Sunday Aborisade in Abuja
The Vice-President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, yesterday, explained that the All Progressives Congress (APC) endorsed Senator Godswill Akpabio for the position of Senate President, because his emergence would guarantee national stability, and unity.
Shettima stated this when Akpabio and Senator Jibrin Barau, visited him in company with some senators-elect, who were members of the Stability Group working for the emergence of the APC anointed candidates for the position of Senate President and Deputy Senate President.
The group of senators-elect was led by Senator Ali Ndume.
Shettima told his guests that the choice of Akpabio as the number three citizen in the country was the best decision made by the party leadership and the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Noting that it was in the interest of a stable polity based on competence, Shettima said, “Politics shouldn’t be a means of disuniting our people.
“It should rather be a means of uniting us. The President-elect and the vice-president elect are both Muslims. It is in the interest of the stability and unity of this country that the next position be given to the Christian faith, if not, it would further validate the allegations in some quarters that there were plans by the APC to execute an Islamism agenda in the country.
“Doing so would also be an insult to our Christian brothers and sisters who stuck out their necks to support us. That was why I was quite pleased with the choice of the party leadership that my uncommon brother and leader in the person of Senator Godswill Akpabio should be the number three citizen of this country.
“The stability of this nation is much more important than whatever political considerations we may think of. We need to have a stable and united nation before we can talk about politics and positions. This is what our leader could do to unite this country in the current circumstances.
“Akpabio had the exposure, competence and experience to occupy the office of the Senate President in the 10th Senate, ditto Senator Barau, his deputy. Apart from the need for religious balancing, competence and experience also came into play in our choices.
“Senator Abdulaziz Yari, is my brother and friend. We became governors together in 2011 to 2019 on the same political platform, but the nation is superior to other personal considerations. I am quite happy with what I see here today. It is a reflection of those who crave stability and unity of this country in a bipartisan manner.”
Akpabio, in his response, on behalf of the Solidarity Group congratulated the Vice President-elect on his election, and described his choice as the right step in the right direction, saying, “Your (Shettima’s) choice is putting a square peg in a square hole.”