Recent reports suggest that the candidacy of former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, may face challenges as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is rumored to have withdrawn his support for him in the race for Senate President in the 10th National Assembly.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had previously announced its endorsement of Senator Godswill Akpabio and three others for top positions in the National Assembly. However, this endorsement received backlash from some party members, particularly those aspiring for leadership positions in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Senators, mainly from the South West region, have called for a meeting to discuss their position on the choice of Senate leadership. The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow and aims to assess the outcome of a crucial meeting among the senators-elect, which some members from the South West region plan to attend.
It is believed that President Tinubu has listened to the advice of his trusted political allies and withdrawn his support for Senator Godswill Akpabio. The President is committed to running a corruption-free government and strengthening anti-corruption policies and institutions.
In his inaugural speech, President Tinubu emphasized the need for a credit culture to discourage corruption and for the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies. This has led many to believe that the President will not support any senator with a history of corruption cases.
A senator from the South West region shared their concerns, stating that they have realized the limitations of remaining in this camp and have scheduled a meeting to discuss their next course of action.
Senator Ali Ndume, the Director General for the Akpabio/Barau Stability Group, responded to the developments by suggesting that politically exposed individuals often face sponsored allegations during elections. He expressed confidence that the appropriate anti-graft agencies would handle any allegations against Akpabio and highlighted that the accusations did not involve misappropriation of funds during his tenure as governor or minister.
Ndume clarified that Akpabio’s role was to supervise the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and not to constitute the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), as that responsibility falls under the president of the country.