Coalition tackles South-South lawmakers opposing Akpabio

Abuja—A rainbow coalition of groups in the Niger Delta region, South South Solidarity Forum, has taken a swipe at some federal lawmakers from the South South working against the region to produce the Senate President of the 10th National Assembly, according to the Leadership newspaper.

It further added that the region has stopped to be onlookers in the politics of Nigeria just as it added that it is rooting for a more equitable and workable Nigeria.

The groups urged people of the zone and Nigerians in general to throw their weight behind former Niger Delta minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for the 10th Senate presidency.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja yesterday, convener of the forum, Peter Ikpen Ilefa, who thanked president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the leadership of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) for considering the region, explained why South South zone deserves the Senate presidency among other zones in the South.

Taking a swipe at federal lawmakers from the South South said to be working against Akpabio, the forum said this set of lawmakers have chosen to “point to their father’s house with left hands, an action not worthy of a brother.”

Ilefa said, “They have formed a league of former and newly elected senators from the South South who have elected to go against their region.

“We sympathize with those in this league standing against our regional interest by undermining the collective aspirations of our region to produce the president of the 10th Senate – it is shameful.

“These enemies of a united South-South has exuded a condemnable act of irresponsible ignorance in their call against the common interest of the region, they have goofed badly.

“While these enemies are routing for an individual outside Senator Akpabio who is their regional brother, leading themselves into infamy we gladly call on them to retrace their footsteps more particularly Senators-elect from Akwa Ibom State because the party and the people have spoken and loudly too – Akpabio is the consensus candidate and heaven will not fall.

“Our Senators-elect from South-South who are working against the interest of the zone should come off this shameful act and decline been use as clock in the wheel of change.

“This is a collective project that deserves their full backing, hence posterity beckons on all those seen to be enemies of our region.

“Nobody can sabotage our regional interest especially those whom our people had conscientiously serve their interests and we shall leave no stone unturned to ensure that these enemies of South-South and their co-confederates are shamed with the victory of the Uncommon Senator.”

He said, “It is on record that the South East had had the opportunity of producing 8 Senate Presidents most of whom were during the regime of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and has sufficiently gone round the five south eastern states.

“We have stopped to be onlookers in the politics of Nigeria and without sounding immodest, the Senate presidency for all intents and purposes have been graciously zoned to our region and ultimately pinned down to our Uncommon Senator who is an agent of change and accelerated development in the Niger Delta region.”

Stressing the need to spread political offices across the geographical zones in the country, the forum said the choice of Akpabio from South South is the idea of building an all inclusive government where every segment of the Nigerian State will have a stake by embracing the principles of equity, national solidarity, fairplay and justice.

“It It is on record that the political arrangements in our recent past have not sufficiently favour the South-South geopolitical zone particularly as it concerns the Senate Presidency and to this end we request the support of all other segments of the Nigerian nation to support the endorsement of Senator Godswill Obot Akabio, by the All Progressives Congress, APC.

“In the South-South region, we have the presence of the APC more than every other place in Southern Nigeria apart from South West and the 2023 general elections points to this notorious fact.

“The results from the South-South region formed an integral part of the victory the All Progressives Congress, APC is enjoying today and we however appreciate the endorsement of the Uncommon Senator for the 10th Senate Presidency.

“In Delta State for instance, the APC produced two Senators ditto Edo State, Cross River and one from Akwa Ibom State; this is in addition to a large number of members of House of Representatives under the fold of the umbrella party,” the forum stated.

Noting as critical stakeholders in Nigeria the South South deserves the number three position in the country, the forum declared that the Senate president is going to the region, just as it called for the support of all Nigerians in APC’s efforts to install an Akpabio Senate presidency.

“The SSSG is widening its mobilization of Senators and leaders across the country to ensure that Senator Akpabio becomes the Senate President of the 10th Senate and no conspiracy/gang up can stop it because, the party is supreme.

“With keen interest we have watched them drivel and drool on national television calling for the Senate presidency to go elsewhere but we wonder what is there to appease. Who is aggrieved over what? Who offended who?

“The Nigerian state has offended no region let alone using a national office to gamble because a group of anti democratic elements want it so to satisfy their shenanigans, we say no to this – Senator Akpabio is the square peg in square hole.

“In view of the above analysis, we request that all sons and daughters first and foremost of the Niger Delta region queues behind our illustrious son without necessarily playing the pull him down politics which is detrimental to collective progress and development.”

The forum thanked its grand patron and chief of staff to governor of Cross River State, Martin Orim, and patron, Engineer Ben Ogede, saying they have been the strength behind them.

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