Ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, some senators have reportedly withdrawn their support for the former Governor of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio.
The development came as a senator-elect from Kano State, Sumaila Kawu, cautioned President Bola Tinubu against interfering in the election of presiding officers of the two chambers of the 10th National Assembly.
A senator-elect who spoke to Vanguard under the condition of anonymity said the withdrawal of support for Akpabio was based on his accusations in the past that the National Assembly was teeming with corruption.
He explained that it was ridiculous for Akpabio to preside over an institution he once described as a cesspit of corruption.
He said: “I have withdrawn support for Senator Akpabio. It is not only me. Many of us have withdrawn our support and it will show on the floor
I used to have very high regard for Senator Akpabio as a person but I cannot support him to be the Senate President.
How can he (Akpabio) come and preside over an institution which he once described as a cesspit of corruption after benefitting from the same institution?”
On his part, Kawu said: “The constitution is explicit about how the president and deputy president of the Senate shall be elected. For instance, Chapter 2 of the 9th Standing Orders of the Senate 2022 (as amended) stipulates the procedures for the selection of presiding officers of the Senate.
Similarly, Section 50(1)a of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) states that, ‘there shall be a President and Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
Also, section 50(1)b stipulates that, ‘A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
It is therefore clear that the election of these Presiding Officers is purely an internal affair that concerns only members of the National Assembly and therefore, they should be allowed to decide who among them would occupy the positions in order to avoid repetition of the past mistakes – we may all recall the incidences of the 7th and 8th National Assembly.”