SENATOR Ali Ndume has stated that President Bola Tinubu told him that Senator Godswill Akpabio is his preferred candidate for the President of the 10th Senate.
“The President told me that his preferred candidate is Akpabio and I should lead the campaign,” Ndume stated today on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
The senator representing Borno South stated further that Tinubu directed him to personally lead the campaign for Akpabio’s Senate President ambition.
He expressed confidence that the President will not change his stance on the 10th Senate leadership.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) allocated four major slots for the 10th National Assembly in May and named elected MPs to fill each position.
The zoning arrangement is as follows: Senate President – South-South, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); and Deputy Senate President – North West, Senator Barau Jibrin (Kano).
Others are the Speaker of the House of Representatives (North-West) – Abass Tajudeen (Kaduna); and Deputy Speaker, South East-Hon. Ben Kalu (Abia).
According to a lawmaker who has served in the National Assembly for 20 years, 75 of the 109 elected Senators in the red chamber have backed Akpabio’s aspiration as of today.
Ndume acknowledged tough opposition from the camp of former Zamfara State governor Abdulaziz Yari, who is also a top contender for the role of Senate President, but stated the Akpabio camp had all the advantages.
“As at today I am telling you we have 75 senators. All advantages are on our side. We have the support of the party, we have the support of the president, and most importantly we have the support of most of the senators. These senators signed up to endorse our programme,” he said.
While maintaining confidence in the ability of the Akpabio camp to carry the day during the election, the Borno lawmaker did not rule out surprises as he acknowledged that people can change their mind at the last minute.
“Let’s say that some people will jump over at the last minute, that can happen, but I am very confident. I don’t want to be overconfident because people can change their mind, but we have a better candidate.
“We have two candidates that are in front now, that is Yari and Akpabio and our candidate has all the advantages over the other candidate, politically and intellectually, we have an added advantage,” Ndume stated.