp entity.
As a true and loyal party man, it was Akpabio during the party primaries, and without any prompting, that stepped down for the national leader of his party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to ensure that he triumphed to carry the party flag to become the President-Elect today.
In doing this, Akpabio did not take into consideration the humongous expenses he incurred in traversing the nooks and crannies of the country to beg for votes when he contested at the primaries.
It’s our firm belief that Akpabio has a pedigree of integrity and commands support with loyalty across political divide and zones that will enable him to pilot the affairs of the Senate with equanimity, successfully without rancour or acrimony if he is elected the next President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It’s our resolve that he has the wisdom, intelligence with common sense and with the application of intelligence realistically that would enable him to serve the National Assembly creditably, the National President of Niger Delta Leaque of Professionals, Dr. Timi Fynecountry, said.
Akpabio would be the best man for the job of Senate President, considering that he is a man with quick wit, attentiveness to the concerns of others exhibiting politeness with a charm and a dash of charisma, Fynecountry further said.
According to the Niger Delta Leaque of Professionals, Akpabio is one who has plans for national development and he is always ready to pursue it vigorously and whole-heartedly because he is a true believer in the national cohesion and peaceful coexistence and will want to make a difference in all his undertakings and will definitely persevere even in the darkist hour.
Akpabio, according to them, is not one considered to be high-handed or gloat because he has always been fair and considerate. His honesty is ingrained as part of his character.
The former two-time Governor of Akwa Ibom State, they said, possesses leadership qualities that knows when to take charge, the ability not just to control and command but to guide, delegate and influence. He is a man with robust communication skills to clearly articulate ideas and motivate others to rally to his cause for national development. He always works with transparency and accountability with the knowledge that mistakes if occurred, the buck will stop at his desk and he must take responsibility and admit mistakes where necessary.
If given the opportunity to lead the National Assembly, Akpabio is one man who remembers where he comes from and who every other Senator represents and be responsive to their constituents and their needs. For him, it isn’t always about what he wants, but it’s about the entire members of the upper chamber. For Akpabio, a little humility goes a long way to assuage any frayed nerves.
Akpabio is one who will never stop learning and he is flexible about accepting new and better ways to accomplish ends even if that requires a bit of iconoclastic irreverence. He’s one who will readily break out the solar panels, and move ahead with the times and make innovation and technology work for the benefit of all not just a few. He possesses the practicality to know when to be moderate and accomplish goals and when to be radical and fight for values. He always knows limitations and how to take advice. Akpabio has the flexibility to realize that the “enemies” of yesteryears may be the allies of tomorrow and embrace the opportunities that become available.
Akpabio, a lawyer, who was born on December 9,1962, ventured into the uncertain world of politics and was made a Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources, and later as Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Akwa Ibomstate.
He eventually contested as a governor and served for two terms before he went to the senate where he was singled out and made Senate Minority Leader.
Akpabio who is the immediate past minister of Niger Delta Affairs resigned to contest his party primaries for presidency but stepped down for the leader of the party, Asiwaju Tinubu.
Today he’s back into the 10th Senate snd aspiring for the office of Senate President.
-Inyangudo writes from Abuja.