As the battle for positions continues in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Godswill Akpabio, a Senator elect, has expressed the optimism over his chances of clinching the position of Senate President in the 10th National Assembly.
BusinessDay gathered that the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, after several consultations and meetings with stakeholders, developed soft spot for Godswill Akpabio, the candidate for South-South and former Akwa Ibom State Governor.
Akpabio, it will also be recalled, had served as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, but later resigned to contest the APC Presidential primary, from which he later withdrew, following last minute political horse trading.
Speaking while answering questions from State House journalists after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, Akpabio said he was at the Presidential Villa to “pay respect to my boss as his former minister and also, he’s the father of the nation. I came to inform him that elections are over and after all the hullaballoo, I was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic. So, I’m now a senator-elect and I’ve also shown him my Certificate of Return.
“For me, this is very significant because when I joined him in 2018, I also decided to go back to the Senate, to the Upper Chambers, but of course, it wasn’t the will of the Almighty God, so I ended up as a minister, for which I’m deeply grateful and I’m indebted to him.
“I thanked him for the appointment; I thanked him for the opportunity to serve Nigeria in that capacity and the opportunity to let him know that I will continue to pray for him, so that God will continue to sustain him as we move forward and transition from him to the in-coming President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that will continue to give Nigeria peace and through them that progress will remain our portion in the country.”
He disclosed that he shared his intentions to contest the Senate Presidency with the President, adding that “I told him that yes indeed that I intend to vie for the office of the Senate President of the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and he was happy to hear that.”
Akpabio assured that he was coming to the position with a “lot of reforms.”
“Akpabio is known as an uncommon transformer. Akpabio is known as a man who is result-oriented. You will recall that when I was a governor, I brought a lot of innovations to bear, infrastructurally, educationally, socially and otherwise and also in terms of human empowerment.
“I Intend to bring a lot of reforms into the Senate, in the ways and manners we do business, to assist the next administration to succeed. We will be very thorough in doing everything; we’ll bring about loyalty to the Constitution, we’ll bring about loyalty to Nigerians.
“We will tackle issues through legislations to empower Nigerians and particularly the youth. The restiveness that we are seeing across the nation, we’ll do our best to make good laws and to assist the administration to bring about policies that will empower the youths of the country.
“I made that promise even on the convention day that being a man who used to turn boys into men and who still does, that I will like to work with the in-coming president, who has also shown that example in Lagos State as a governor and thereafter as a leader of the APC in Nigeria.
“He has continued to turn boys into men and as the President of the Country, after his swearing-in, I expect that he continue to do so.
“So the youths are in for a very good time, in terms of empowerment, there will be no time for slacking and we’ll restrict a lot of them from being lured into criminality, into brigandage and all that.
“So we’ll get them working and I believe that with the help of the Almighty that both the National Assembly and the Executive will do a lot for the youths of this country.”
He further said that he had carried out wide consultations, adding that “It’s almost like a woman who is already eight months pregnant, just a month to deliver.”