The former Akwa Ibom governor recalled that “The South/south part of the country last had a senate president in 1979 about 44 years ago when Joseph Wayas from NPN had it.
“Our brothers from the South/east with very capable people have held the position since 1999 for about eight years and also produced the deputy senate president for twelve years till the current dispensation. The North Central produced David Mark for 12 years, and Bukola Saraki and Mantu (deputy senate president).
“Since the president is from the South and the vice from the North, it is right that the senate president is coming from the south. Of course, the south/west is out left with the South /south hoping that their brothers from the east will support them.
“The wise men from the national working committee graciously zoned it to the South/south and a party man who served six years in the executive, eight years as governor, served as the minority leader of the senate and minister to lead the 10th senate.”
Akpabio noted that the 10th Senate is totally different from all others as it will be composed of different political parties including the APC, PDP, YPP, Labour Party, NNPP and others.
“We also intend to visit the chairmen of other political parties who made us the 10th Senate, believing that we will gain also from their inputs and advice.
“Just to mention that we have Senator Hangar quietly seated there of the NNPP from Kano as an example who mentioned his name without adding his party. This is because when we walk into the Senate, we will be addressed as Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We have former governor of Yobe, Senator Gaidam, and Senator Gbenga Daniel all joining us to join hands with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to move Nigeria forward.
“We are grateful to the leadership that gave this opportunity. Senator Godswill Akpabio, the uncommon Senator and his brother, Senator Barau, will definitely bring growth to this country. And we are poised to bring change, and we still have serving governors, Dave Umahi and Governor Bello and we are seventy in all and growing”.
He appealed to the NWC to talk to some members of APC who have still not supported the party’s decision to do so for the interest of APC and the country.
At the meeting, national chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, cautioned Akpabio and his supporters not to be late on the day of inauguration.
Adamu cautioned APC legislators to guard against the 2015 scenario when Senate President Ahmad Lawan, the then preferred candidate of the party for Senate president, and his supporters came late to the chambers, creating room for the emergence of Bukola Saraki against party’s wish.
In response to the protests over the endorsement of candidates for the presiding officers of 10th National Assembly, Adamu said the NWC has opened more consultations to have common grounds ahead of the proclamation coming up early June.
He said, “We in the announcement also clearly mentioned that we need further and better consultation. We need deepened consultations to carry along many. From what you just said there is ample evidence that there have been consultations and we will not relent to ensure that if it were possible for all senators elect to agree.
“Whatever we do, whatsoever signature we collect, the final decision will be on the floor of the Senate and also the house. All these efforts are very good and important but we are in a democracy and people are bound to have opinions and we have no right to stop them”.