Coalition insists on South-South Senate Presidency, says South East has produced five 

A coalition of South-South Agenda for United Nigeria, Justice, and Equity has demanded the position of President of the Senate to be zoned to the oil-rich region. 

The Coalition called yesterday, Monday, 17th April 2023, at a Media Briefing held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Convener of the Coalition, Hon. Eseme Eyibo, in the company of South-South stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said it for Justice and Equity, a Senator from the South-South be elected as President of the Senate.

Hon Eyibo said, “National Assembly, by the second week of June, shall be electing their Principal Officers particularly, the President of the Senate, the Deputy Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. And, because that would take place, we must note that all the Senators-elect and House of Representatives Members-elect are all members of political parties.”

“The All Progressives Congress has the majority in the National Assembly, and since we have the majority, it behooves of us to also produce the Principal Officers like the President of the Senate, the Deputy Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Chief Whip and the Deputy Chief Whip,” Eyibo, a former member of the House of Representatives continued.

“So our Party, the APC, is known for good conduct, that the Nigerian people have imposed confidence on would come together and decide where these positions would be zoned to. Zoning may not be constitutional. But zoning is a mechanism intended to redress a perceived injustice.

It is, therefore, at the instance of that perceived injustice that the stakeholders are staying here to invite the attention of the Party and every Stakeholder across the country to appreciate the fact that since the party has at its heart the issue of zoning, that the perceived injustice visited on a group of people, is going to be redressed at this instant.”

“I must also let everyone be aware that there has been a model that wherever the President goes, is where the Senate Presidency goes, and the Deputy Speaker goes. Where the Vice President goes is where the Speaker and the Deputy Senate President would go. That model had been on, and it has never been disrupted. And today, we have taken the brunt of being an oil-producing zone in the South-South region.”

“When Boko Haram was fighting and killing and threatening to destroy this country, it is the proceeds of oil that were used in buying arms to equip the military and other security agencies to stabilize this country and ensure that we all live in peace. It is the same South-South we know that has never benefited from what is called the ‘Priority list’ of the politics of this country.

“Today, we have come together as a Coalition; our tongues and tribe may differ, but we are united in one thing: for this demand that we want to put on the table. It is a demand; it is an appeal; it is an application; it is a request to the All Progressives Congress and every well-meaning Nigerian and the President-elect, His Excellency Asiwaju Tinubu and Vice President-elect, that what we want as the South-South is that the position of the Senate President should be zoned to the South-South”.

The Coalition also further affirmed the already known fact that all the five states of the Southeast have produced Senate Presidents each.

“It is also good to draw every Nigerian stakeholder to the fact that each time the Senate Presidency is zoned to southern Nigeria, it is always micro-zoned to the southeast. The Southeast has had five uninterrupted Senate Presidents.

His Excellency, Chief Adolphus Nwabara (Abia State, His Excellency Evans Enwerem (Imo State), Sen. Chuba Okadigbo (Anambra), Sen. Ken Nnamani (Enugu), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim (Ebonyi). All the five states of the Southeast have produced Senate Presidents. So now, it is the turn of the South-South”.

On who can lead the 10th National Assembly; Senate, the Coalition said: 

“Coming down to South-South, we have a man who has been tested and trusted. His name is His Excellency, Sen. Godswill Akpabio. He has been a former Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. He has been a Governor of Akwa Ibom state, during which he brought about uncommon transformation. He was massively elected afterward to represent the Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial District at the Red Chamber of the National Assembly.

“He was unanimously elected as the Minority Leader in the Senate. After his first tenure in the Senate, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari found him fit for appointment as Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. He went to that ministry with his wand of development. He also initiated the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), which before then was engrossed in humongous corruption.

“From now on, Nigeria needs strong institutions to bring about the needed development. The Senate also needs a ranking Senator to emerge as President of the Senate. Therefore that man is His Excellency, Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio. Like the President-elect, His Excellency Asiwaju Tinubu, Sen. Godswill Akpabio believes in human capacity development. He is a detribalized Nigerian, just like the President-elect. With Akpabio as Chairman of the National Assembly, there will be a synergy with the Executive for the common good of all Nigerians”.