The leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) through its National Working Committee on Thursday, announced its endorsement of Senator Godswill Akpabio for the office of the Senate President in the 10th Senate and Senator Jubrin Barau as Deputy Senate President.
In a similar development, the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum, has also thrown his weight and that of the state government behind the aspirations of Senators Akpabio and Barau as leaders in the 10th Senate.
Speaking while receiving in courtesy, members of the Stability Group led by its Chairman and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr Dave Umahi, Governor Zulum disclosed to his guests the resolve of all the Northern governors to publicly endorse Akpabio and Barau as the preferred choices of the party in the days ahead.
Adressing members of the Group, who were on a thank you visit to the leadership of the party in Abuja, the National chairman of the party, Mr Shehu Gabam, described Senator Akpabio as a Pan Nigerian whose antecedents in public office speak volumes of his love for the progress and development of Nigeria.
“With the calibre of people in the Stability Group working for victory of Akpabio and Barau, I am very confident that Nigeria would work again. Nigeria has never been this divided as a country along ethnic and religious lines and that is why I would appeal to you that the unity of this country should be paramount in your hearts.
“We in the SDP are passionate about the unity and progress of the country and that was why when other parties staged a walk- out at the Presidential Election Collation Centre, we stood firm with the process to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did what was expected of it, by announcing the results and anybody who disagreed with it knows what to do.”
Speaking further, the chairman charged the lawmakers to take very seriously, the issue of local government autonomy, insecurity in the country and the vexed issue of state of origin. He advised the lawmakers to bring forth a law that would put a final end to the issues of indigeneship adding ,” this is one of the major reasons there is no development in the country because we focus mainly on indigeneship instead of citizenship.
In his reaction, Senator Akpabio thanked the SDP leadership and the Borno State Governor for standing behid the decision of the party and promised to do all within his powers to put smiles once again, on the faces of Nigerians because we cannot afford to let them down.
According to the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, we will continue to talk to our colleagues who are yet be part of the group, untill we are all one, on the issue of leadership, saying, “despite our being the choices of the party leadership and president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we shall continue in our consultations with stakeholders and members of our party particularly, our brothers, who have also shown interest in occupying the office of the Senate President, inorder to have a peaceful and united Senate.
“We shall continue to talk to them because we all need each other for the progress and unity of our country,” Akpabio stated.