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Akpabio Meets LP, NNPP National Chairmen, Lobby For Senate President

In a bid to secure the backing of the opposition parties, the anointed candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Senate presidency of the 10th National Assembly, Godswill Akpabio, has met with the leadership of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and the Labour Party (LP).

Addressing the National Working Committee of the NNPP led by its acting national chairman, Abba-Kawu Ali, on Wednesday, Akpabio said that the Stability Group (a group of Senators backing his Senate presidency bid) is determined to secure the support of the leadership of the opposition parties ahead of June 13 Inauguration.

He said, “Membership of the Stability Group cuts across party lines, and we are doing extensive consultations. We have never had a situation where we have eight political parties like we are going to have in the 10th National Assembly.

“In the House, we are blind to party affiliations, and that’s why we are moving to meet our leaders. I thank you for receiving us. I want to thank your national leader, Kwankwaso, for the meeting he is having with our president-elect, Bola Tinubu, and I hope the meeting will be fruitful for the progress of the nation.”

Also speaking, the Senator representing Borno South and director-general of the Akpabio Campaign Organisation, Ali Ndume, said his group had secured signatures of 69 members backing the aspiration of the Akpabio-Jibrin ticket.

“We want you to support this stability group. We have 69 who have signed. It isn’t about Akpabio or Jibrin. What the country needs now is stability, and that’s why we called the group Stability Group,” Ndume stated.

Responding, NNPP acting national chairman described the Akpabio- Jibrin ticket as a formidable one.

He assured the duo of the support of the lawmakers on the platform of his party.

He said, “I know you are a formidable team. As governor of Akwa Ibom State, we know how you performed. We know you are competent. So, we are supporting you based on your record. We will support your ambition to be the president of the 10th National Assembly. But I urge your team not to fail Nigerians, especially the youth in the area of employment.”

Also, addressing members of the Stability Group at his party’s national secretariat, the national chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, praised the group for extending hands of fellowship to opposition parties.

Abure said, “It is usually uncommon for political parties in power to consider accommodating the opposition. It is an indication that our democracy is growing. I want to say very clearly that in most of our engagement with our Senators, we haven’t given them any directives. We don’t want to be dictating to them on where they should go. Two of my Senators are here. Ireti Kingibe isn’t here, but we shall whisper to her.

“We need a vibrant legislature to promote our democracy; we hope yours will be a departure from what we have. Every government policy must be such that it would affect our people positively. The Constitution, in chapter two, states that the welfare of the people and security shall be the primary responsibility of the government. My appeal is that we give attention to the welfare of Nigerians, and the leadership of the Senate can help to make that a national priority .”

The LP chairman, however, restated his party’s reservations about the outcome of the last general election.

“We aren’t comfortable with the processes leading to the victory of your candidate. This isn’t the forum to ventilate that, but I need to put that on record. I need to correct the impression that we are supporting Asiwaju. For us, it is a no go area, but we have no doubt in Akpabio’s capacity to lead the Senate,” he said.

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