10th Senate: ‘Controversies’ In Tinubu’s Camp Over The Choice Of Akpabio
– Akpabio, Tinubu
There’s a perceived silent discord in All Progressive Congress (APC) especially in the camp of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu over senate presidency ambition of the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio. This we gathered has reportedly led to discomfort in the camp.
This is coming at a time a governor from the Northeast and some senator-elects dismissed the claims that the meeting between Tinubu and APC stakeholders resolved to support Akpabio.
Sources that spoke with Sunday Sun, noted that Tinubu did not openly endorse anybody, adding that he (Tinubu) and his associates are not pleased with Akpabio’s constant visits.
According to the source, Akpabio’s visit has been considered irritating and smacks of desperation.
A loyalist of the President-elect, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the president-elect feels stalked by Akpabio’s constant visits.
The source said Tinubu and those around him are increasingly becoming embarrassed by Akpabio’s desperation to get an endorsement to become Senate president.
He said: “The president-elect’s team is not happy with Godswill Akpabio and the way he is going about his ambition to become the Senate President. He never allows the president-elect to rest. He wants to come around every minute and we are sincerely tired of his antics.
“Akpabio is too desperate and unstable. Most of us are not comfortable with him. We know that his former party accused him of betrayal when he was Minority Leader in the Senate, as he dumped the party for APC. If he did that, he could also trade in APC in future.
“We do not want Asiwaju to make a mistake. We are, therefore, watching Akpabio closely. His conduct in the race for Senate presidency is becoming too irritating to the president-elect and those around him. We want Tinubu to succeed, and the foundation will be to carry every region along and form a unity government.”
Another close associate of Tinubu in the Senate said the President-elect’s camp is worried about the impression that Tinubu has adopted Akpabio as the preferred candidate.
He said what Akpabio said of lawmakers, during the House of Representatives investigation of the NDDC, makes some of them uncomfortable.
The lawmaker said, “We returning senators are angry about what Akpabio said of lawmakers then. We are talking to the new ones. We wouldn’t want the president-elect to be misunderstood as supporting someone who does not have the support of his former colleagues. We want a generally accepted senator as the leader. We have not seen that in Akpabio.”
An APC Governor from Northeast who pleaded for anonymity, said reports that the camp supports Akpabio are not a reflection of Tinubu’s camp.
He said: “I have read and listened to some claims in the media, especially social media. I can tell you that over 90 per cent of those claims are untrue and mere figment of some people’s imagination.
“In fact, I can tell you that the President-elect is not happy about some of the claims. He is working for the people and progress of our country. He wants to promote that which will help our country surmount some challenges facing it as quickly as possible.”
Some lawmakers-elect also dismissed the claim that Tinubu is mobilising support among APC lawmakers for Akpabio.
One of the senators-elect said: “I have been attending the meetings, and nobody has told me that the anointed candidate for Senate president is Akpabio.
“The contestants are working hard to get the backing of the party and my colleagues. Akpabio and his supporters know that Orji Uzor Kalu is firmly ahead as he has many people, especially from the North, backing him. I tell you that Kalu is leading in the race as of today.”