Godswill Akpabio, former Akwa Ibom State governor, has taken his campaign for senate presidency to the leadership of the Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Akpabio and his campaign team met the two opposition parties, alongside his running mate, Barau Jibril, barely 24 hours after meeting with the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Addressing the National Working Committee of the NNPP led by its acting national chairman, Abba-Kawu Ali, Akpabio said that his team, called the Stability Group, was determined to secure the support of leadership of the oppostion parties ahead of the June 13, 2023, Inauguration of the National Assembly.
He said, “Membership of the Stability Group cuts across party lines, and we are doing extensive consultations. We have never had a situation where we had 8 political parties like we are going to have in the 10th National Assembly.”
Akpabio also confirmed that the President-elect met with the presidential candidate of the NNPP, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
He said, “In the House, we are blind to party affiliations, and that’s why we are moving to meet our leaders. I thank you for receiving us. I want to thank your national leader, Kwankwaso, for the meeting he is having with our president elect, Bola Tinubu, and I hope the meeting will be fruitful for the progress of the nation.”
The former Senate leader and current Senator representing Borno South and Director-General of the Akpabio Campaign Organisation, Ali Ndume, who spoke at the meeting, said his group has secured the signatures of 69 Senators elect supporting the aspirations of Senators Akpabio and Jubrin.
He said, “We want you to support this stability group; we have 69; who have signed. It isn’t about Akpabio or Jibrin. What the country needs now is stability, and that’s why we called the group the Stability Group.”
The acting national chairman of the NNPP described the Akpabio- Jubrin as a formidable and assured the duo of the support of the lawmakers on the platform of his party.
He said, “I know you are a formidable team. As governor of Akwa Ibom State, we know how you performed. We know you are competent. So, we are supporting you based on your record. We will support your ambition to be the President of the Senate of the 10th National Assembly. But I urge your team not to fail Nigerians, especially the youth, in the area of employment.”
Addressing members of the group at his party’s national secretariat, the suspended national chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, commended the Stability Group for extending hands of fellowship to oppostion parties leadership.
“It is usually uncommon for political party in power to consider accommodating the opposition. It is an indication that our democracy is growing. I want to say very clearly that in most of our engagement with our senators, we haven’t given them any directives. We don’t want to be dictating to them on where they should go”
“Two of my senators are here. Ireti Kingibe isn’t here, but we shall whisper to her . We need a vibrant legislature to promote our democracy, and we hope yours will be a departure from what we have. Every government policy must be such that will affect our people positively.”
“The Constitution in Chapter 2 states that the welfare of the people and their security shall be the primary responsibility of the government. My appeal is that we give attention to welfare of Nigerians, and the leadership of the Senate can help to make that a national priority,” he said.
However, Abure restated his party’s reservations about the outcome of the last general elections.
“We aren’t comfortable with the processes leading to the victory of your candidate. This isn’t the forum to vent about that but I need to put that on record. I need to correct the impression that we are supporting Asiwaju. For us, it is a no go area, but we have no doubt in Akpabio’s capacity to lead the Senate,” he said.
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