Newly elected Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Photo: Channels
By Tony Adibe
The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON) and a foundation Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has congratulated Distinguished Sen. Godswill Akpabio as he emerged the Senate President of the 10th Senate of Nigeria.
“The emergence of Akpabio shows the in-depth respect of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the principles of inclusiveness and national cohesion,” Okechukwu said on Tuesday. The VON D-G said this while addressing students of the Department of Political Science of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) where his 1983 Graduate Set held its 40th Reunion Anniversary.
Okechukwu, a foundation member of the APC, used the National Assembly election during his address to lecture the students on how politics of inclusiveness helped Sen. Akpabio to garner 63 votes to defeat Distinguished Sen. Abdulaziz Yari. He emphasised that Yari is eminently qualified to be Senate President.
Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON) and a foundation Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Osita Okechukwu
“However, in the enlightened wisdom of the majority of the Senators and in line with the general position of Nigerians before the NASS election; there is an imperative stance of having a Christian among the five in the official protocol list of Nigeria,” he said. He noted that the President, Vice President, Speaker, and Chief Justice of Nigeria are all Muslims; thus, the need for at least a Christian as a Senate President.
Asked whether Akpabio’s election would harm the doctrine of separation of powers as well as checks and balances of the senate, Okechukwu replied: “Yes, whereas one fancies the Independence of the legislature cum executive as enunciated by French philosopher Baron Montesquieu.
“However, we need separation of powers oiled by harmonious relationships. For instance, the incremental critical amendments of our rigid 1999 Constitution need to continue, the endorsement of the Green Imperative Programme aimed at revolutionising agriculture and other salient laws and regulations achieved by Distinguished Sen. Ahmed Lawan and Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila cannot be dismissed off hand.
“We need such amendments to reduce some extra meat powers embedded in the Exclusive Legislative List”. Okechukwu insisted that “Nigeria is at crossroads and needs all hands-on deck to come out of the cliff hanger woods.”
He added that “this is especially when President Bola Tinubu has set forth on courageous decisions; he needs the benefit of doubt from all of us, until he veers off.” The APC Chieftain further said: “Accordingly, after the secret balloting of an election which started by 9a.m.the Clerk declared Sen. Akpabio as the Senate President.
“Sen. Akpabio garnered 63 votes against his rival the former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, who filed the Chief Whip of the 9th Senate, Sen. Orji Kalu, as his running as deputy, with 43 votes”.