Senate: Anti-Akpabio Forces Accuse Him Of Manipulating Ministerial Nominees’ List, Reveal Other ‘Sins’


The alleged move to impeach the President of the 10th Senate, Godswill Akpabio from office, has gotten intense.

With claims that some senators from the north are planning to remove Akpabio from office, sources that spoke with Vanguard revealed that the issue is beyond the northern senators alleged to be spearheading the move.

The Senate in its reaction to the speculation on Saturday had claimed that senators are united behind its leadership, adding that reports about impeachment moves are imaginative compositions.

There are claims that some lawmakers are planning to remove Akpabio when the upper chamber reconvenes on September 26.

Those behind the development accused Akpabio of playing the role of a lap dog for President Bola Tinubu rather than serving the overall interest of senators and Nigerians.

They alleged that his closeness to the President has prevented him from paying full attention to his colleagues and working hard for the good of the country.

The controversial video where Akpabio said the Clerk of the National Assembly had credited accounts of senators with a token to enable them to enjoy their holidays was also given as one of the reasons for the move to remove him from office.

A northern senator, Ishaku Abbo while speaking on the issue in an interview with Sunday Vanguard, dismissed the report of only northern senators challenging Akpabio’s seat.

According to Abbo most legislators are upset and not just northern senators.

The lawmaker, who represents Adamawa North, said Akpabio planted a seed of discord in the Senate with the manner committees’ leadership was chosen.

He said loyalists of the former Akwa Ibom governor were given the chairmanship and vice chairmanship of top committees, a situation that left other senators aggrieved.

The number-three man was accused of circumventing equity in his choice of those to head some committees described as ‘Category A Committees.’

Abbo said, “If Akpabio and his camp wanted a united Senate just like Ahmed Lawal, they could have known exactly what to do during Senate Standing Committees allocation and supplementary budget resources allocation.

“But the camp of the Senate President continued to treat the Senate as a conquered territory where the winner goes home with the spoils of war. A classical example of a winner-takes-all.

“How do you explain a situation where out of Category A Committees, only two went to his perceived rivals? How will you explain a Senate where 83.1 per cent of those made Chairmen of Category A Committees are also Vice Chairmen of Category A? How do you explain a third time a senator being denied the chairmanship of a committee? How do you explain that the leadership of the Senate are all vice chairmen of Category A Committees?’’

It was further claimed that the Akpabio camp intended to set the President against the North.

This was said to have been responsible for the allegation that northern senators were the movers of the alleged impeachment plot.

He further stated, “As a northern senator and an official of the Nothern Senators Forum, I make bold to say that this news is deliberately planted and syndicated by the ‘camp’ of Senator Akpabio just to set President Bola Tinubu against the North.

“I call on Senator Akpabio to call his camp to order as the seed of discord and deep ethno-religious division they are sowing will not augur well for the country. Why the North? Why in Saudi Arabia?.”

He added that lawmakers are also unhappy over the manner ministerial clearance was handled by Akpabio.

He was said to have decided on the security clearance of some nominees without carrying senators along.

Narrating what happened, Abbo said the petitions upon which three nominees were not okayed by the Senate were not treated by any of the Senate committees.

According to him, Akpabio only told the senators about the security report after returning from Aso Rock where he spent three hours.

He said, “Let me ask this question. During the ministerial screening where three minister-designates were refused clearance by the Senate, which committee looked into the petitions against them? Ethics and Privileges or Ad hoc Committee or Committee of the Whole? Was the report deliberated and debated during the plenary? Was there any voting either, aye or nay?

“The Senate President just absconded during plenary and kept the Senate waiting in the chamber for over three hours while he was in the Villa -something that never happened in the history of the Senate. He came and read out the names of those cleared and ‘waved’ papers in his hand, claiming security reports from the NSA or DSS as the reason for not clearing some nominees. In my opinion, this is the lowest the Senate ever descended.

“Who gave the NSA or DSS DG or IGP the power to write to the Senate? What do you call that communication? Executive communication or reckless communication?

“Are we telling Nigerians that the Presidency and security agencies did not do diligent work before sending the list to the Senate or the Senate is used as cannon fodder for presidential aides’ power play?

“The Senate President knows what to do to have a peaceful Senate like Ahmed Lawal and not blackmail senators from the northern region and use newspaper reports to hoodwink the President.

“President Bola Tinubu worked hard to make Senator Akpabio Senate President, but it’s only Senator Akpabio that can manage his colleagues well and not Tinubu managing them for him.”

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