Tuesday, June 13, 2023


Akpabio emerged as Senate President, defeating Yari

On Tuesday, Senator Godswill Akpabio emerged victorious over Senator Abdul'aziz Yari, securing the position of Senate President in a decisive victory.

After scoring 63 votes, Akpabio defeated Yari, who received 46 votes, to become the President of the 10th National Assembly. Following his win, the former Akwa Ibom governor was promptly sworn in as the Senate President, succeeding Senator Ahmad Lawan.

In a parallel development, Senator Jibrin Barau, representing Kano North Senatorial District, assumed the position of Senate Deputy President uncontested, taking over from Ovie Omo-Agege.

Additionally, Tajudeen Abbas, a member of the House of Representatives from Zaria Federal Constituency in Kaduna State, was elected Speaker of the House, while Benjamin Kalu, representing Bende Federal Constituency in Abia State, became the Deputy Speaker of the House for the 10th National Assembly.

The voting process commenced at 8:45 am alphabetically, on a state-by-state basis, within the Red Chamber in Abuja, Nigeria. The voting concluded precisely at 9:15 am, and Akpabio was sworn in at 9:44 am.

The contest for the Senate Presidency featured Yari, a former governor of Zamfara State, and Akpabio, a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and ex-governor of Akwa Ibom State. Both Akpabio and Yari hold prominent positions within the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Prior to the election, Yari expressed discontent with the party's endorsement of Akpabio and called for a review, but the APC maintained its support for Akpabio. The APC also endorsed Barau Jibrin from the North-West for the position of Deputy Senate President.

Yari's camp, consisting of numerous APC Senators, rejected the party's stance, arguing that the North-West, which provided the highest number of votes for the President, deserved compensation.

While some APC members encouraged Yari to withdraw his ambitions to facilitate Akpabio's success, the former governor vowed to persevere until the end.

In the recent elections, the APC secured approximately 70 seats in the Senate, the highest number among all parties, followed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Labour Party (LP), and the New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP).

Many APC lawmakers initially expressed their interest in becoming the next Senate President, but several candidates withdrew their aspirations in favor of either Akpabio or Yari.

Akpabio's path to Senate President has been marked by various milestones. He began his career as a lawyer and subsequently served as a Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State. From 2007 to 2015, he held the position of Akwa Ibom State Governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In 2015, he transitioned to the Senate, becoming the Senate Minority Leader until his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2018.

In August 2019, Akpabio was sworn in as the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs after undergoing the National Assembly's screening process. He resigned from his ministerial position in 2022 when he sought the APC presidential ticket but later stepped down to endorse former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu.

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