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10thSenate: Akpabio’s comments riles Presidency



…Buhari mulls another candidate over ex-gov’sresource controlstance

WITH few days to the inauguration of the incoming 10th National Assembly, there are indications that the anticipated election of former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, as Senate President may turn out a stillbirth.

Analysts said the indications had been lurking in the shadows following discordant tunes from many quarters that greeted Akpabio’s endorsement by over 70 All Progressives Congress(APC) senators-elect last week after the ruling party’s National Working Committee (NWC) published its zoning that favoured him .

But a source from Presidency said Akpabio should blame himself if he loses out in the race for the topmost legislative post in Nigeria.

According to the source, part of what may cost Akpabio his ambition is “his unguarded utterances and desperation to become senate president at all cost, even if the party is sacrificed or slighted apart from his refusal to publicly condemn the call from his South South zone for resource control.”

The source also said “Akpabio has been carrying on as a sacred horse in just one week of his endorsement. He needs to know that President Buhari does not work with insensitive people. This is why Presidency is rattled by some of the statements being credited to Akpabio and which he has not clarified or denied.”

 Speaking further, the source said Buhari may be forced to shop for another candidate unless Akpabio tones down his utterances

 “I can also assure you that President Buhari may support another candidate from many others qualified for the job unless Akpabio shows sufficient remorse by dialing down his utterances, and doing so in time,” the source continued.

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It will be recalled that Akpabio had called on Nigerians and senators-elect not to assess him using his brief tenure as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

Akpabio said he preferred to be judged by his record as a lawyer of 36 years, commissioner for six years and a governor for eight years.

He stated these in an interview with journalists in Abuja, on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed Wednesday for hearing in a suit filed by a former lawyer with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Nkereuwen Mark Anana, against Akwa-Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel and two others over the spending of 13 per cent derivation refunds.

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